Climate change is warming the oceans. Apart from melting glaciers and icecaps, water expands as it warms. Simple physics.
This is making the seas rise - 200mm last century and already twice as fast this century.
OzCoasts - one of Australia's official scientific agencies - has modelled rises including 1.1 metres. We could see this or worse if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t cut hard and fast.
Flooding in Brisbane isn’t new, of course. But higher seas, as well as causing flooding themselves (including in king tides and storm surges on the coasts and on tidal rivers) make it harder for river waters to flow out to sea. Higher sea levels mean worse and more frequent floods (just as global warming means more and worse heatwaves and bushfires).
Even before flooding reaches homes and businesses, sporting fields are often in low lying areas where building is discouraged or prevented. Sports fields around Australia’s coasts would be early casualties of unchecked global warming.
Some of our representatives in Parliament are taking this seriously and supporting climate action. Some, unfortunately, aren’t.
OzCoasts maps show extensive inundation of this area if there is 1.1 metres sea level rise.
- The soccer fields at Dalton Park, Clontarf show substantial inundation for example on OzCoasts map for impacts of 110 cm sea level rise.
- Also at Clontarf, the westernmost ground at the Ray Frawley fields shows as inundated and the middle field starts to experience inundation:
- Redcliffe Golf Course also shows impacts with 110 cm of sea level rise:
- Off the topic of sports grounds, here's what Redcliffe Airport looks like on OzCoasts map for impacts of 110 cm sea level rise:
Local member Luke Howarth talked in his maiden speech about his love for the Australian environment, and praised renewable energy. But then he lined up with Tony Abbott just the same, to vote for putting climate change action into reverse, including abolishing the Climate Change Authority and Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
- In Bulimba, OzCoasts’ maps show partial inundation at Vic Lucas Park
- In Norman Park, OzCoasts’ maps show extensive inundation for cricket and other sporting fields
- In Balmoral, OzCoasts’ maps show cricket and other sporting fields just above inundation level
- In Woolongabba, OzCoasts’ maps show the sports grounds at AJ Thomas and Thompson Estate under threat
New member Terri Butler has already spoken publicly in support of maintenance of the Renewable Energy Target, and pointed out that no credible experts, at all, support Tony Abbott’s misleadingly named “Direct Action”policy.
In Lilley, local member Wayne Swan has been a consistent advocate for climate action. OzCoasts mapping for the area show some of the impacts if we don’t act effectively and soon enough on climate change
- At Brisbane Grammar School all the cricket grounds have substantial areas on OzCoasts maps affected by inundation with 1.1 metres sea level rise
- The Nudgee golf course shows on Ozcoasts maps as completely inundated
- The Virginia golf course starts to show areas of inundation on the same map
- Royal Brisbane Golf Club also shows extensive inundation.
Much more expensively, OzCoasts maps show extensive inundation for Brisbane Airport if the seas are allowed to rise 1.1 metres or more.
The expense of major disruption to Brisbane Airport is not something that Greg Hunt and Tony Abbott talk about, but would be part of the costs of not acting effectively on climate change. (Hint: It would be a far greater cost to the economy of Queensland and Australia than the costs of a carbon price that a few fossil fuel power stations want to avoid.) There is still some flooding with 50 mm sea level rise, but less extensive and likely to be less frequent.
- In Milton, Gregory Park is shown as inundated on OzCoasts maps for 1.1 metres sea level rise.
Federal member Tess Gambaro spoke back in 2007 in favour of an emissions trading system to “drive investment in low emission technologies”. However, when it came to a vote in November 2013, she voted with Tony Abbott to put Australia’s climate change action into reverse, and abolish the Climate Change Authority and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
Federal member for Bonner Ross Vasta voted for reversal of Australia’s climate action, including abolition of the Climate Change Authority and Clean Energy Finance Corporation. On the ground in his electorate, climate action is urgently needed, including to give local sport a future.
- In Wynnum West, GJ Fuller Oval shows as inundated on OzCoasts map for 1.1 metres sea level rise
- In Murarrie, the Brisbane Polo Grounds show as inundated.
- At Carindale, the baseball fields at Preston Road Park show on OzCoasts map as inundated. At Tingalpah’s Kianawah Park, the 2 most southwest fields show as inundated with 1.1 metres sea level rise.
- The cricket and other sporting fields at Moreton Bay Sports Club also show as inundated
Federal member for Bowman Andrew Laming spoke in Parliament in 2010 in favour of an emissions trading scheme. But in 2013 he lined up behind Tony Abbott just the same, to vote for reversal of Australia’s climate action, including abolition of the Climate Change Authority and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
On the ground, OzCoasts maps for the impacts of 1.1 metres of sea level rise in Bowman show the need for urgent action, with part or all of these fields experiencing inundation:
- Howeston Golf Course
- Henry Ziefengusz Park in Cleveland, with 3 grounds wholly or partly inundated
- The Sam Sciacca sportsfields in Capalaba - with further sports facilities clearly at risk if there were further rises beyond the 1.1 metre mark.
Liberal member Peter Dutton hasn't talked much at all as Health Minister about the huge impacts climate change could have on the health of Australians or the health system.
He hasn't explained, either, why he's lining up behind Tony Abbott to put climate action into reverse.
- In his own electorate, the Robert Akers Sporting Reserve at Strathpine shows on OzCoasts map for the impacts of 110 cm sea level rise as just above inundation level.
- The fields at Canterbury Park, Strathpine are also only just above inundation level on the OzCoasts map for 110 cm sea level rise.
Delay on climate action: It's just not cricket