Written by Laura English

Produced for online by Kurravi Piggott

May 24, 2017

Image result for Brisbane airport
The Brisbane Airport is 4m above sea level


Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast airports could be underwater by 2100 if new research from the United States proves accurate.

The report says sea levels could rise by up to 2.7m in less than 100 years if our carbon emissions remain at their current level.

Clime Council head researcher Dr Martin Rice says Australia needs to do something.

“If we don’t rapidly reduce our emissions than we will continually see rising sea levels,” Mr Rice says.

Australian Coastal Council Association’s executive director Alan Stokes says the government needs to take this seriously.

“At the moment it’s local councils who are at the forefront of having to deal with these issues, but they are doing it with one arm tied behind their back,” Mr Stokes says.

“They simply don’t have the resources to all the things required.”

Mr Stokes says the Federal Government needs to work with State and local governments to take a national approach.

“To figure out which level of government should be taking prime responsibility for responding to the threat of rising sea levels. Where the funds are going to come from and where the priority areas are,” he says.

While there is no way to reverse climate change Griffith Climate Change Response Program Director Dr Brenden Mackey says we need to cap the problem.

“It’s too late to prevent climate change but we can limit the future harm,” Mr Mackey says.

“The solution is very simple, we have to stop emissions of greenhouse gases and particular carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuel.”

National Climate Change Adaption Research Facility fellow Sarah Boulter says rising sea levels are not the only issue and we are likely to see more natural disasters.

“We’ll experience more intense rainfall events so we are likely to see more flooding as a result of that,” Ms Boulter says.