Mean sea level will continue to rise and height of extreme sea-level events will also increase.
For 1966 to 2009, the average rate of relative sea-level rise for Australia, from observations along the coast, was 1.4 mm/year. By 2030 the projected range of sea-level rise for the region’s coastline is 0.08 to 0.18 m above the 1986 – 2005 level, with only minor differences between emission scenarios.
As the century progresses, projections are sensitive to concentration pathways. At Portland (141.613E, 38.343S) by 2090, the intermediate emissions case (RCP4.5) is associated with a rise of 0.29 to 0.64 m and the high case (RCP8.5) a rise of 0.39 to 0.84 m. Under certain circumstances, sea-level rises higher than these may occur.
Late in the century warming of the Southern Slopes coastal waters poses a significant threat to the marine environment through biological changes in marine species, including local abundance, community structure and enhanced coral bleaching risk.
Sea surface temperature is projected to increase in the range of 1.6 to 3.4 °C by 2090 under high emissions (RCP8.5). The sea will also become more acidic with acidification proportional to emissions growth.
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