The study’s lead scientists, Richard Levy and Tim Naish, created a website so that specific people can find out how their own neighborhood will be affected, which will surely put the issue on people’s minds where it deserves to be.
Speaking to AM on Monday, Naish said unfortunately much of the increases were built in and unavoidable.
“We provide the usual caveats and explanations of uncertainty, but for the next 30 to 40 years until mid-century. But we’re pretty confident that the errors are very small and that’s mainly because all sea level rises are already built in – we are already committed to it.
“We are guaranteed to get 30cm by 2060, whatever our emissions, beyond that, what we do with our emissions in the world really matters.”
Ōwhiro Bay in Wellington is one of thousands of places around New Zealand that today have new sea level rise predictions to come to terms with and the magnitude has stunned even the scientists working there.
“I was shocked. I mean I knew it was bad, I knew we were getting sea level rise, we know that, I’ve been a climate scientist for 20 years, but I was shocked to how quickly it can happen,” Naish told Newshub.
“While we were going through this, the surprises just kept coming,” Levy added.
While the Kiwis have all carried on with their busy daily lives, change has happened and in terms of climate change, it is happening at the speed of light.
“Like most people I thought we had more time. We don’t, we literally have a decade or two ahead in places like this, we’re going to be at decision points to find out if you’re looking at some sort of managed retirement,” Naish told Newshub.
The new site is available here.