Climate change threat for Mandurah homes

CLIMATE change is threatening Mandurah’s coastal and riverside homes, a new Climate Commission report warns.

The Critical Decade, released last week, says development in Mandurah’s low lying areas – below three metres – had increased by more than 40 per cent in recent decades.

These areas are becoming more vulnerable to rising sea levels and the higher seas surges.

Areas along the Murray and Serpentine Rivers as well as the estuary and canals would be those hardest hit by a sea level rise.

The report also stated that “the sandy coastline between Mandurah and Bunbury is also particularly vulnerable to erosion, threatening structures, such as residential buildings that have been built on sand dunes close to sea level”.

The Commission reported that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere had increased by 40 per cent since the industrial revolution.

This build-up of greenhouse gas emissions was the major contributing factor to global climate change, it said. 

And rising sea levels were not the only concern for Peel residents with the lower rainfall another threat.

The South West now has 15 per cent less rain than in the mid 1970s, which the report said did not sound a threatening figure but hugely affected runoff – the water captured in dams and other storages.

“A 15 per cent reduction in rainfall could lead to a drop of up to 45 per cent in the amount of water that flows into the city’s dams,” the report stated.

“The water supply for Perth, Mandurah and a number of other towns comes from a combination of surface, groundwater and desalination.”

The report stated the global emission had to be greatly reduced and strong preventative measure had to be put in to action now.

“The decisions we make this decade will largely determine the severity of climate change and its influence on extreme events that our grandchildren will experience.”

This is a modelling of the Mandurah/Murray areas expected to be underwater by the year 2100 if the sea level rises by 1.1m as predicted.  NOTE: Maps are based on a simple ‘bucket fill’ approach and should be considered as approximate only, source ozcoasts.gov.au.

This is a modelling of the Mandurah/Murray areas expected to be underwater by the year 2100 if the sea level rises by 1.1m as predicted. NOTE: Maps are based on a simple ‘bucket fill’ approach and should be considered as approximate only, source ozcoasts.gov.au.

Click here for a larger version of the map accompanying this story.