Coastal management in a changing climate
Climate variability and change, combined with changing storm patterns, extreme events and sea-level rise, are currently challenging coastal communities' resilience around the globe and are likely to increase in the future (IPCC 2007b; Nicholls and Cazenave 2010). With more than 50% of the total population of Queensland concentrated in South East Queensland (SEQ) coastal areas, this region is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of chronic (long-term) erosion patterns, extreme (short-term) erosion events and storm tides. In addition, the number of coastal residents and tourists has been increasing to unprecedented levels in the last two decades and the population is projected to grow further, driven by the coastal lifestyle and the 'sea change' phenomenon (Smith et al. 2011). Coastal ecosystems and infrastructure can be heavily affected by gradual changes in sea level and extreme events, challenging the capacity of communities and governing institutions to adapt in the future (DCCEE 2009). Current planning and management strategies of local councils, stemming from state government coastal planning and management regulations, have not yet embraced the full extent of climate variability and sea-level rise. However, there is a strong consensus in the science community that sea levels will rise in the future and that changes in climate patterns will occur, producing storms, coastal erosion and inundation, and posing challenges beyond historical experience. In this context, coastal planning and management for adaptation - integrating state of the art coastal modelling techniques with integrated coastal zone 1nanagement - should commence, even in a context of uncertainty about future scenarios, because failure to consider risks today may make it more costly to adapt in the future (Mummery 2008). In the following sections, we provide elements of climate variability and change applicable to SEQ, and an overview of coastal hazards and impacts. Subsequently, we describe the current coastal zone management framework and coastal modelling and management approaches that may contribute to the sustainable development of the SEQ coast. Finally, we showcase outcomes of our research into the adaptation of coastal settlements and infrastructure to climate variability and change.
Responding to climate change: lessons from an Australian hotspot
Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified