The changing ocean’s coastal and climate impacts

Australia’s beaches and coastlines are iconic. As our climate changes, the atmospheric, ocean and land processes that influence our coasts are also changing, leading to impacts such as coastal inundation, erosion and sea-level rise. Improved information on our changing coastlines supports coastal hazard and risk assessments, leading to more sustainable management of our coasts and oceans.

The ocean is a key component of our climate system, influencing climate processes (such as the El Niño – Southern Oscillation); driving uptake, storage and redistribution of excess heat and carbon in the climate system; and moving freshwater across the globe. Information about oceanic change helps to underpin mitigation policies and coastal management and adaptation planning.

Using a co-design process we’re working with research users, such as the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Australian Climate Services, the NESP Marine and Coastal Hub and state governments, to explore gaps and opportunities in coastal and ocean climate research.

We’re also improving products, data and tools, such as the sea-level rise webtool Canute and quality-assured ocean data. We’ll continue to foster and leverage national and international ocean partnerships and strengthen Australia’s leadership in international ocean networks and climate initiatives.

This project will identify priorities to shape the hub’s ocean and coasts research activities and deliver to the needs of research users. It will develop new methods for coastal hazard assessment as well as global best-practice methods for developing sea-level projections. It will also produce improved ocean and coasts information, data and tools for use by researchers and coastal managers and practitioners.

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