Last week’s super moon brought very high tides to many parts of the world. Broome in Western Australia was one of the towns that experienced flooding (h/t Tom ‘BT Harley’) . The picture above (left) shows flooding at high tide near the airport. Apparently the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has had offices at the airport since the end of WWII. The most recent move to new buildings at the Airport was completed in 2008. Tom said:
“This link is to photos taken of this week’s apogee king tides in the area around the airport and shopping centre, showing the BOM new office building and radar tower just above the high tide of 10.6m. They are not obviously worried about sea levels rising, (they are no higher than several other times last century), as the buildings are less than 1 metre above this mark.”
Here’s a view of the Airport from Google Earth. The METAR/synop location is shown with a blue pin (location from here). On zooming in I assume the BOM office is the building on the same plot (to the left of the pin on the image) and looks to be ~300m from the shoreline. Very flat part of the world, but great beach!
And the problem with this? Well only the dire warnings of sea level rise in Australia from none other than the Australian Prime Minister. Andrew Bolt today quotes Australian PM Julia Gillard’s ‘talking points’ document on Carbon Tax :
“Sea levels could rise by up to a metre and possibly even more by the end of the century,” the document says. “Up to 250,000 existing homes are at risk of inundation. ”
CSIRO and BOM’s own State of the Climate “Snapshot”, intended “to update Australians about how their climate has changed and what it means”, headlines the observed sea level rise as one of the concerns:
“Rapidly rising sea levels from 1993 to 2009, with levels around Australia rising, between 1.5 and 3mm per year in Australia’s south and east and between 7 and 10mm in the country’s north”
Strewth – that’d be 110-160mm in just 16 years! So since 1960, assuming a lesser rate of 1.5mm/yr, perhaps 16-20cm. You’d think they might notice that extra sea level rise in Broome at such extreme high tides.
Photos, however, seem to tell a different story. Flooding at ‘Spring’ tides happens a couple of times a year.
The insurance industry must just love the government right now. They’re undoubtedly making a quid or two from this croc. However, the BOM office in Broome is obviously not too worried (no sign of stilts on that new building). Perhaps they’re waiting to say “Told you so…!” After all the PM will make sure the taxpayers stump up for new kit for BOM if they are flooded. Or maybe they’re just planning to play Canute.