Climate Change Impacts

An image depicting a view from the sea level rise tool developed by University of Auckland.

Coco et al have developed a high-resolution coastal flooding visualization for Auckland city that includes sea level rise, king tides and storm surge. Learn more at:

Climate Change Impacts on Weather-Related Hazards

  • Cagigal L, Rueda A, Castanedo S, Cid A, Perez J, Stephens SA, Coco G, Méndez FJ, (2019) Historical and future storm surge around New Zealand: From the 19th century to the end of the 21st century, International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.6283. Available online

Project leader: Giovanni Coco (University of Auckland), in collaboration with University of Waikato, NIWA, Scripps Institute of Oceanography (USA), Universidad de Cantabria (Spain), University of Florida (USA), University of New South Wales (Australia).

This project will generate a much finer scale (<10 km resolution) set of projections of nearshore wave and surge conditions spanning the next 100 years using state-of-the-art modelling approaches. Projections of wave climate and storm surge will use a recently developed multi-model based on a statistical downscaling approach, incorporating weather-type classification and clustering techniques. Each weather type is linked to sea wave conditions from a wave hindcast. This relationship is used to project future changes in regional wave conditions from atmospheric pressure projections. Ultimately, the projection will be calculated at a scale of 10 km for the whole New Zealand coastline, and at an even finer scale (1 km) for the case studies.

Adopting recent scientific developments, we will develop a data-driven model framework that will be implemented and tested in detail for three case study sites (reflecting the diversity in New Zealand’s coastal characteristics) and that will be used to study multiannual variability. Ultimately, we will develop a model for different beach types. Predictions of coastal inundation hazards in shallow basins will be based on a combination of statistical approaches and process-based modelling. This will allow us to deal with the different time scales associated with sea-level variations (from individual storms to decadal patterns). The validation of the inundation models will be performed at Tauranga Harbour where a specific field experiment has been designed.

Finally, vulnerability of the various joint-probabilities of combinations of coastal erosion and storm inundation (with sea-level rise) for different planning timeframes will be appraised by overlaying the hazard-exposure surface on LiDAR digital elevation models and using RiskScape to determine the vulnerability profile (e.g., demographics, buildings, infrastructure) for a set of erosion and inundation combinations and timeframes. This process will illustrate the utility of RiskScape to better quantify the impact on vulnerable coastal communities and inform when local tipping points may be reached for different management responses.

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Last updated 10 Dec 2019