Sea-level rise: How much, when, and what can we do?

Professor Tim Naish and Catherine Iorns review the science of projecting sea-level rise for New Zealand, and the challenges faced in using that science.

Spotlight Lecture Series

June 2019

In a recent report, the parliamentary commissioner for the environment noted New Zealand’s sea level is certainly rising, but it is less clear how rapidly it will rise, how different coastal areas will be affected, and how we should prepare. While we can plan for some rises in the sea level by 2060, deep uncertainty exists beyond this point because we don’t yet know how much will be achieved in mitigating global warming in the coming decades, nor do we know precisely how fast and when the polar ice sheets might melt.

Join Victoria University of Wellington’s Professor Tim Naish and Catherine Iorns as they review the science of projecting sea-level rise for New Zealand, and the challenges that communities and decision-makers face in using that science.

Professor Naish was an author on the fifth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published in 2014, and was the director of the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington for 10 years. Catherine Iorns is a reader in the Faculty of Law and works on climate change law, addressing the mitigation of emissions and decision-making about adaptation measures.

The Victoria University of Wellington Spotlight Series Lectures—an opportunity to sample the research undertaken by the University's academics, in bite-sized lunchtime lectures.

Our public lecture series gives you the opportunity to engage with the latest thinking on the world’s major issues. To stay informed of upcoming public lecture at Victoria University of Wellington, sign up to the public lecture mailing list.