Scientists, senator claim Noosa’s sea level is ‘falling’
Noosa's climate emergency declaration could well be on the rocks if a One Nation senator and his scientific advisers are right.
Sen Malcolm Roberts and two scientists, locally-based Dr Jennifer Marohasy and Dr Peter Ridd, have inspected Noosa National Park's Boiling Pot headland and declared there are clear signs there the sea levels have fallen over many years, with only small rises in more recent times.
"With climate change you often have cycles within cycles," Dr Marohasy said.
"We've got a rise of 36cm over the last 100 years, that's what the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) talks about.
"That needs to be placed in the perspective of that over the last four-and-a-half thousand years the longer, more significant cycle that you can see in the landscape here is one of sea level falls of about 1.5m," she said.
She said the IPCC has been selective in its data use, while linking the latter rise to the Industrial Revolution.
"There is a little bit of a human effect but maybe in the scheme of things it's really quite insignificant," Dr Marohasy said.
"When you walk along the shoreline here at Noosa you can see, for example, at the bottom of the cliff face that would have been eroded by the waves, that's actually way above where the waves ever come to.
"People really have nothing to be concerned about today because neither the magnitude nor the rate of sea level change is anything unusual when we look at what's happened at the past," she said.
Sen Roberts said the Noosa Council's climate emergency declaration was way off the mark.
He said there is a 2002 scientific paper that showed for 15 to19 years around Queensland the average sea level rise was .3 of a millimetre a year.
"If that continued at that rate, within in a hundred years it will rise 30mm, which is just over one inch," Sen Roberts said.
Sen Roberts wants an Office of Scientific Integrity to scrutinise science, protect scientists from politicisation and give all industry players the confidence that climate change policy is warranted and just.
"I am committed to more transparency in justifying policy, and welcome contributions to the development of an oversight body," he said.
Sen Roberts said there is no basis in science for climate change polices which are costing the typical Australian family household $1300 on electricity alone.
Dr Peter Ridd said the design of good government policy depends on a solid foundation of reputable science.
"Evidence-based policy making is not a new concept, though it needs more prominence in Australian political debate," he said.
According to the Department of Environment coastal areas like Noosa are facing a sea level rise of 1.1 metres by 2100.
More than an estimated 2200 Noosa properties could be impacted by sea rises and storm flooding.
Part of council's policy is to adopt a precautionary approach to climate change adaptation and emissions reduction, while implementing short and long-term actions that seek to achieve resilience and carbon reduction.