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Two Centuries of Climate Change and Climate Variability, East Coast Australia

Griffith Centre for Coastal Management, Griffith University, Gold Coast 4222, Australia
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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2018, 6(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse6010003
Received: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 3 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change, Coasts and Coastal Risk)
On the east Australian coast, climate change is expressed as a slowly rising sea level. Analysis of records, dating back over two centuries, also shows oscillating multidecadal ‘storm’ and ‘drought’ dominated climate periods that are distinct from long-term climate change. Climate variability, as expressed by these distinct multidecadal periods, is generally associated with phases of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation Index (IPO). Two centuries of climate and coastline response are examined for the central east coast of Australia, between Fraser Island and Coffs Harbour. The long record has been compiled by analysing a wide range of indicators and observations, including: historical accounts, storm records, sea level trends, assessment of storm erosion faces, and coastal movement in relation to fixed monuments, surveys, and maps. Periods of suppressed sea level, beach accretion, and drought were found to be associated with strongly positive IPO. Periods of higher sea level, increased storminess, and beach erosion were associated with strongly negative IPO. Understanding the behaviour of climate variability over different timescales has the potential to improve the understanding of, and responses to, climate change. This will be important in the sustainable management of geomorphic and ecological systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: IPO; climate change; climate variability; sea level rise; coastal erosion; Australia IPO; climate change; climate variability; sea level rise; coastal erosion; Australia
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Helman, P.; Tomlinson, R. Two Centuries of Climate Change and Climate Variability, East Coast Australia. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2018, 6, 3.

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