Adelaide Beach Erosion Caused by Climate Change: A Fearless Conversation

South Australia’s coastline will need to be redesigned for the future if erosion continues at its current rate, says a prominent oceanographer.

Speaking at the Advertiser and Flinders University Fearless Conversations forum on 10 August, Dr Graziela Miot da Silva, coastal topographer, oceanographer and senior lecturer at Flinders University, said that maintaining South Australia’s beaches would require: It should be built like so. fetching sand.

“Sand replenishment is an activity that we don’t think we will stop anytime soon,” said Dr Miotto da Silva.

“We still need to put sand on the beach to maintain it, otherwise we wouldn’t have a beach here in Adelaide.”

In February, the former liberal government announced it had approved the construction of a $38.9 million sand pipeline. It replenishes West Beach using “recycled” sand from northern suburban beaches and feeds it into a 10km pipeline starting at Semaphore South.

However, the newly elected Labor government in April Vowed to scrap pipeline plans and explore alternative optionsciting local concerns as the primary motivation for scrapping the project.

Dr Miot da Silva noted the successful sand replenishment that has taken place on Dutch beaches and said the Netherlands is a world leader in this field.

“They have to maintain hundreds of kilometers of coastline,” she said.

“Most of the country is undergoing erosion. We built dams because it is below sea level. The way we deal with coastal erosion is through sand nutrient or sand replenishment. We put in millions of cubic meters of sand every year to do this.”

However, she said, given South Australia’s sea level (rising about 4.5 mm per year, the fastest rate anywhere in the world) and the risk of flooding, relying on sand pumping is not an option. I said it’s not sustainable.

“In the future, sand nutrients alone may not be viable and other alternatives such as seawalls may need to be considered,” she said.

“Even areas that are not currently facing erosion may face erosion in the future.”

She said research is being conducted to explore “nature-based” solutions to the state’s erosion problem, including kelp and mangrove environments, as well as artificial restoration.

“These ‘hard’ engineering structures tend to transfer problems downstream,” she said.

Dr Miotto da Silva said the solution must be a combination of natural and engineered solutions.

“This is a big problem and I think it will continue,” she said. “And we have to deal with it.”

From “survival” to “sustainability”

Winemakers need to think differently when it comes to climate change and sustainable practices, says McLaren Vale’s adventurous wine label owner.

At The Advertiser and Flinders University Fearless Conversations forum on August 10, Malcolm Leask, who along with the Richard brothers owns the wine label Hither and Yon, said his company is shifting from a “survival” approach to a “sustainable said they have moved to a “sexual” approach.

“Really, it all starts with the mindset,” says Leask.

“We have to sit down and admit the right and wrong things we have done in the past. Much more powerful than rapid growth.

“And now, from a sustainability standpoint, and from a soil and people standpoint, balance and environment, we are now trying to turn it around.

“We have to admit we weren’t always doing it right, and now is the time to start moving towards it.”

Leask said water is the most important resource in the vineyard’s ecosystem and harnessing renewable energy is a key focus for Hither and Yon, a certified carbon-neutral label.

“For us, it’s about moving from an almost industrial, chemical way of thinking with yield and productivity as the main equations to a higher quality, next generation way of thinking about what we do.” He said.

“Certainly, our main practice now, and for the future, is regenerative agriculture, and perhaps what we were doing before was trying to create a recipe for what we do year after year. , was probably more traditional.

“We used to produce products for the market, but now we grow things as healthily as possible. I am trying to

He said the focus should be on embracing biodiversity and natural resources rather than growing more products.

“We are happier,” he said.

“When you look at the creativity and health and innovation that we have in our business, especially among our people and communities … we are in a good place and if you are, it will naturally be a product and flow to business.”

We must face the rising tide

Sea levels in South Australia are rising faster than the global average, says a leading oceanographer from Adelaide.

On the Advertiser and Flinders University Fearless Conversations forum, Dr. Graziela Miot da Silva, Senior Lecturer at Flinders’ College of Science and Engineering, said sea levels in South Australia are rising about 4.5 mm per year.

“We are going to face serious threats. We are already driving sea level rise, and we are facing not only the issue of coastal erosion, but also coastal protection, infrastructure protection,” Dr Miotto da Silva. said.

Dr Miot da Silva said based on current trends, sea levels in South Australia are expected to rise by as much as 50cm by around 2050.

“It’s pretty important,” she said.

“This means that Adelaide’s flood risk will more than double, and today we would have a 1-in-100-year flood every year.”

She said projections from the Goyder Institute, an organization that brings together South Australia’s water research institutes, show that temperatures will rise and precipitation will decrease in the state.

“In a high-emissions scenario, we will see hotter, drier days,” she said.

“When wildfires increase, especially in the spring, it affects crops and our energy use.

“We see that drier and windier climates could change the coastal landscape.

“Wildfires, coupled with drier, windier climates, are expected to see similar changes on the coast, resulting in drier, more deserts, and altered landscapes and habitats.”

Dr Miotto da Silva said more investment will be needed to protect infrastructure such as pipelines and housing from salt damage from rising sea levels.

“Definitely more investment is needed in research in that area,” she said.

“We also need more education. We need to train a new generation of researchers and professionals in science and environmental sciences to tackle these issues.”

Peter Natras, manager of Future Industries in the energy mining sector, said councils around the world were considering “planned retreats.”

He said the insurance industry, in particular, is assessing the risks of covering homes close to the ocean.

“The insurance industry is not ignoring this issue,” he said.

“They put on their science hats and look at the risks, calculate their costs … and decide which risks to take and which risks are someone else’s risks.”

first published as Fearless Conversation: As Sea Levels Rise, Sand Carts Are Not Enough To Protect SA’s Beaches

Adelaide Beach Erosion Caused by Climate Change: A Fearless Conversation

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