With around 85% of Australia’s population living in the coastal zone, rising sea levels and storm surges will have significant impacts on many of our coastal towns and cities:  OzCoasts

This site is meant to provide a place for information on threats to sport in Australia from climate change.

The Sochi Winter Olympics have helped highlight threats to winter sports from climate change.

What we haven’t seen much discussion of, yet, is impacts of climate change on summer sports in Australia, such as cricket, and other sports that use the same fields the rest of the year.

There has been a little bit  of discussion (not enough) of threats to sport from heatwaves, prompted by the effect of the January 2014 heatwaves on the Australian Open Tennis, including players experiencing heat hallucinations on court. But there has been almost no discussion of threats from sea level rise.

Australians are (largely) a coastal people; we are a sporting people, and we are a people who need to act on climate change before it overwhelms our coasts and our sports.

Global warming is warming the oceans as well as the atmosphere. Water expands as it warms. So, the seas are rising – around 200mm last century and accelerating. This isn’t something made up – it’s confirmed by satellite readings from agencies like NASA.

(Some climate change deniers deny this too, but multiple measurements confirm  sea level rise is happening, and accelerating. See http://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise.htm for a discussion of common denial lines and actual evidence.)

And that’s before we even start to think about huge potential rises in sea level from melting icecaps and glaciers.

This site was prompted by seeing high tides already intruding on a ground in Sydney’s inner west (see picture at top of page). A little bit of research showed that we are looking at a much more widespread problem

  • locally as well as worldwide
  • already, and into our children’s lifetimes
  • and a problem we need to act on, to limit its impacts and respond to the climate change that is already inevitable.

Online maps of predicted sea level rise impacts are available from OzCoasts. Maps of sea level rise for 50mm, 80 mm and 110mm sea level rise are available for

  • Sydney;
  • NSW central coast and Hunter;
  • Melbourne;
  • Brisbane and SouthEast  Queensland ;
  • Adelaide and surrounding areas; and
  • Perth to south of Mandurah.

As these maps show, high tides spread the impact further, even before we think about storms. For some areas not covered by OzCoasts maps, there are flood maps on line, from local councils like Gosford. And for almost anywhere, it’s possible to get basic information on height above sea level just by using Google Earth.

These maps were launched by Greg Combet as long ago as 2010. There seems to have been limited media response:

  • One story in the Sydney Morning Herald pointed to widespread flooding of Sydney suburbs, including Sydney Airport
  • One story in the Courier Mail pointed to implications for Brisbane Airport (and met with denial from airport management).

These stories also appear to have received surprisingly little reaction.

Perhaps that’s because back in 2010, 1.1 metres sea level rise was regarded by OzCoasts as a “high end”scenario for this century. Now, unfortunately, it’s much more in the range of mainstream, or optimistic, forecasts.

Many of the grounds that cricket and other community sports rely on are located in low lying areas along Australia’s coasts and rivers. These are often areas where housing and commercial development are already restricted because of existing flooding risks. So sports grounds will be some of the first areas in Australia showing the effects of sea level rise.

Multiple sports grounds show up blue on OzCoasts maps for 1.1 metres sea level rise (which we face this century unless greenhouse gas emissions are cut hard and fast). There are still serious impacts on some grounds, but less widespread, if we can limit sea level rise to 50cm. It’s probably already too late to do better than that. But the quicker and more effectively we act the better. The run rate is climbing and the overs are running out.

Climate change: the time for games is over

Authorised by David Mason 47 Charles St Marrickville NSW

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Global temperatures batting above their average

Somehow missed this – really good article earlier this year from Greg Jericho using a batting stats chart to illustrate temperature records, global warming, and the non-existence of the climate deniers’ beloved “pause” in warming.

For those on twitter, Greg is at @grogsgamut .

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Balmain area sports venues need real climate action

Global warming is warming the oceans. Water expands as it warms. So, the seas are rising: around 200mm last century, and accelerating.

This threatens cities, farming land, and infrastructure  – like roads and railways around the world.

One thing threatened sooner than most in Australia, is sports grounds – because they are often in low lying areas already unsuitable for building because of flooding risks.

Sea level rise will make flooding risks worse – potentially turning “one in 100 years” into “every year” or even “at high tide”.

OzCoasts has maps for Sydney impacts of projected sea level rises this century:

  • 50cm sea level rise that is probably already locked in
  • 80cm that is likely even with some reductions in greenhouse emissions
  • and 110 cm that will happen (or even worse) if current trends in emissions continue without strong and urgent climate action to reduce net greenhouse emissions to zero by mid century at latest.

These maps account for tides, but exclude effects like stronger storm surges – which global warming is likely to bring too. Even without storm effects:

  • Birchgrove Park starts to experience serious entry of water from the harbour at 80cm sea level rise. With 1.1 sea level rise the ocean reaches across the ground almost to the pitch.

birchgrove_110

  • Jubilee Oval in Glebe experiences almost complete inundation with 1.1 metres sea level rise.

jubilee

  • Callan Park, Lilyfield shows inundation for the fields used for cricket and soccer

callan

Where do local representatives stand on climate action?

  •  Federal Members Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese are strong advocates and rock solid supporters for strong climate action.
  • Labor’s State Candidate for Balmain, Verity Firth has a great record as a member of a NSW Labor Government which took nation – leading action on energy efficiency and carbon pricing.
  • Liberals? Yeah, right. Balmain Liberals probably won’t be inviting Tony Abbott to campaign for them (even if he is still leader by then)! But Mike Baird’s State Liberals have worked to undo climate action, instead of stepping up and taking it further as the news from science keeps getting more urgent. Things like removing support for climate action by local government. Things like trashing energy efficiency programs that save households money and help the environment too.
  • The “Greens” political party? Unreliable. Flaky.

The Greens political party voted with the Liberals in Federal Parliament, and against an Emissions Trading Scheme in 2010 – and then later wouldn’t vote with Labor for transition to an Emissions Trading Scheme until it was too late and Tony Abbott was in power.

In State politics, we’ve just seen the Greens political party in Queensland playing childish “just vote 1” games – encouraging supporters to throw away their votes as nothing better than protests, instead of voting like they cared whether Campbell Newman stayed Premier or not, and making their votes actually count to save the Great Barrier Reef.

The environment needs real action, not this sort of nonsense.

Climate change: the time for games is over

Authorised by David Mason, 47 Charles St Marrickville NSW

 

 

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Commonwealth Bank – sponsoring cricket but climate change too?

Update 6 August 2015: CommBank pulls out of Adani’s Galilee Basin mine! Great news; let’s see more of it.

The Commonwealth Bank is much known and appreciated for its sponsorship of Australian cricket – from Test to local and junior level.

So with climate change presenting serious threats to Australian cricket and other sports – through sea level rise and increased extreme weather including heatwaves – we have to ask, what’s the Commonwealth Bank doing even thinking about financing the expansion of coal port facilities at Queensland’s Abbot Point?

The Abbot Point expansion is planned to serve vast new coal mining operations in the Galilee Basin in Queensland.

Burning all this coal would create more greenhouse gas emissions than the whole of Australia generates at the moment.

The climatechangecricketclub.com site shows how many Australian cricket grounds will be under water this century, unless we reduce emissions rapidly from a business as usual scenario towards zero.

Abbot Point expansion and burning vast amounts of Galilee Basin coal are way beyond, way worse than business as usual.

Does the Commonwealth Bank support a long term future for Australian cricket?

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Flemington Racecourse – a bad climate change bet

Here’s an unfamiliar view of Flemington Racecourse. With a patch of blue for tides onto the track.

flemington_110

This is OzCoasts’ map for the impact of 110cm of sea level rise. This is the amount of sea level rise we are on track for this century – unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced sharply, and soon.

By taking actions like pricing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing support for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The sort of actions that Tony Abbott’s reckless and irresponsible government are reversing.

Do we really want to place this bet – that the rest of the world will just bail us out on climate change, and we can be “leaners”  who don’t need to even weigh in for the race?

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Eastern suburbs sport and sea level rise from climate change

Global warming is happening, and it is raising sea levels.

Sports grounds are often in low lying locations, and provide early indicators of risks to communities which mean we should be acting urgently in Australia, instead of reversing real climate action and having pretend policies like Tony Abbott’s “direct inaction”.

Sports grounds in Sydney’s eastern suburbs have just a little bit more room above sea level than many around the country exposed to serious risks from sea level rise –  including some grounds across the Harbour on the North Shore and on the northern beaches, in Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott’s own electorates.

But at Woollahra Golf Club, OzCoasts maps start to show the intrusion of rising salt water that we will see with sea level rise of 1.1 metres or more – whether in our lifetimes or our children’s, unless we have urgent action on climate change right now.

woollahra_golf

Future generations in the area may wish, too late, that local member Malcolm Turnbull had stick with his convictions on climate action, instead of voting (as he has) to follow Tony Abbott’s irresponsible lead into the water.

Climate change: the time for games is over

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Sea level rise threatens inner west Sydney sport

Climate change is warming the seas as well as the atmosphere. Water expands when it warms. So the seas are rising – around 200mm last century and accelerating. This is the sort of basic science that Tony Abbott and his cynical crew are denying. And they are stuffing the future of Australian sport, among other things.

OzCoasts mapping indicates that lots of the grounds used for sports in Sydney’s inner West are threatened by sea level rise from climate change. Some Federal Members of Parliament are playing the wrong game and facing the wrong way.  Some are standing up for action.

Grayndler

One of the scenarios modelled by OzCoasts for this century, if we do not act effectively on climate change, right now – 1.1 metres of sea level rise – shows the following grounds suffering inundation (factoring in high tides and without even accounting for storm surges):

  • Ewen Park, Hurlstone Park would be heavily affected with 1.1 metres sea level rise

ewen

  • Mahoney Reserve, Marrickville (used for AFL)
  •  Steel Park, Marrickville
  • Marrickville Golf Club are all shown as heavily affected

marrickville

  • Mackey Park, Marrickville is shown as experiencing almost complete inundation

mackey

  •  Fraser Park Marrickville, is shown as experiencing complete inundation:

fraser_park

  • Callan Park, Lilyfield shows inundation for the fields used for cricket and soccer

callan

The Federal Member for all these grounds is Anthony Albanese, Member for Grayndler, a long-time and staunch advocate of climate action. As Environment spokesman for Labor. he put climate action into the ALP Platform in 1998, and has not faltered since then.

Barton 

Just across the Cooks River, it’s the same threat – but a very different story. No advocacy or voting in Federal Parliament to defend your turf and our game.

The new Liberal member for Barton, Nickolas Varvaris, should know better about climate issues from his time at Kogarah Council – which has actually won awards for their work on climate change. But as a new Federal MP, he has lined up behind Tony Abbott and voted for abolition of carbon pricing; reversal of pricing on even more dangerous greenhouse gases like synthetic refrigerants; abolition of the Climate Change Authority; and abolition of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

What he hasn’t voted for – in fact, what he has voted against – are grounds in his own electorate which are under threat and on OzCoasts maps are marked with blue:

  • Beaman Park Earlwood: Grounds 1-4 would all be affected
  • The Wills Ground, Earlwood (used for rugby) also shows as inundated

beaman

  • Gough Whitlam Park Earlwood: Some high tides already have the adjoining tidal Cooks River onto outer areas of this ground thanks to the sea level rise we’ve already had in the last century. The council has already had to make expensive changes to paths and drainage between the ground and the river. Further rising sea levels would see the whole ground under water.

gough

  • Cahill Park in Wolli Creek, a fine ground used by a number of sports, including women’s and girls’ cricket, is under particularly serious threat. TheOzCoast maps for sea level rise of 1.1 metres shows that complete  inundation would result for Cahill Park – as well as a section of the adjacent Princes Highway
    cahill1
  • Even with the impacts from 50 cm sea level rise , Cahill Park – which is next to the tidal Cooks River – would see salt water on much of its area.

Time for Nick Varvaris MP to review that decision and back local interests! Or get someone better on the team, with a change to Labor next election.

Bennelong: John Alexander playing for Tony Abbott, not your kids’ team

John Alexander might know a bit about the elite sport that gave him success and fame back in the day. But where is he, on standing up for the grounds your kids play on? Voting the wrong way, that’s where.

He’s said he accepts the science of climate change. Yet he voted for abolition of carbon pricing; reversal of pricing on even more dangerous greenhouse gases like synthetic refrigerants; abolition of the Climate Change Authority; and abolition of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

What he hasn’t voted for, are grounds in his own electorate which are under threat, and which on OzCoasts maps are in the areas marked blue:

  • Bill Mitchell Park , Gladesville (grounds 1, 2)
  • Morrison Bay Park, Putney (several grounds)

morrison

  • Ozcoasts maps for impacts of sea level rise of 1.1 metres from climate change also show most of the grounds down by the river at Meadowbank as inundated or badly affected.

meadowbank

These grounds are also important for other sports, of course. For example, Morrison Bay has netball fields (for the biggest community participation sport in Australia) which would also experience inundation.

In sharp contrast to John Alexander, Labor’s candidate for Bennelong – Jason Yat-Sen Li – has done major work himself on climate action in the corporate world. He led climate initiatives for IAG, in particular. Which one is really the good sport?

Reid: is Craig Laundy really on your side?

New Liberal Member for Reid Craig Laundy referred in his maiden speech in Parliament to playing cricket in the area. But when it came to voting, he joined those with Tony Abbott who were sledging the umpire,  kicking down the stumps, obstructing the field, and reversing climate action.

He voted for abolition of carbon pricing; reversal of pricing on even more dangerous greenhouse gases like synthetic refrigerants; abolition of the Climate Change Authority; and abolition of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Not just following orders when he votes, either. Since then he’s been tweeting rubbish about how we can’t afford the Renewable Energy Target.

OzCoasts maps show threats in particular to

  • Campbell Park, Chiswick (also relied on heavily for soccer) starts to experience inundation at 1.1 metres sea level rise

campbell_park_chiswick

  •  Russell Park in Chiswick experiences complete inundation

russell_park

  •  Taplin Park (next to Drummoyne Oval) experiences substantial inundation

taplin

  • Timbrell Park, Fivedock (2 grounds) experiences almost total inundation – and so do nearby and other sections of the City West Link road

timbrell_park_fivedock

  • In Canada Bay, the Barnwell Park Golf Club shows extensive inundation at 1.1metres sea level rise.

barnwell_park_golf

  • The Massey Park golf course at Concord shows complete inundation with the impacts of 1.1 metres sea level rise.

massey_park_golf

  • Bressington Park and Mason Park in Homebush start to experience inundation from the tidal channel between them with 1.1 metres sea level rise

bressington

Last century (when industrial greenhouse emissions were just getting going) there was already over 200 mm sea level rise. Half the CO2 from human generated emissions ever has been since 1985. This is an accelerating problem, and we need to act right now. Ringing the Council wet weather line won’t cut it on this one.

Climate change: the time for games is over

Authorised by David Mason, 47 Charles St Marrickville NSW

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Rising seas from climate change threaten Melbourne sport

Climate change is driving sea level rise. It’s happening  – mostly because water expands as it warms, some of it from melting ice as well – and accelerating.

Images on this page are copied from OzCoasts maps for impacts of sea level rises, which map areas from Torquay around to San Remo.

As well as sports grounds, of course, the maps show a range of other impacts on communities.

In Melbourne itself and in suburbs close to the CBD,  sports grounds aren’t quite so badly exposed to impacts of small rises in sea level as those in some other areas around Australia’s coasts (Brisbane and South-East Queensland; Newcastle and the NSW Central Coast, Sydney; and Adelaide.

Melbourne, like Perth, does have a range of grounds at risk, which highlight the need for urgent action on climate change. And like Perth, where the WACA is one of the world’s Test grounds most threatened by sea level rise, Melbourne has one standout venue under threat.

Around Melbourne and out around the bay:

  • The grounds at Elwood Park are just above the inundation level shown on OzCoasts maps for 1.1 metre sea level rise. Of course, without strong climate action now they will be at risk too.
  • Memorial Oval at Edithvale shows as fully inundated in OzCoasts maps of impacts of 1.1 metres sea level rise.

memorial_edithvale

  • The Edithvale recreation ground shows as substantially inundated including the athletics field.

edithvale_rec

  • In Aspendale, Brown’s Reserve shows as fully inundated on Ozcoasts map of impacts of 1.1 metres sea level rise.

browns_reserve_aspendale

  • Rossdale Golf Course shows as experiencing substantial inundation with 1.1 metres sea level rise

rossdale

  • In Chelsea Heights, Beazley Reserve shows as experiencing complete inundation on OzCoasts map for the impact of .1 metres sea level rise.

beazley

  • At Bonbeach, the Patterson River Golf Club would be substantially inundated with 1.1 metres sea level rise

patterson_river_golf

  • The western (turf) ground at Bonbeach Sports Reserve is just above the inundation level indicated on the OzCoasts map for 1.1 metres sea level rise, but the pitches to the east progressively have more of their playing area shown as subject to inundation.

bonbeach

  • At Carrum Roy Dore Reserve, both grounds show as inundated (one fully, one substantially) with 1.1 metres sea level rise

carrum_roy_dore

  • At Altona, the Kooringal Golf Club course shows inundation at one end with 1.1 metres sea level rise

altona_golf

  • Collendina Reserve at Ocean Grove shows on OzCoasts map for 1.1 metres sea level rise as substantially inundated

collendina

  • Ocean Grove Golf course is also shown as experiencing extensive inundation with 1.1 metres sea level rise.

ocean_grove_golf

Finally, here’s an unfamiliar view of Flemington Racecourse. With a patch of blue for tides across the track. This is OzCoasts map for the impact of 110cm of sea level rise.

flemington_110

Do we really want to place this bet – that the rest of the world will just bail us out on climate change, and we don’t need to even weigh in for the race?

Climate change: the time for games is over

Authorised by David Mason, 47 Charles St Marrickville NSW

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