Much of Commissioner Wright's work on climate change was focused on one of its most certain consequences: the rising level of the sea. As the world warms, ice sheets melt and sea water expands, causing the sea level to rise.
Nowhere in our island nation is far from the sea, and most of us live within a few kilometres of the coast. With rising seas, tides, waves and storm surges will reach further inland than before, resulting in more frequent and extensive flooding. Along some coasts, erosion will increase and shorelines will recede. In some areas, the water table will rise.
In this section you will find more information about the science behind sea level rise and the impacts it will have on coastal New Zealand.