beach houses

PHOTO:MONIQUE FORD/HOMED Researcher Belinda Storey of Climate Sigma says many coastlines, including Wellington’s southern waterfront, have properties that are likely to be uninsurable within two decades due to the rising sea level.

Many owners of baches, cribs and beach houses around New Zealand’s coast will find their homes uninsurable within 20 years.

That’s the grim reality of the rising sea level caused by climate change – it’s not 100 years out, or even 50. It’s a mere two decades.

Researcher Belinda Storey of Climate Sigma says while there are many unknowns in determining the effects of climate change, scientists are “very confident” that the sea level around the country will be up by a minimum 10cm in 20 years. NIWA predicts double that sea-level rise.


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“Even just a 10cm level of sea rise has a major impact on the probability of an event, and that’s what will see insurers pull out of beach properties,” Storey says. “Ten centimetres is enough to have a 1m storm surge reach right over the top of the normal tidal ranges.