Sea level

N.B. you are viewing the archived 2015 report.

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Key finding

A trend of mean sea level rise to the present time is discernible in the historical tide gauge record in Queensland however seasonal trends dominated changes in the 2012-2015 period.

Global mean sea level, which is the average level for the surface of the ocean, shows a long-term trend of permanent sea level rise.

A large number of tide stations are in operation along the Queensland coast. Different regions can exhibit seasonal, decadal and multi-decadal changes in sea level in response to weather patterns, including the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. Therefore care must be taken in interpreting trends from individual stations.

High quality tide gauges at Rosslyn Bay (Rockhampton) and Cape Ferguson (Townsville) have been specially prepared and managed for accurately recording sea level change and sea level trends. From 1996 to mid-2015, these stations showed a sea level rise trend of about 4.2mm per year compared to a global mean sea level rise trend of between 2.64mm per year to 3.3mm per year.

More information:

Indicator: Sea level change over time

Baseline sea level monitoring project sites at Cape Ferguson and Rosslyn Bay for the period 1996 to mid-2015 compared to the global mean sea level rise from the CSIRO historical sea level changes. Data is presented as a monthly mean sea level anomaly which exhibits strong seasonal trends as a smooth trend line for the period to allow comparison with global mean sea level rise. Data is current as at July 2015.

Download data from Queensland Government data