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Sea level

Key finding

Queensland’s sea levels are rising according to the historical tide gauge records.

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.

Many tide stations operate along the Queensland coast. Different regions can exhibit seasonal, decadal and multi-decadal changes in sea level due to weather patterns, including the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle and tectonic movement: care must be taken in interpreting trends from individual stations or over short periods of time.

Tide gauges at Rosslyn Bay (Rockhampton) and Cape Ferguson (Townsville) have been prepared and managed to accurately record sea level change and sea level trends as part of the Australian Baseline Sea Level Monitoring Project. These stations indicate a sea level rise trend about the same or slightly higher than the global mean sea level rise trend of 3.4mm 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 October 2017, 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 October 2017.

    Download data from Queensland Government data

    Last updated 12 February 2020