Canute – the sea level calculator

The Canute online calculator maps the future sea-level rise for coastal Australia. It uses the latest scientific models and information in its prediction of the effects of future sea-level rise, tides and storm surges.

Sea-level rise has increased from 1.6 mm/year last century to the current 3 mm/year. The most recent report from the IPCC predicts a sea-level rise of 0.2 to 0.8 metres this century, although recent research suggests that it might be much higher than this.

The Canute website states that “Sea-level rise will be experienced mainly as an increase in the frequency or likelihood of flooding events, rather than simply as a steady increase in an otherwise constant level.”

The calculator gives the probability that an area will be flooded and the expected number of flooding events over a projected period, and generates a map of areas vulnerable to flooding. With a sea-level rise of 0.5 m, the calculator predicts a 300-fold increase in flooding events.

The main causes for this sea-level rise will be thermal expansion of seawater as the global temperature increases and the addition of water from melted land ice.

The calculator is named after the 11th century English king who showed that you cannot stop the oceans.