The Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland has developed a tool to help coastal councils more accurately predict the impact of rising sea levels.

Research on the new technique will allow planners to identify parts of the coastline most at risk from inundation by the year 2100. It has been published in the academic journal PLOS One.

Dr. Javier Leon Patino said current coastal planning was based on elevation information which is accurate to within 20cms. “This is a significant margin of error and makes decisions around future developments difficult and dangerous,” Dr Patino said. He said the research could be used to help protect existing beachside towns and to help plan more appropriately for future development.