Journal or chapter

Dairy farming exposure and impacts from coastal flooding and sea level rise

Globally, episodic coastal flooding is expected to have increasingly severe impacts on agriculture
in low-lying coastal areas, as climate change continues to cause relative sea level rise (RSLR). This
study analyses dairy farm exposure and impacts from extreme sea levels (ESL) and RSLR in
Aotearoa-New Zealand (A-NZ).

Through this analysis we highlight the increasing exposure of the dairy industry to coastal flooding, with 472 farms potentially impacted (at or greater than IS 1) by a 10-year ARI event and 1276 farms exposed to a 500-year ARI event at current sea levels, rising to 1276 (10-year ARI) and 1344 farms (500-year ARI) with 2 m RSLR. RSLR is identified as the factor driving this increase in exposure and severity of impacts to dairying, with the increase in the number of farms impacted in a 500-year compared to 10-year event only 5 % greater when considered with 1 m of RSLR, compared to 37 % greater at 0 m RSLR.

This has significant implications for A-NZ where the dairy industry is of high economic and social importance, demonstrating the need for industry targeted climate change adaptation and disaster
risk reduction measures.


Primary sector preparedness for climate change