Rising seas, storm surges due to climate change await Lower Mainland

Delta, Richmond, and “about one-third of Surrey” are “implicated” in the sea-level rise and extreme storm surges due in the region as a result of climate change, according to Deborah Harford.

However, the executive director of SFU’s Adaptation to Climate Change Team told the Straight, “I actually have a bit of a slogan at ACT, which is that we are all tired of doom and gloom, so let’s cheer and steer, because there is a lot that we can do.”

Harford and her team convened a two-day workshop with local and international experts whose cities face a varying degree of risk due to rising sea levels. On Thursday (March 8), from 7 to 9 p.m., at SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings Street), the public will be able to see and ask questions of these experts.

Vancouver is one of 52 cities at risk, Harford noted, adding that the city ranks higher as a result of its affluence and the financial hit it will take in the event of seas rising.

So far, Harford said, the “maximum level” of sea-level rise forecast in Vancouver by the end of the century is two metres. However, extreme high tides combined with “pronounced storm-surge events” could create the kind of conditions seen in a four-metre rise scenario, she added.

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10 Comments

NoLeftNutter

Mar 8, 2012 at 10:19am

More freak out faux science from the CAGW gravy train. If the projected rise this century is two meters then the rise in the last decade would be about 8 inches. Apparently the current rate is about 1/2 inch per decade and currently slowing down. http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/climate/sea_level_rise.html

As a taxpyer I'm pissed that my tax dollars may have funded some of this stupidity. All of you in favour of the scare tactics should be funding this nonsense out of your own pockets.

Not a troll

Mar 8, 2012 at 1:38pm

troll ^

Deborah Harford

Mar 8, 2012 at 4:26pm

NLN: Perhaps you have not noticed that the people of the Philippines and Thailand are already experiencing devastating extreme weather and sea level impacts? Or that the people of the Maldives will lose their homes as their low lying islands continue to be submerged... I suggest you volunteer to help rebuild and reinforce hillsides and coastlines in countries where the impacts are already severe, and discuss climate change with those people. We at ACT are working to try and make sure people here don't suffer the same loss of money and possibly lives as the impacts get worse here, while sharing resources with those less fortunate in developing countries. But the awareness on this issue is high locally. Go talk to the Mayor of Delta, Lois Jackson, or her engineering staff, as they reinforce their coastline. Research insurance industry figures that show an exponential rise in infrastructure damage (and loss of homes, and property, and business hours). Thanks very much for the excellent site you linked to, which has a graph that clearly indicates steady sea level rise since 1880 and states this of the other graphs "Neither has sufficient resolution to actually show sea level changes during the most recent few millennia." The fact is that we currently face changes that normally happen slowly, and are now happening at a speed that we have never experienced as a species, so our coping mechanisms need to develop and adapt. We are trying to help.

KPod

Mar 8, 2012 at 6:11pm

I guess weather patterns and sea levels have never changed or cycled before. Land masses of always held a consistent size and shape on our planet is that what you are saying Deborah.

JimmyD

Mar 9, 2012 at 12:13pm

@KPod.. I guess you can not read the last 2 sentences of Deborah Harford's comment (but we all can) so try again; here they are: " The fact is that we currently face changes that normally happen slowly, and are now happening at a speed that we have never experienced as a species, so our coping mechanisms need to develop and adapt. We are trying to help."
The fact is that all major military top brass around the world have AGW on their radars and are actively planning for the consequenses of AGW.
So, KPod, I dare you to go up face to face with any one of those top military leaders (pick the one you like) and tell him or her that they are wasting your tax dollars planning for AGW. Please report back to us your findings.

KPod

Mar 9, 2012 at 5:16pm

Really so the ice age happened over what range of time JimmyD? Please tell us your findings Jimmy boy.

JimmyD

Mar 12, 2012 at 9:44am

@KPod- Which ice age are you referring to KPod?
I'm with the military leaders, the scientists, the insurance industry and what I see myself right here in BC (have you taken a trip through the BC Interior lately KPod?) AGW is a very real and present danger to human life in our opinions.
Let us all hope that you and those who think like you do KPod are correct. After all we all live on the same planet and we are all going to live through and with whatever happens.
I do have to say that if AGW is really the proverbial freight train rushing towards us that as a species, we all seem pretty calm about it considering what this means for human life in particular. So by this measure KPod, I can understand why you might think the way you do. I wonder about this myself. Perhaps this is for really good behavioural psychologists to explain. Denial is part of the grieving process right?
Your opinion counts KPod but you have to admit that the burden of proof has now clearly shifted to your side of the equation because the military, the insurance companies and the scientists are all sounding the warning bells.

Deborah Harford

Apr 18, 2012 at 9:33am

Steve W., historical trends are fast becoming obsolete unfortunately. Check the ice in the Arctic - not the same trends as we have seen in the past. The changes predicted are the result of feedback loops as sea ice cover melts and then absorbs more heat exponentially. Look, I hope this doesn't happen too! But if there are warnings out there and data to match then I think we should plan for worst case scenarios.