Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sea level rise poses flood risk

Sandor Gyarmati in the Delta Optimist (Vancouver): Planning needs to be done now to address the future sea level rise in South Delta, say researchers that provided ominous visuals of what could unfold. Current estimates have the sea level rise for South Delta at approximately 1.2 metres by 2100. However, at a science symposium in Vancouver on the weekend, a pair of researchers made a more dire prediction, contending the original estimates might be too conservative.

David Flanders of the University of B.C and Simon Fraser University professor of geology John Clague told a symposium for the annual convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that planning is needed for the possibility of a more rapid rise.

Using computer visualizations of rising sea levels in a low-lying coastal municipality like Delta, they illustrated ways to adapt to climate change impacts such as flooding and storms surges. "To me, the visualizations are the only way that you can tell the complete story of climate change and its impacts in a lowlying coastal community," said Flanders, with the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP), prior to the symposium.

"It can be hard to mentally grasp what rising sea levels can mean on the ground but our visualizations give people a glimpse of what their future world will look and feel like in their own backyards. They help community members understand how their quality of life can be affected by climate change, and by the decisions they make to deal with climate impacts," said Flanders....

Downtown Vancover from Spanish Bank Beach, shot by Steve, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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