Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Flooding, sea level rise among city's greatest projected risks

Canadian Underwriter: A risk assessment of local climate change events for Victoria, British Columbia as projected to 2050 indicates flooding and sea level rise are among the greatest risks. “The projected impacts of most climate change-related events were determined to, individually, have low or medium risk. In reality, our community will experience more than one impact at a time, so this could translate to a larger combined risk,” notes a statement from the City of Victoria.

The recently completed assessment cites an estimated sea level rise of 45 centimetres by 2050, most visible during winter high tides. By 2100, the extreme high estimate of sea level rise for Victoria is 0.89 to 0.94 metres. Couple higher sea levels with more frequent and intense storm events – which the assessment pegs at as much as 15% – and winter may prove more eventful.

“With the increase of intensity and frequency of winter storms, in conjunction with high winter tides, we will also see an increase in storm surges, waves that are pushed onshore from high winds,” the city reports. This combination may put some buildings and infrastructure at risk.

While localized flooding is already a yearly event in the region, larger floods “can create substantial property damage. Combined with other storm-related impacts, downed trees, power outages, road closures and insurance losses, the late fall and early winter storm season in Victoria is likely to present higher risks.”...

Victoria's inner harbor, shot by Dmgerman, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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