Thursday, January 10, 2013

Climate challenges for a small town in Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Post (Nova Scotia): A study by the Ecology Action Centre is looking at the threat to the coastal community of Cheticamp from rising sea levels and storm surges caused by climate change. Veronika Brzeski, the centre’s climate change adaptation co-ordinator, said while the study has not been finished, there are significant implications for the shoreline around the northern Cape Breton community.

“Certainly sea level rise is a concern,” Brzeski said Wednesday. The Nova Scotia government has published projections for a sea level rise of 1.1 metres by the year 2100 and possible storm surges of 3.78 metres for the area. The study uses the estimates enhanced by 3-D mapping. “We can actually see what is going to be flooded, what is the scenario for the future,” she said.

Flooding scenarios include a breach of the causeway and beach connecting Cheticamp Island to the mainland and the risk of flooding for the local boardwalk and downtown area. “Certainly some of that water would recede but there is a lot of storm damage.”

Brzeski noted hurricanes like Sandy, which hit the northeastern United States in October, can happen at any time. Shoreline erosion is another concern throughout the whole community, she said.\ “There are danger zones already along roads.” Brzeski said it’s hard to predict erosion, which can be affected by everything from the amount of rock in the soil to ice cover and weather....

The port in Cheticamp, shot by Ericbodden, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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