Scientists with the federal and provincial governments just published a compelling report on projected changes to sea levels in BC as a result of global warming. Rising sea levels, combined with extreme weather events, could have catastrophic effects in some parts of BC, the scientists warn.

"The anticipated changes in sea level could have significant consequences for areas currently protected by dikes (such as the Fraser and Squamish deltas), where coastal erosion is already an issue (eastern Graham Island, Haida Gwaii), or where development and harbour infrastructure is close to present high tide limits," write the scientists. "Of particular concern will be extreme weather events, such as storm surges, occurring at the same time as these high sea levels. These extreme events can add as much as one metre to sea levels, regardless of local shoreline features and waves."

Most scientists and governments agree that global warming is contributing to sea level rise which will increasingly affect low-lying areas around the globe during the coming century. Sea level change along the BC coast can vary significantly from the average global rate because of complex geological processes which cause land to rise or fall. In many places where the land is rising, sea level may not change markedly, where the land is sinking, such as around river deltas, sea level is rising at rates greater than the global average.

If you want to find out what the effects could be on your area of the coast, download PDFs of the executive sumamry or full technical report by clicking on the links below: