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

The Georgia Straight By Matthew Burrows, March 8, 2012

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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