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Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios The following is not for the faint of heart.

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Presentation on theme: "Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios The following is not for the faint of heart."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios The following is not for the faint of heart.

2 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming & sea level rise Fraser Valley scenarios

3 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios

4 A relatively close neighbour M81 is located at a distance of 12 million light- years.

5 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Look closely What strikes you about this image

6 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Two critical features Finite limited size No emergency exits Come what may, we are stuck here

7 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios A fine balance

8 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Our Atmosphere PERMANENT gases in the atmosphere by percent are: –Nitrogen 78.1% –Oxygen 20.9% (Note that these two permanent gases together comprise 99% of the atmosphere) Other permanent gases: –Argon 0.9% –Neon 0.002% –Helium % –Krypton % –Hydrogen % Source:

9 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Our Atmosphere VARIABLE gases in the atmosphere and typical percentage values are: –Water vapor 0 to 4% –Carbon Dioxide 0.035% –Methane % –Ozone % Source:

10 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios “Climate change is the most severe problem we are facing today” Sir David King, Britain’s chief science advisor Source: Science, 2004, quoted in Vanity Fair May 2006

11 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios How are we doing?

12 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios How are we doing? “There is real concern that by the end of the next century, human activities will have changed the basic conditions that have allowed life to thrive on earth.” –Understanding Climate Change: A Beginner's Guide to the UN Framework Convention Source: Rick Kool

13 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming The 20 hottest years on record Source: Union of Concerned Scientists

14 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Glacial Retreat Glacial Retreat: Thinning of the tongue during the 1990s accelerated and as of 2001 a lake started to form in front of it (right image). The ice became buoyant and rapid break- up of the snout is now underway (Michael Hambrey, educ.ch/gla ciers/earth_ icy_planet/g laciers04- en.html). Source: Stronger Evidence but New Challenges: Climate Change Science ;Will Steffen; Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) from 1998 through mid-2004 and, since then, as IGBP Chief Scientist and as Director of the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, at the Australian National University.

15 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios What do Canadian climate scientists say? As the climate changes, there will be increasing impacts on Canada’s natural ecosystems and on its socio- economic activities. Source: An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Canada on Climate Change Science April ; Signed by 90 Canadian climate science leaders from the academic, public and private sectors across the country

16 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios What do Canadian climate scientists say? Some impacts are: Inadequate water for Prairie agriculture and hydroelectric utilities due to increased drying of the continental interior and reduced snow pack and shrinking glaciers; Source: An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Canada on Climate Change Science April ; Signed by 90 Canadian climate science leaders from the academic, public and private sectors across the country

17 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios What do Canadian climate scientists say? Threats to the sustainability of Canada’s natural resources due to an inability of our ecosystems to respond rapidly as the climate changes. –Warming allowing the spread of insects through our forests and prolonged drought making forests more susceptible to fires; –Warming of ocean and river waters, threatening survival of Pacific salmon, a cold water fish, by forcing it away from its spawning grounds; Source: An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Canada on Climate Change Science April ; Signed by 90 Canadian climate science leaders from the academic, public and private sectors across the country

18 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios What do Canadian climate scientists say? Increasing severity and frequency of some extreme weather events, including floods and droughts, some of which are already exceeding 100-year records and requiring more robust design specifications for infrastructure; Thawing of permafrost and associated effects on the human environment (infrastructure, roads, pipelines, buildings), sea ice, northern ecosystems and species, all leading to dramatic changes in the lives of northern people; Source: An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Canada on Climate Change Science April ; Signed by 90 Canadian climate science leaders from the academic, public and private sectors across the country

19 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios What do Canadian climate scientists say? Increased marine traffic through the northern sea routes, increasing the likelihood of environmental impacts and challenges to Canada’s sovereignty claims in the Arctic. Some of these projected impacts are already detectable. Source: An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Canada on Climate Change Science April ; Signed by 90 Canadian climate science leaders from the academic, public and private sectors across the country

20 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Top 20 carbon dioxide emitters 1996 Source: Union of Concerned Scientists

21 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Canada now Canada has experienced its warmest winter since modern record-keeping began, with average temperatures 3.9 degrees above normal and all regions of the country basking in abnormal mildness, according to preliminary figures compiled by Environment Canada. Source: Globe and Mail, Mar. 14, 2006, “Hot Enough For You” by Martin Mittelstaedt

22 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Canada now The biggest departure from typical winter weather was in the area where Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories converge. Temperatures there were a staggering eight degrees warmer than normal. Source: Globe and Mail, Mar. 14, 2006, “Hot Enough For You” by Martin Mittelstaedt

23 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Canada now But other notable warm spots included the entire Prairie region, where temperatures were five to seven degrees above average, and southern British Columbia. Source: Globe and Mail, Mar. 14, 2006, “Hot Enough For You” by Martin Mittelstaedt

24 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Canada now "Statistically, this is a one-in-a-100-years kind of event," said Bob Whitewood, a climatologist with Environment Canada in Toronto. Source: Globe and Mail, Mar. 14, 2006, “Hot Enough For You” by Martin Mittelstaedt

25 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios A view from the US Dept of Energy Of particular concern are nonlinear changes in the intensity, frequency, magnitude, or geographic locus of losses. As a real-world example, according to a letter published in Nature, the European heat wave of 2003 was six standard deviations from the norm. Rising uncertainty will confound pricing and reduce insurability in some cases. Evan MillsEvan Mills, a staff scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

26 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios A view from the US Dept of Energy From an actuarial perspective, abrupt climate change is much more of a challenge to insurers than a stylized view of gradual and linear changes over long time frames. Evan MillsEvan Mills, a staff scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

27 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios A view from the US Dept of Energy Insured losses from weather-related events in 2005 approached $80 billion (4 times those from 9/11), and that excludes a host of small-scale events that don’t appear in the official statistics. Evan MillsEvan Mills, a staff scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

28 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios A view from the US Dept of Energy It is important to note that many of the impacts of climate change, especially small-scale or gradual- loss events that have enormous aggregate costs— lightning, permafrost melt, mold, drought, or sea-level rise—are poorly (if at all) incorporated in these models. This creates some worrisome blind spots, which I’m afraid will grow larger under climate change. Evan MillsEvan Mills, a staff scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

29 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios A business analysis: Swiss Re

30 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios A business analysis: Swiss Re

31 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios A business analysis: Swiss Re

32 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Major Floods Source: Stronger Evidence but New Challenges: Climate Change Science ;Will Steffen; Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) from 1998 through mid-2004 and, since then, as IGBP Chief Scientist and as Director of the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, at the Australian National University.

33 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Some thoughts on BC forests “British Columbia hasn't been this warm in 8,000 years, and the winters are no longer cold enough to keep the beetles in check. Global-warming scenarios the International Panel on Climate Change forecast for 50 years from now are already unfolding in the province's interior.” Source: Globe and Mail, April 22, 2006; “We Might Become Extinct” by Terry Glavin

34 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Some thoughts on BC forests “Now, Dr. Hebda is starting to wonder whether the pine forests will ever grow back. ‘We just don't know,’ he says ‘Lodgepole-pine forests need catastrophic events such as beetle outbreaks and a few decades, even from a beetle outbreak even of this magnitude.’” Source: Globe and Mail, April 22, 2006; “We Might Become Extinct” by Terry Glavin

35 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Nothing is "normal" any more. “But nobody knows whether B.C.'s climate, decades from now, will be able to support pine forests. Nothing is "normal" any more.” Source: Globe and Mail, April 22, 2006; “We Might Become Extinct” by Terry Glavin

36 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Nothing is "normal" any more. Source: Ministry of Forests: Last Modified: 2005 MAY 10.

37 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Will there even be any trees? Source: Ministry of Forests: Last Modified: 2005 MAY 10.

38 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Will there even be any trees? “’T he question is, will there be forests at all in the southern portion of British Columbia's central interior? Will there even be any trees?’ Dr. Hebda asks. ‘It all depends on how much CO{-2} we push into the atmosphere.’” “So, when Dr. Hebda looks into the future, he sees a lot of sagebrush, grassland and rangeland where the pine forests are now, at high elevations, and down among the spruce, fir and ponderosa pine.” Source: Globe and Mail, April 22, 2006; “We Might Become Extinct” by Terry Glavin

39 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global Warming & Sea level rise Climate Change: On the Edge Greenland Ice Cap Breaking Up at Twice the Rate It Was Five Years Ago by Jim Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, is President George Bush's top climate modeller.NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Published on Friday, February 17, 2006, by the Independent/UK :Independent/UK

40 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming: Sea level rise “How far can it go? The last time the world was three degrees warmer than today – which is what we expect later this century – sea levels were 25m higher. So that is what we can look forward to if we don't act soon.” Dr. James Hansen; Published on Friday, February 17, 2006, by the Independent/UK :Independent/UK

41 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Risk is increasing “ Thus, there is now perceived to be a greater risk that the upper end of the well known IPCC TAR estimate of a 1.4 to 5.8oC temperature rise will be reached or exceeded by 2100.” IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change TAR: Third Assessment Report Source: Stronger Evidence but New Challenges: Climate Change Science ;Will Steffen; Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) from 1998 through mid-2004 and, since then, as IGBP Chief Scientist and as Director of the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, at the Australian National University.

42 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Ecological Footprint: Climate Change Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

43 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global Mean Temperature & Risks Source: Stronger Evidence but New Challenges: Climate Change Science ;Will Steffen; Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) from 1998 through mid-2004 and, since then, as IGBP Chief Scientist and as Director of the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, at the Australian National University.

44 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming: sea level rise “None of the current climate and ice models predict this. But I prefer the evidence from the Earth's history and my own eyes. I think sea-level rise is going to be the big issue soon, more even than warming itself.” Dr. James Hansen; Published on Friday, February 17, 2006, by the Independent/UK :Independent/UK

45 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming: sea level rise “It's hard to say what the world will be like if this happens. It would be another planet.” Dr. James Hansen; Published on Friday, February 17, 2006, by the Independent/UK :Independent/UK

46 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming: sea level rise “How long have we got?” Dr. James Hansen; Published on Friday, February 17, 2006, by the Independent/UK :Independent/UK

47 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming: sea level rise “We have to stabilize emissions of carbon dioxide within a decade, or temperatures will warm by more than one degree. That will be warmer than it has been for half a million years, and many things could become unstoppable. “ Dr. James Hansen; Published on Friday, February 17, 2006, by the Independent/UK :Independent/UK

48 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming: sea level rise “ This new satellite data is a remarkable advance. We are seeing for the first time the detailed behavior of the ice streams that are draining the Greenland ice sheet.” Dr. James Hansen; Published on Friday, February 17, 2006, by the Independent/UK :Independent/UK

49 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming: sea level rise “They show that Greenland seems to be losing at least 200 cubic kilometers of ice a year. It is different from even two years ago, when people still said the ice sheet was in balance.” Dr. James Hansen; Published on Friday, February 17, 2006, by the Independent/UK :Independent/UK

50 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Melting of Greenland Ice Sheet Most extensive in 27 year history of data collection Figure courtesy of NOAA and CIRES

51 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming: sea level rise “Hundreds of cubic kilometers sounds like a lot of ice. But this is just the beginning. Once a sheet starts to disintegrate, it can reach a tipping point beyond which break-up is explosively rapid.” Dr. James Hansen; Published on Friday, February 17, 2006, by the Independent/UK :Independent/UK

52 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming: sea level rise “The issue is how close we are getting to that tipping point. The summer of 2005 broke all records for melting in Greenland. So we may be on the edge.” Dr. James Hansen; Published on Friday, February 17, 2006, by the Independent/UK :Independent/UK

53 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming: sea level rise “Our understanding of what is going on is very new. Today's forecasts of sea-level rise use climate models of the ice sheets that say they can only disintegrate over a thousand years or more.” Dr. James Hansen; Published on Friday, February 17, 2006, by the Independent/UK :Independent/UK

54 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming: sea level rise “But we can now see that the models are almost worthless. They treat the ice sheets like a single block of ice that will slowly melt. But what is happening is much more dynamic.” Dr. James Hansen; Published on Friday, February 17, 2006, by the Independent/UK :Independent/UK

55 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming: sea level rise “Once the ice starts to melt at the surface, it forms lakes that empty down crevasses to the bottom of the ice. You get rivers of water underneath the ice. And the ice slides towards the ocean.” Dr. James Hansen; Published on Friday, February 17, 2006, by the Independent/UK :Independent/UK

56 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global Temperature and Sea Level

57 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming: sea level rise “Our NASA scientists have measured this in Greenland. And once these ice streams start moving, their influence stretches right to the interior of the ice sheet. Building an ice sheet takes a long time, because it is limited by snowfall. But destroying it can be explosively rapid.” Dr. James Hansen; Published on Friday, February 17, 2006, by the Independent/UK :Independent/UK

58 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global warming & sea level rise Others agree “But if one is interested in risks and in preparing to meet them, the more interesting question is what the deep historical record can tell us about the circumstances under which climates have changed rapidly in the past and the severity of the consequences. Considered in that way, accelerated glacial melting and larger changes in sea level (for example) should be looked at as probable events, not as hypothetical possibilities.” Source: Editorial, Science, VOL MARCH 2006

59 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios North America current Source:

60 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios North America: 1 metre sea level rise

61 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Africa, Asia, Europe: 1 metre rise

62 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Africa, Asia, Europe: 6 meter rise

63 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Coastal futures : New Orleans & Katrina

64 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Coastal futures Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios

65 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Municipal populations 2005 Burnaby204,324 Coquitlam121,973 Delta102,655 Langley25,718 Langley township97,125 Maple Ridge73,280 New Westminster57,480 Pitt Meadows16,673 Port Coquitlam57,563 Port Moody28,458 Richmond173,430 Surrey393,137 Vancouver583,267 Total1,935,083 Source: BC Stats

66 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios The information contained in this package indicates a potential at a broad scale (for discussion purposes only) Scenario 1: Current Situation

67 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios The information contained in this package indicates a potential at a broad scale (for discussion purposes only) Scenario 2: 2.5 meters

68 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios The information contained in this package indicates a potential at a broad scale (for discussion purposes only) Scenario 3: 5.0 meters

69 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios The information contained in this package indicates a potential at a broad scale (for discussion purposes only) Scenario 4: 10 meters

70 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios The information contained in this package indicates a potential at a broad scale (for discussion purposes only) Scenario 5: 25 meters

71 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Summary Can we still avoid dangerous climate change?

72 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Business as usual: We fly, We kill Stopping the great food swap; Relocalising Europe’s food supply; Dr Caroline Lucas MEP; 2002

73 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios We fly, We kill “It’s not just that aviation represents the world’s fastest growing source of carbon dioxide emissions. The burning of aircraft fuel has a “radiative forcing ratio” of around 2.7(11).” By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 28th February 2006

74 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios We fly, We kill “What this means is that the total warming effect of aircraft emissions is 2.7 times as great as the effect of the carbon dioxide alone. The water vapour they produce forms ice crystals in the upper troposphere (vapour trails and cirrus clouds) which trap the earth’s heat.” By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 28th February 2006

75 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios We fly, We kill “According to calculations by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, if you added the two effects together (it urges some caution as they are not directly comparable), aviation’s emissions alone would exceed the government’s target for the country’s entire output of greenhouse gases in 2050 by around 134%(12).” By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 28th February 2006

76 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global Temperature and Sea Level “If we follow a business-as usual scenario, we will be creating a hammer hitting the Earth faster and harder than it has ever been hit. Except perhaps when the Earth was hit by the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.” Source: Dr. James Hansen; Is There Still Time to Avoid Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference’ with Global Climate?; Dec. 2005

77 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Global Temperature and Sea Level Source: Dr. James Hansen; Is There Still Time to Avoid Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference’ with Global Climate?; Dec. 2005

78 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Regional Climate Change “In summary, with regard to regional climate: as with global climate and sea level, business as-usual scenarios will produce basically another planet.” Source: Dr. James Hansen; Is There Still Time to Avoid Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference’ with Global Climate?; Dec. 2005

79 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Basically another planet “How else can you describe climate change in which the Arctic becomes an open lake in the summer and fall, and most land areas on Earth experience mean warming this century that is 5-10 times larger than the standard deviation of the past century?” Source: Dr. James Hansen; Is There Still Time to Avoid Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference’ with Global Climate?; Dec. 2005

80 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios Miami Miami: Shows flooding that would occur as the result of projected sea level rise of slightly over 1 1/2 feet (.6 meters) and storm surge from a 100-year storm, which will occur every 10 years by the end of the century. Source: National Environment Trust

81 Sea level rise: Fraser Valley scenarios New York City Animation shows flooding that would occur as the result of the storm surge from a Category II hurricane, combined with a projected sea level rise of 2.2 feet (0.7 meters) anticipated over the coming century. According to the National Hurricane Center, from the Atlantic coast of the U.S. between Florida and Maine has experienced 78 hurricane strikes of Category II or greater. Source: National Environment Trust


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