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TitlePerspectives relatives à la région de la côte Ouest du Canada
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorVadeboncoeur, N; Okey, T A; Schnorbus, M; Ianson, D; Carlson, D; Harley, C; Pauly, D; Nelitz, M; Alidina, H; Sumaila, R; Cheung, W; Neale, T; James, TORCID logo; Werner, A; Arroz, P; Shrestha, R
SourceLe littoral maritime du Canada face à l'évolution du climat; by Lemmen, D S (ed.); Warren, F J (ed.); James, T SORCID logo (ed.); Mercer Clarke, C S L (ed.); 2016 p. 209-256 Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20160052
PublisherGovernment of Canada
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Le littoral maritime du Canada face à l'évolution du climat
RelatedThis publication is a translation of Perspectives on Canada's west coast region
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia; Yukon
NTS92; 93; 102; 103; 104; 114O; 114P; 115
Lat/Long WENS-134.0000 -122.0000 58.0000 48.0000
Subjectssedimentology; marine geology; Nature and Environment; climate; climate effects; coastal environment; coastal studies; coastal erosion; coastal management; shorelines; shoreline changes; shoreface deposits; shore features; tides; tidal power; tidal environments; sea level fluctuations; sea level changes; Climate change
Illustrationslocation maps; photographs; graphs; tables
ProgramClimate Change Impacts and Adaptation
ProgramClimate Change Impacts and Adaptation Canada in a Changing Climate
Released2016 01 01; 2022 12 29
Key Findings: Coastal British Columbia is geographically, ecologically and socially diverse. The climate changes anticipated for this region, and their impacts, are similarly varied. Although large urban centres, small rural settlements and First Nations communities will experience climate change in different ways, several key findings are relevant to the region as a whole: - Sea-level rise will not affect all areas of the British Columbia coast equally, largely due to differences in vertical land movement. The largest amounts of relative sea-level rise are projected to occur on the Fraser Lowland, southern Vancouver Island and the north coast. Planning guidance for sea-level rise developed by the British Columbia government provides planning levels that slightly exceed the peak values (95th percentile) of the sea-level projections at 2050. This could be considered a margin of safety that allows for possible additional sea-level rise arising from factors with significant uncertainty, such as contributions from the Antarctic Ice Sheet. - Storm-surge flooding presents a greater threat to coastal communities than sea-level rise alone. Coastal communities are already coping with extreme water levels associated with climate variability (e.g., El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation) and storm-surge flooding. The risks associated with these events are expected to increase as sea level rises. Residential, commercial, institutional and municipal property and infrastructure in the region are vulnerable, and communities have begun to take action to reduce the risk through adaptation measures such as shoreline protection. - Marine ecosystems will be affected as species move northward in response to warmer water. Southern species will expand their range northward into British Columbia as the ocean warms, while species that today inhabit the south coast region, including salmon, will also migrate north. In the southern part of the province, warmer ocean-surface temperatures will decrease the habitable range of shellfish and changing ocean acidity will affect their reproductive success. Adaptation in the commercial-fisheries sector will involve shifting the types of species being fished and relocating operations. First Nations, who rely strongly on salmon for cultural uses, often have fewer options for adaptation to changes in distribution and abundance of fish species. - Changing precipitation patterns will affect summer water availability and the timing of salmon runs in some watersheds. Winter precipitation is expected to increase overall, with more falling as rain and less as snow. Less precipitation is expected during the summer and this, combined with reduced snowpack, will decrease the amount of water available for some regions in late summer and autumn. River levels will decrease during this period and water temperature is likely to increase as a result. Increased river temperature would affect the timing of salmon runs because these fish do not enter rivers until water temperatures cool to approximately 15°C. - Climate change adaptation is gaining momentum in British Columbia. Governments have been moving forward on climate change adaptation, particularly regarding sea-level rise and coastal-flooding issues. Notable projects include a cost assessment of upgrading Metro Vancouver's dike system; a risk study for sea-level rise in the Capital Regional District; the City of Vancouver's new Flood Construction Level that considers sea-level rise; the placement of boulders below the low-tide level off the West Vancouver shore to mitigate storm-surge impacts; and the development of a Sea-Level Rise Primer for local governments.

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