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Sea Level Rise Projections Presented to Council’s Committee-of-the-Whole
(Tuesday, February 9, 2010) - A detailed examination of potential sea level rise over the next 100 years in Halifax Harbour will provide HRM and harbour front property owners with a range of future climate change adaptation scenarios to consider.
HRM partnered with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the Province of Nova Scotia, the Halifax Port Authority, the Waterfront Development Corporation, Dalhousie University and the Applied Geomatics Research Group on a study that examines the potential future effects of sea level rise and storm surges in the harbour. The findings, presented to Council’s Committee-of-the-Whole today, show how harbour front properties could be affected by storm surges and sea level rise by 2100.
“We cannot afford a wait and see approach when it comes to climate change. That’s why we’re planning now for the next 100 years,” said Roger Wells, Supervisor of Regional and Community Planning, and a lead researcher in the study.
The study used digital ground elevation mapping, trends in sea level rise, climate change science, and various storm events to point to potential effects on harbour front properties. While none of the 100 year projections show significant areas of the harbour front under water during normal weather conditions, the findings do show that some areas could be impacted in the future during storm events that normally occur at 2, 10 and 50 year intervals.
Scenario 2c from the findings is put forth as the most plausible scenario for planning purposes at this time. This indicates that relative sea level rise to the year 2100 is estimated at 0.73 M above current water level. If we then factor in a storm event (storm surge) having a 50-year return period (1.74 M), the resultant water level is 2.67 M, excluding wave run-up.
At Committee-of-the-Whole, Councillors approved public and harbour front stakeholder consultations, directed staff to further develop appropriate climate change adaptation measures for incorporation into the Halifax Harbour Plan, and also consider similar examinations of other coastal areas within the municipality.
A copy of the presentation will be available on the HRM website on Wednesday under the Regional Planning section at http://halifax.ca/regionalplanning/index.html .
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Supervisor, Regional and Community Planning
Manager, Public Affairs