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Regional Mean Sea-Level Rise Scenarios for the Canadian Coasts


Illustration: The projected relative sea-level rise in centimetres (cm) around Canada's coastlines from 1980-1999 to 2090-2099, illustrated above, is a preliminary result of the intermediate-low, regional sea-level rise scenario that is under development by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The smaller sea-level rise, or even fall, in Hudson Bay and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is largely due to the large land uplift associated with postglacial (continental) rebound. Illustration Credit: DFO

Just as the global mean sea level has risen over the past century, so have regional mean sea levels in many coastal areas of Canada, increasing the frequency, magnitude and duration of coastal flooding associated with storms. Existing estimates of future sea-level rise (SLR) vary widely, and variations in regional estimates may be even greater. Given these uncertainties, future potential SLR scenarios are useful to support decision-making related to the design and maintenance of coastal infrastructure under a changing climate.

This project will develop four regional mean SLR scenarios (lowest, intermediate-low, intermediate-high, and highest) for Canada's Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic coasts. The availability of these scenarios, and summary tables, will strengthen the ability of coastal communities as well as Fisheries and Oceans Canada to manage infrastructure in a way that recognizes and adapts to the flood risks associated with sea-level changes.

Program Name

Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program (ACCASP)



Principal Investigator(s)

Guoqi Han
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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