- Damage to Vancouver’s scenic seawall during a recent storm could be a sign of things to come as sea levels rise due to climate change.
- During a violent storm on Jan. 7, the popular Stanley Park Seawall was battered by high winds and high tides, causing sections to collapse.
Damage to Vancouver’s scenic seawall during a storm last week could be a foreshadowing of things to come as sea levels rise as a result of climate change.
The Vancouver Park Board’s Ian Stewart told CTV National News, “We know we’re vulnerable.” “We’re looking for long-term solutions,” says the narrator.
The popular Stanley Park Seawall was battered by high winds and extreme tides during a fierce storm on Jan. 7, causing sections to collapse. Much of it remains risky and off-limits to visitors, littered with upraised and broken chunks of concrete and debris, robbing the town of part of what is purported to be the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path.
Experts say that seaside cities such as Vancouver are becoming increasingly vulnerable as ocean levels rise due to climate change.
“Our coastal infrastructure is built on the assumption that the sea is stable,” John Clague, an earth sciences professor at Simon Fraser University, informed CTV National News. “As soon as you start elevating that surface, it starts to cause issues.”
Clague is an expert on geological disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, and floods. While high water extremes in Vancouver were once uncommon, Clague predicts that they will become more common and damaging in the future.
“They’re going to have an impact on coastal infrastructure,” he said. Hundreds of thousands of km could be impacted around the world.
For the 6th year continuously, the world’s oceans reached record high temperatures in 2021. Sea levels in portions of the province could rise by half a meter by 2050, as per a report endorsed by the B.C. govt.
While estimates of how quickly sea levels will rise to vary, it is widely accepted that they will rise, and coastal cities such as Vancouver are being advised to prepare for the consequences.
The damage caused by last week’s storm in B.C. “should be a portion of a wake-up call to individuals that this is somewhat the new normal,” Clague said.
The Vancouver Park Board asserts plans are already in the works to make the iconic Stanley Park Seawall stronger and much more resilient.
“We’re looking into all and any remedies to the climate changes and rising sea levels,” Ian Stewart, manager of park development, said.
According to the Vancouver Park Board, the seawall will not be repaired and fully reopened to visitors for several weeks.
Source: CTV News