Flanders fearful flooded fields

From the University of British Columbia,  David Flanders is trying to scare Canadians over sea level rise. Only one problem, the math doesn’t work.

Preparing for the flood: Visualizations help communities plan for sea-level rise

The municipality of Delta, B.C. is a low-lying coastal community surrounded by water on three sides Credit: CALP

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have produced computer visualizations of rising sea levels in a low-lying coastal municipality, illustrating ways to adapt to climate change impacts such as flooding and storms surges.

The researchers are working with a municipality south of Vancouver, Canada that is surrounded by water on three sides and is expecting the sea-level to rise by 1.2 metres by 2100 – a change that would affect a number of waterfront homes, inland suburban developments, roads and farmland.

Considerable infrastructure has been built below current and projected high water levels, and could be inundated in the event of a dike breach. The images produced show how different adaptation strategies that could be implemented in the municipality and are being used to help make decisions about how to best prepare for the future.

“To me, the visualizations are the only way that you can tell the complete story of climate change and its impacts in a low-lying coastal community,” says David Flanders, a UBC research scientist with the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP), who will present this research at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Vancouver on Sunday. “In other words, seeing really is believing in this case.”

“It can be hard to mentally grasp what rising sea-levels can mean on the ground but our visualizations give people a glimpse of what their future world will look and feel like in their own backyards. They help community members understand how their quality of life can be affected by climate change, and by the decisions they make to deal with climate impacts.”

IMAGE:Visualizations of higher water levels in Delta portray what would happen to the community if it does nothing to prepare for rising sea levels.Click here for more information.


The municipality of Delta, B.C. is in an agricultural region with a population of about 100,000 (Fig. 1). Historically, the municipality has used dykes to protect the land from flooding and tides – a common strategy used by coastal communities.

New provincial guidelines for the construction of new homes have more than doubled the recommended finished floor elevation to compensate for rising high water lines. Similarly, the guidelines for sea dike construction have increased considerably, in some cases suggesting a top-of-wall more than two times their current elevation above mean sea level.

Working with the municipality, Flanders and his colleagues at CALP have created visualizations of sea-level rise in Delta and four alternate scenarios that show different ways Delta could adapt. These were constructed using a cutting-edge 3D geovisualization process that integrates climate modeling scenarios, inundation modeling, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, land use and urban design.

Visualizations of higher water levels in Delta portray what would happen to the community if it does nothing to prepare for climate change (Fig. 2).

“Combine the sea-level rise with bigger storms, more wind, more waves and high-tide and that’s an enormous amount of water,” says Flanders.

The four alternate scenarios show Delta over the next century where the municipality adopts various strategies to prepare for sea-level rise including: raising the dikes (“Hold The Line,” Fig. 3); building offshore barrier islands to absorb the impact of incoming storms (“Reinforce and Reclaim,” Fig 4); moving parts of the community out of the floodplain and on to higher ground (“Managed Retreat,” Fig. 5); and reducing vulnerability through design by raising homes, roads and critical infrastructure above the floodplain (“Build Up,” Fig. 6).

IMAGE:Visualization: The municipality of Delta adopts a strategy of raising the dikes to prepare for sea-level rise.Click here for more information.

The visualizations packages not only show what the region could look at the end of the century but also takes into account other important factors like the cost of each solution for the municipality, the cost to individual property owners, and the trade-offs between protecting roads, habitat, homes, waterfront views and agricultural production.

“What is becoming evident is that there is no single, perfect solution. Each alternative pathway has trade-offs associated with it, and this planning process has been very effective at communicating those trade-offs, and assessing acceptability,” says Flanders.

“Communities will have to decide what their priorities are, and likely plan for a mosaic of different solutions, because each neighbourhood has its own set of concerns and its own idea of what will be possible. This visioning process can help inform these kinds of tough decisions that many low-lying communities will have to make over the next 20, 50 and 100 years.”

To produce the visualizations, Flanders is working with other landscape planning researchers at CALP, climate scientists on the climate forecasts, coastal engineers who can calculate what water will do during a storm when it slams against the dikes, land-use planners who know current policies and how strategies could potentially roll-out on the ground, and a working group of members of the public. These participants helped to build the scenarios and assess their acceptability.

Flanders and his colleagues have begun to show these visualizations to city planners and engineers, local elected officials, and members of the community. He notes that “many individuals seeing the images for the first time had a very emotional response.”

The work borrows from international precedents, but CALP is unique in combining visualization, stakeholder input, and evaluation of results comprehensively in the Delta study.

“Other communities around the globe could gain insight from this on how to address their own local concerns, whether it’s sea level rise, forest fire risk, changing snow pack, or other issues.”



David Flanders

Research Scientist, Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning

Adjunct Faculty, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Tel: 604.328.3448

Email: david.flanders@ubc.ca

Heather Amos

UBC Public Affairs

Cell: 604.828.3867

Email: heather.amos@ubc.ca

Simulated images are available by contacting Heather Amos at heather.amos@ubc.ca or 604.828.3867 (cell) and will be available for download Sunday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m at: http://www.aaas.ubc.ca/media-resources/photos/

Photos of Flanders are available at: http://www.aaas.ubc.ca/media-resources/photos/. A video of Flanders is available at http://www.aaas.ubc.ca/media-resources/videos/ ]


OK let’s review this statement:

“…expecting the sea-level to rise by 1.2 metres by 2100 – a change that would affect a number of waterfront homes, inland suburban developments, roads and farmland. ”

Current rate of sea level rise is 3 mm per year, as has been shown repeatedly, there’s no evidence of acceleration.

This is supported by tide gauge data, for example:

Battery Park tide gauge from NOAA:

Let’s do the math for British Columbia.

Sea level rise is 3.0 millimeters per year, per TOPEX satellite data. We have 88 years left to 2100.

88 years x 3 mm/year = 264 mm or .264 meter

1.2 meters – .264 meters = 0.936 difference, almost a whole meter.

The press release and study is simply more of this silliness without paying attention to reality:

Freaking out about NYC sea level rise is easy to do when you don’t pay attention to history

Read the whole story to see how badly these predictions fail under the slightest scrutiny

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February 20, 2012 12:20 pm

This has got to be borderline moronic. Of all the things they ought to worry about, there is total silence on the big issue: Soil liquefaction. Delta, Ladner, Richmond, and a host of other coastal communities in the British Columbia lower mainland, are all built on swampy areas or the delta of the Fraser River, areas prone to natural subsidence, or worse: violent shaking due to a megathrust earthquake. The Andaman earthquake of 2004, the Japan Trench in 2011, the Chilean temblor of 2010, all point to the ominous quiet along the Cascadia subduction zone with its 300-year periodicity. Sea level rise will be the last of anyone’s worry-wort issues if (and when) the Big One lambastes the lower mainland with shaking…and the inevitable tsunami surge. Yet another wasted hunk of cash and Suzukoid alarmism couched in childish newspeak. Irony? The huge coal terminal in Tsawwassen is constructed on piles driven into this jittery ooze, so the ‘death train’ club should be happy that this might (will) happen.

Nick Shaw
February 20, 2012 12:20 pm

I think we can all agree that climate change is happening. It is always happening.
One of our central points has been that we spend money in a more judicious manner to address any perceived threats from climate change.
This piece may, conceivably, fall into that category and then they had to go and screw it up!

Bill Jamison
February 20, 2012 12:21 pm

The models “prove” it will happen so it is only a matter of time. After all, reality isn’t important. Only model projections matter.

February 20, 2012 12:27 pm

Thanks for not redacting Flanders’ email address:
For shame: spreading alarm about lower mainland inundation. Maybe talk to John Clague over at SFU about seismically-driven liquefaction of the low-lying delta swamp during a big earthquake, before making up stories of catasrophic sea level rise.
Mike Bromley

Peter Miller
February 20, 2012 12:33 pm

This guy might be right for all the wrong reasons – however, his argument is obviously BS as has been pointed out.
The Vancouver area is in a part of the world which is long overdue for a fairly major earthquake, which could easily raise, or drop, land levels by up to a couple of metres.

geography lady
February 20, 2012 12:40 pm

The climate warming and rising sea levels are the least of that coast’s worry. They are due a mega earthquake, with a mega tsunami. But the land rises and sinks on it’s own because it is part of the subduction zone. The sea levels have risen and sunk after big earthquakes in Indonesia and Japan. The Cascadia region is no different. Some one is looking to get a name for one’s self I think.

February 20, 2012 12:41 pm

..now there’s landscapers wanting a piece of the action too
What next?…next thing you know chefs on the cooking channel are going to say their yeast won’t rise because temps have gone up so much

February 20, 2012 12:43 pm

Lies seem to be OK by the Warmists, as they are extrapolated lies!
Some are even exponential lies………

February 20, 2012 12:44 pm

The sea level rise is not even the 3mm/yr that they are claiming. 2011 showed a significant drop in sea level. For a 1m rise in sea level the Earth is already 72mm behind schedule.

February 20, 2012 12:45 pm

David Flanders is trying to scare Canadians over sea level rise. Only one problem, the math doesn’t work.
Sea level rise is 3.0 millimeters per year 88 years x 3 mm/year = 264 mm or = 10.4 inches in 88 yrs
Flander’s UBC Flounders! Apart from anything else this whole delta region will be liquified (Liquefaction) by the next overdue Earthquake and returned to what it was a massive sea delta and extensive marshland goodby Richmond and Delta and probably a lot more, as any reasonably knowledgeable local will tell you this.
Average house price in Richmond about $1.5+++++ million and it ain’t a small town!

February 20, 2012 12:47 pm

Fortunately there where a lot of Dutch settlers in the Vancouver area. We have lots of experience with dikes and reclaiming land. Downtown the False Creek area. Out in Pitt Meadows, etc. If the land is valuable there will be a huge economic incentive to making sure it is built up and protected. As in fact it already is. Just a matter of continuing the same process!
Of course some of the land in Delta is probably better suited to agriculture than buildings because of the soil liquefaction problems when the Big One hits.

February 20, 2012 12:48 pm

Please take a look at this visualization of sea level rise…
It uses tide gauge data from around the world. And I think you will find it more entertaining than David Flanders’ visualization.
You can take a quiz after you have watched…

February 20, 2012 12:52 pm

You can find the historic Vancouver sea level here. Nothing scary.

February 20, 2012 12:52 pm

I’ve said this before and will repeat again
The daily tidal range along any coastline (difference between low tide and high tide) is on the order of 2-4 feet (about a meter) and much greater in some exceptional locations
Every coast that is said to be “at risk” due to sea-level rise is already getting wet twice a day
There’s scarcely any ice left to melt that would contribute to sea-level rise in the next 50-90 years. Mountain glaciers were smaller during the Medieval Warm and polar ice was substantially reduced, but there’s very little sea-level rise signal in coastal records (AFAIK)

February 20, 2012 12:55 pm

Here is another historic sea level trend for cherry point WA even closer to Delta BC than Vancouver.

February 20, 2012 1:00 pm

In order to get to a rise of 1.2 meters by 2100, the rate of rise would have to immediately increase by a factor of ten and be sustained for 88 years. That would be a rate over half of the highest rate since the end of the Ice Age, when there was over three times as much grounded ice as now, and when global temperature was much higher. We now have less ice to melt, and lower heat with which to melt it. No matter what the models show, real-world observations show rapid sea-level rise is not happening, and won’t happen given current trends. Fortunately we live in the real world, not the model one.

February 20, 2012 1:03 pm

David Flanders
Research Scientist, Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning
Adjunct Faculty, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture


February 20, 2012 1:06 pm

TSAWWASSEN (Town in Southwest part of Delta, BC)

February 20, 2012 1:09 pm

From the NOAA website, sea level rise for Vancouver since 1910 has been a staggering 0.27mm/year, so if that continues, with 88 years to run that would be a whopping increase of about 24mm! For those not schooled in the metric system, 1 inch = 25.4mm. So thats an extra 1176mm of sea level rise to get to 1.2m.
It’s worse than we thought!
The next nearest sea level station gives 0.87mm/year, so 77mm to 2100, or 3 inches. Again, well short of 1.2m

Steve Keohane
February 20, 2012 1:10 pm

GeologyJim says: February 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm
I’ve said this before and will repeat again
The daily tidal range along any coastline (difference between low tide and high tide) is on the order of 2-4 feet (about a meter) and much greater in some exceptional locations
Every coast that is said to be “at risk” due to sea-level rise is already getting wet twice a day

Thanks, I was just wondering what an average tide min to max might be, and how that would compare to the ~0.3 meters sea level rise we might get in a century. Storm surges would also have inundated anywhere likely to be affected by sea level.

Charlie A
February 20, 2012 1:14 pm

Hyperzombie provided some NOAA links to sea level data in the Vancouver/Delta area.
PMSL also has several stations.
See http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/stations/1341.php . Clicking on nearby stations on the map will bring up those plots and data. PMSLdoesn’t calculate and display trend lines like the NOAA site, but it is clear that the trends are all relatively small

February 20, 2012 1:15 pm

It seems the phone contact for David Flanders is his mobile.

February 20, 2012 1:22 pm

I’m not going to defend Flanders’ geovisualisation exercise, but there’s one problem that the critics above haven’t considered that should be factored into the discussion, and that is that it’s a local study in a deltaic setting.
Deltaic sediments gradually consolidate under their own weight. On an undyked river that process of autocompaction is offset by deposition of sediment when the river floods. River dykes curtail flooding, and there is little or no further sediment deposition across the delta surface. The delta surface therefore gradually subsides. The current rate of natural subsidence on the Fraser delta is 1-2 mm per year (Mazzotti et al., 2009, Geology, 37 (9), 771-774). In areas where large structures have recently been built on the surface of that delta the rate of subsidence is in the 3-8 mm per year range. So, even if eustatic sea-level rise rates remain at 2 mm/year for the next century, there could still be hazards associated with local coastal flooding in the Fraser delta (and in other coastal settings where the same conditions apply).

Vince Causey
February 20, 2012 1:30 pm

I never thought I say this, but – “Stupid Flanders!”

February 20, 2012 1:34 pm

Hmm, I happened to have a map of 3 BC tidal gauges from PSMSL. I had mapped them when pursuing a different thought.(Trying to ascertain a global sea level from the tidal gauges.)
I’ve got 3 mapped. One for Vancouver, one for Victoria, and one north for Bella Bella. All show a decrease in sea level from 1981….. though Vancouver only a mm below 1981 levels. The three had their annual reading discontinued in 2009.

Paul Linsay
February 20, 2012 1:36 pm

Daily tidal range at Tsawwassen is about 10 feet. I think they’ll be able to handle any modest sea level rise.

February 20, 2012 1:41 pm

They forgot to add that the catastrophic sea level rise will get worse during full moons. /sarc.

February 20, 2012 1:44 pm

James Sexton says:
February 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm
All show a decrease in sea level from 1981….. though Vancouver only a mm below 1981 levels. The three had their annual reading discontinued in 2009.
Now why was that….I wonder
From what I’ve heard, it’s now averaged, smoothed, extrapolated from Tikai, which shows a slight increase in sea level /snark

February 20, 2012 1:44 pm

Yet another piece of green mega hype.
P.s. The headline had me imagining a good portion of Belgium underwater.

February 20, 2012 1:44 pm

“Combine the sea-level rise with bigger storms, more wind, more waves and high-tide and that’s an enormous amount of…”

Mac the Knife
February 20, 2012 1:45 pm

Delta, BC….Hmmmmmm, what an odd name! It’s almost like the city was named for and built on alluvial deposits at the mouth of a river! Aren’t these ‘silt deposit and brackish tidal slough’ locations historically and notoriously prone to flooding anyway????
//sarc off
When the ‘big one’ (earthquake) hits, Delta could find itself a meter above or below sea level, in less time than it took to type up this short note. That’s what they should really be preparing for….

February 20, 2012 1:46 pm

Does anyone really believe this crap?

February 20, 2012 1:50 pm

(or were all the Ned Flanders comments deleted?)

February 20, 2012 1:53 pm

Posted on February 20, 2012 by Anthony Watts
Current rate of sea level rise is 3 mm per year ….
Not really :
There is a definition of a linear 2.1 mm / year sea level increase, it is NOT a hard measured fact. Nerem et al. 1997 doi: 10.1029/97GL01288. issn: 0094-8276:
„The TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite altimeter mission has measured sea level on a global basis over the last 4 years at 10 day intervals.
After correcting for a recently discovered error in the measurements, the estimated rate of global mean sea level change over this time period is -0.2 mm/year.
Comparisons to tide gauge sea levels measured in spatial and temporal proximity to the satellite measurements suggest there is a residual drift in the satellite measurement system of -2.3+-1.2 mm/year, the origin of which is presently unknown.
Application of this rate correction yields a calibrated estimate of +2.1+-1.3 mm/year for the rate of sea level rise, which agrees statistically with tide gauge observations of sea level change over the last 50 years.

A linear fit of the present sealevel.com data gives a linear increase of about 3.2 mm/year. It would be best to subtract 2.1 mm/year this function from the 3.2 mm/year.
However I have subtract the hole 3.2 mm/year function from the data.
There are sea level oscillations which frequency is equal to the solar tide pattern of Mercury/Earth & Co.; the oscillation is also weak impressed in the GL UAH Temperature.
Conclusion: Sea level is locked to solar tide functions. Sea level is not locked to the CO2 function.

February 20, 2012 1:56 pm

More damming evidence of Flander’s UBC Flounders, he’s like a fish out of water!!
Since 1981 = there has been a sight decrease in sea level – it was 31 years ago to day when Sargent Pepper taught the warmist to play……
Canadian West Coast Tidal Gauge Measurements
by suyts
This post is in response to a WUWT post Flanders fearful flooded fields. As regular readers here know, we looked at the PSMSL tidal gauges in order to see if we could determine a global sea level. Well, we couldn’t because of discontinuities and poor global coverage. But, I recalled looking at certain coastal areas and one of them was the west Canadian coast. Here are 3 tidal gauges in which the annual recordings ended in 2009. I was looking for a global sea level only going back from 1981, so, there are the measurements, in mm, from 1981 to 2009. I believe this is equates with PSMSL’s Coastal Code 822. The number in the “F1” field is the unique identifier for that particular location. I recalled having this available, so I figured I would post this with minimal effort and time. You can find more PSMSL tidal gauge information here.
NOTE: All tidal gauges started with a value of 7000mm.

February 20, 2012 2:05 pm

Latitude says:
February 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm
Now why was that….I wonder
Yeh, very strange….. I’m sure everything is on the up and up……. /snark……
JinOH says:
February 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm
Does anyone really believe this crap?
Just the same gullible, intellectually vacant, critical thinking challanged individuals who believed the HI “confidential memo” was real.

February 20, 2012 2:11 pm
February 20, 2012 2:17 pm

C’mon, folks, maybe read a few posts in this thread before posting….there are now several posts in this thread about natural delta subsidence and subduction-zone seismicity/land movements. OK, OK! And Flanders STILL hasn’t got the message, I’ll bet.

Bruce Friesen
February 20, 2012 2:19 pm

In a land far far away, a long time ago, but actually pretty near Delta, BC, I sat through a presentation by the senior drainage engineer for our city, to our local property owners association. I guess I am telling stories out of school, but: the first slide had the title used by the municipal government for the project – including the words ‘climate change’ – bit of a chuckle from the presenter “helps get the money if you use the right words”, laughter from the audience, and me thinking, yes, reassuring to know the professionals have their heads straight.
Lots of good comments in the posts above. The presentation did indeed note deltaic settlement, earthquake subsidence, and tsunami exposure as the immediate concerns. Sea level rise was acknowledged, treated as long term, and to be addressed as needed. In the meantime, decisions are required for conditions around building permits for new homes, and progressive enhancement of existing dykes. No one in the audience needed a ‘visualization’ to understand the presentation or the situation. The presenter did not need a ‘visualization’.
Frankly, I do not know who Dr Flanders’ new tool is intended to help.
p.s. with my own driveway at msl+4m, I am sitting pretty!

February 20, 2012 2:27 pm

Oops, not discontinued in 2009, but rather the annual data d/c in 2010……

Jay Davis
February 20, 2012 2:29 pm

When I read “dykes” and “Considerable infrastructure has been built below current … high water levels” my first thought is that whoever lives BELOW the water level is an idiot and deserves to be flooded. Mother Nature has a good track record of defeating man’s attempts at thwarting her. Stop throwing away money.

Fred from Canuckistan
February 20, 2012 2:34 pm

The local media here is flogging the heck of the fear mongering professor’s prognostications.
Not one journalist so far has actually asked him the current rate of sea level actually happening and how it relates to the models hysterical outputs.
Probably related to the AAAS Meeting that has been happening here in Vancouver. I was downtown last Friday and walked around the Convention Center, checking out the various scheduled meetings,
Many many sessions on “Ahhhhh Climate Change, What We Should Do As Scientists So We Won’t All Die” listed.
Hansen was even in town on Sunday I heard . . . . none of my tomatoes were ripe so I stayed home.

February 20, 2012 3:00 pm

Maybe we should relocate all climate researchers into those endangered coastal areas. There’s reason to believe they are so stupid that they won’t move away from the slowly rising water and drown in about a foot of it.

February 20, 2012 3:03 pm

” We’re done for, we’re done-diddly done for, we’re done-diddly-doodily, done diddly-doodily, done diddly-doodly, done diddly-doodily!”
Oops sorry wrong Flanders (aka Ned)

February 20, 2012 3:12 pm

Stupidity continues, from the unversity whose physics department is promoting “post-normal science” under the guise of educating people about climate science.
But I question all th ose who say that normal tidal range is more than a projected sea level rise. So what?
Isn’t the tidal range about the seal level? IE, if sea level rises, globally of course, then the risk of getting wet increases. And the opposite if sea level declines, as it did on the BC coast long ago for quite a while.
Subsidence is a different matter, as it is local thus even if there is no change in sea level there is a problem or benefit.
Some Pacific islands may be falling, or rising.
Local shorelines may fall or rise, as happened on a small scale in Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island BC in the late 1940s due to an earthquake – a 15 foot drop west of Youbou was not a good thing for the tribal village there.
(I don’t know why a tribal village on the west shore of Esquimalt harbour in BC was flooded long ago. I know stuff happens.)

February 20, 2012 3:29 pm

Jay Davis says:
February 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm
When I read “dykes” and “Considerable infrastructure has been built below current … high water levels” my first thought is that whoever lives BELOW the water level is an idiot and deserves to be flooded. Mother Nature has a good track record of defeating man’s attempts at thwarting her. Stop throwing away money.

I live below sea-level, and with me several million more.

February 20, 2012 3:34 pm

You can find the historic Vancouver sea level here. Nothing scary.
David Flanders, like a certain Stephen Sheppard from the same UBC, is among the type of freshly minted specialists who, under the smoke and mirror concept of “environmental landscaping”, are increasingly gaining undue influence in municipal politics. Stealth green candidates who managed to get elected on municipal councils without declaring their allegiance create ad hoc commissions with “concerned citizens” i.e. local activists who invite these kinds of “experts” so the conveniently assembled lobby can produce alarmist reports then sold to council.
The level of garbage found in those reports is only matched by the incompetence of those who vote for action based on them, all this at taxpayers’ expense.
Finally Flanders, and recently John Clague are ignoring the reality: the NOAA tide gauge link is clear so are, at the global level, the measurements from Envisat, the most technologically advanced altimetry satellite launched by the Europeans, showing a trend of 0.754 millimeter per year, well below the Topex, Jason rates (in fact, legitimizing Axel-Morner claims) . Should that rate remain constant, Vancouver’s shorelines would face a 6.6 cm sea level rise in 2100! Frightening, NOT!
Clague is a recent convert to this entire cinema. Perhaps the long wait for the Cascadia quake was not providing enough justification for employment…
UBC and U Vic are becoming centers of academic propaganda when it comes to climate issues. Is the GSC next?

Steve C
February 20, 2012 3:47 pm

When I hear that Netherlanders in general (not just Flanders 🙂 are getting seriously worried about rising sea level, then I’ll accept that it’s becoming a problem. Until then … not.

February 20, 2012 4:05 pm

Here’s the “official” statement from the appropriate Canadian federal agency on the same topic:
Scroll down past the salmon story. Note the map showing areas of deltaic subsidence. Historic patterns of relative sea-level (RSL) change from tide gauges (e.g. Vancouver, Tsawwassen, Cherry Point, etc.) that are located on nearby “stable” terrain need to be adjusted by 1-2 mm per year to account for the subsidence in the delta area.
For those of you who argue that coseismic deformation during the next Cascadia mega-quake may change RSL by a metre or two, and that this will dwarf any climatically driven change, note that this only applies near the plate junction (i.e. along the OUTER coast, from California to central-western Vancouver Island). There’s likely to be very little change in land elevation (and therefore in RSL) in the vicinity of the Strait of Georgia-Puget Sound.

February 20, 2012 4:05 pm

When the water level reaches the top of the Horseshoe Bay boat launch then I will wonder whats happening. Been launching from the same area on the ramp for 55 years now depending on tides. Can get slippery at low tide. Almost launched the truck with the boat one day.

Steve Oregon
February 20, 2012 4:24 pm

“the visualizations are the only way that you can tell the complete story”
“seeing really is believing”
“They help community members understand”
This is a waste of money and total BS being misrepresented evidence.
The story of what? Believing what? Understanding what?
The story of using fossil fuels will flood their community?
Seeing pictures of flooding will make people believe in AGW?
Understanding that it’s hard to live in a house that’s been flooded?
“Other communities around the globe could gain insight from this on how to address their own local concerns, whether it’s sea level rise, forest fire risk, changing snow pack, or other issues.”
No they won’t. There isn’t any insight to be gained at all.
What is “address their local concerns” supposed to mean?
The only thing it will provide is more bullshat for local bureaucrats to produce more of their local useless crap to present.

February 20, 2012 4:30 pm

James and Latitude, please show some respect for poor landscaper.

Steve Oregon
February 20, 2012 4:35 pm

This is all no more than a complete scam to provide the planning arena endless busy work.
Bureaucracy after bureaucracy will get involved and produce mountains of thoroughly useless
Here’s a perfect example of what they will be producing with endless millions of tax dollars for years to come.

40 Shades of Green
February 20, 2012 4:40 pm

I love the tropical sunset and palm trees in the background of your graphics.
Have you gone over to the dark side and borrowed Willis’ Mac?

Jay Davis
February 20, 2012 4:55 pm

Robert, if you and others like you want to live below sea level, that’s fine with me. Just don’t complain about flooding, and don’t expect the taxpayers to bail (pun intended) you out in the event of flooding. You assume the risk.

Robert of Ottawa
February 20, 2012 4:55 pm

The famous poem “In Flander’s Fields” was written by a Canadian, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. But that was based upon fact.

John F. Hultquist
February 20, 2012 4:59 pm

If I were in the business of writing proposals to spend other people’s money I would request funding to study ice depletion by elevation and latitude. When H2O that was sequestered in land ice for hundreds or thousands of years melts, presumably sea level will rise. Such land ice at lower elevations and/or lower latitudes ought to melt before land ice at higher elevations and/or higher latitudes. Additionally, we can, I think, accept that there is altogether less ice left to melt on land than there once was. So, there is less ice to melt and it is in places where it does not melt so easily.
The UAH global temperature chart does not show a warming trend (cherry-pick dates and you can show that it does), and is (for January) below the long term average. The red line (24 month G. average) in the chart embedded in the post is slightly declining recently, as expected, based on the conjecture in the first paragraph.
If you are in the business of writing proposals to spend other people’s money, feel free to jump on this issue. [Can you put enough in your travel budget for me to visit Iceland? Thanks.]

Gordon Ford
February 20, 2012 5:01 pm

I would grade this report a F-. The author failed the most basic test, He didn’t “ground truth” his findings with real world data which is available with a click of a mouse. As a graduate of UBC (1964) it pains me that this sort of bunmf is allowed off campus.
My yard ends on Ganges Harbour, an arm of the Pacific Ocean, and since we bought the property in 1988 I’ve not noted any systematic change is sea level.
On the other hand we have earth quake insurance.

February 20, 2012 5:05 pm

“Flanders fearful flooded fields flounders fabulously”…
When will this failed CAGW theory be thrown on the trash heap of history?
CAGW models projections are already over 2 standard deviations off from empirical observations, yet this failed CAGW theory continues on like the Eveready Bunny…
Climategates 1 & 2 (among other opportunities) offered politicians a graceful exit, and yet they failed to capitalize on these golden opportunities and decided, rather, to doubled down…
Will it take the UN building being under a mile of ice before politicians decide to give up on this ridiculous hoax?
It’s so frustrating.
Anyway, keep up the excellent work WUWT!
The truth will set you free, but in the interim, it’ll drive you nuts…

February 20, 2012 5:13 pm

Reiterating what has already been said, there is a definite risk of sea level rise in that area. Fukushima Prefecture saw a permanant 40 cm rise recently… and that happened at a much faster rate than 3 mm/yr.
Fukushima Prefecture, Japan – Next to a subduction zone capable of megathrust quakes.
Delta British Columbia, Canada – Next to a subduction zone capable of megathrust quakes.

February 20, 2012 5:33 pm
Dave in Delaware
February 20, 2012 5:45 pm

In Flander’s fields sea waters flow,
beneath the satellites, tide gauges row.

February 20, 2012 5:51 pm

From the link Hutch provided: “It is important that coastal communities and governments at all levels be aware of these projected changes and potential impacts when planning coastal infrastructure and land use. To this end, Fisheries and Oceans Canada research scientist Dr. Richard Thomson of the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, British Columbia, led a study on projected sea level change in the province. Among the study’s findings:
•Based on present rates of sea level rise and a projected 30 cm rise in mean eustatic sea level (global scale changes in mean sea level due to changes in the volume of water in the ocean) during the 21st century, Vancouver, Victoria and Prince Rupert are predicted to undergo a mean relative sea level rise of 20 to 30 cm by 2100, while a rise of 50 cm is predicted for the Fraser River Delta region. These estimates are up to 70 cm higher when one includes the possibility that rapid ice sheet melting will cause a 100 cm increase in global mean sea levels by 2100”
This is of course pure BS considering measurements from ENVISAT 0.754 mm/year… as for subsidence of deltas this is well known and has been for quite a while. Regardless of the fearmongering, irresponsible politicians have allowed extensive development in zones notoriously prone to flooding even with a small variation. Just like floodplain development, we did not wait the global warming alarmism to know for a fact it is a bad idea to urbanize floodplains. Thomson is simply recycling IPCC BS and no one is updating… how convenient!

chris y
February 20, 2012 6:03 pm

NOAA Tides and Currents provides the sea level trends measured in the region around Vancouver, BC-
Prince Rupert: +1.1 mm/yr, +/- 0.3 mm/yr
Vancouver, BC: +0.3 mm/yr, +/- 0.3 mm/yr
Victoria, BC: +0.6 mm/yr, +/- 0.2 mm/yr
Tofino, BC: -1.7 mm/yr, +/- 0.3 mm/yr
Average sea level rise in Vancouver region is +0.1 mm/yr, +/- 0.5 mm/yr.
In other words, zilch.
Time to rise 1.2 meters = many, many millenia.

February 20, 2012 7:25 pm

Well this doom and gloom made the Vancouver BCTV news tonight. Mike Killeen the anchor desk reporter as evidenced from past announcements has swallowed the warmers mantra hook line and sinker. This is after all the home of de-smog, Andrew Weaver and Davide Suzuki. Also British Columbia has a carbon tax but at the same time will sell all the oil, natural gas and coal it can.
With the AAAS meeting in Vancouver the media up here has been trotting out one doom and gloom announcement after another, nothing on Heartland. Oh Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria a bastian of warmers says burning of the worlds coal will raise the worlds temperature by 15c. Must be true, he said it and the media reported it.

February 20, 2012 7:26 pm

Sorry Chris y, but you can’t mix data from three distinct tectonic environments on the Pacifc NW coast to estimate an average sea-level change rate for the Fraser River delta. Prince Rupert is in northern BC, well beyond the limits of the Cascadia subduction zone in an area of translational (or perhaps oblique subduction) tectonics; Tofino is on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and, like its neighbours to the south (the tide gauges at Bamfield and Neah Bay) is currently subject to a regime of interseismic uplift (typically ~15 mm of uplift per year?). Vancouver and Victoria are far “inboard” of the deformation front associated with the Cascadia interplate boundary, and are apparently being uplifted at a rate far less than that of the outer coast of Vancouver Island. These two gauges gauges probably (along with neighbouring Friday Harbor, etc.) allow a closer approximation of the relative sea-level (RSL) trend in the vicinity of the Fraser River delta. But, as I’ve pointed out above, the pile of sediments that comprises the Fraser delta is subsiding, so the rate of RSL increase there is greater than that in the adjacent “stable” areas.

February 20, 2012 7:36 pm

Oops–the average rate of interseismic uplift on the west coast of Vancouver Island is about 1.5 mm per year, NOT 15!

February 20, 2012 8:09 pm

The public is slaughtering the MSM in Vancouver for reporting this obvious computer model BS.
[Reply: Linky goodness would be nice. ~dbs, mod.]

Shanghai Dan
February 20, 2012 8:20 pm

Hmmm… My own little take on sea levels in that area. Interesting that over a 140 km long window, we go from a falling sea level to a rising sea level.
Huh – maybe all that talk about geologic instabilities in the Pacific Northwest and earthquakes and such is really true?
Nah – Global Warming!

February 20, 2012 8:22 pm

@Jay Davis
Perhaps you should learn a thing or two about the Netherlands, first of all it is not called the Netherlands for nothing, the other name Holland refers to a older age when most of the Netherlands where still covered with dense woodlands (Hol or Hout wich translates as wood).
The safest river delta on this planet, we have been working on this since the middle ages, but if it goes wrong in the once in a 10.000 year storm than it will go wrong spectacular, think about the 11 march 2011 Tohoku earthquake, but then for us it will be a flooding,
Oh and I live inside dijkring 14.and the YT movie is a part from an excellent Dutch series named “The Netherlands from above” (Nederland van boven).

February 20, 2012 8:24 pm

The “Nederland van boven” youtube channel

February 20, 2012 8:48 pm

Sorry they have removed the story and have a replacement without the comment section option.

February 20, 2012 8:53 pm
Paul Vaughan
February 20, 2012 9:23 pm

ctv.ca carried the story:
“Future floods could leave much of Delta under water”

In the article they reference this story – which was in the news yesterday:
“Coal, not oilsands, causes global warming: study”
“One of the world’s top climate scientists has calculated that emissions from Alberta’s oilsands are unlikely to make a big difference to global warming and that the real threat to the planet comes from burning coal.
“I was surprised by the results of our analysis,” said Andrew Weaver, a University of Victoria climate modeller, who has been a lead author on two reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “I thought it was larger than it was.””
“Burning all the oil in the world would only raise temperatures by less than one degree, the paper concludes.”
“In contrast, the paper concludes that burning all the globe’s vast coal deposits would create a 15-degree increase in temperature. Burning all the abundant natural gas would warm the planet by more than three degrees.”
“When only commercially viable oilsands deposits are considered, the temperature increase is only .03 degrees C.”

Paul Vaughan
February 20, 2012 10:23 pm

Very Important: Any idea why ~1924-1940 data are missing?

This page has data links for a long list of tide gauge stations worldwide:
This is a very useful resource for studying natural variability.

February 20, 2012 10:31 pm

Paul Vaughan, CTV and the Globe and Mail are Thomson Reuters owned… and Sir Crispin Tickell of climategate fame is a trustee of the Woodbridge Company, investment arm of the Thomson Reuters Foundation… So anything alarmist is their bread and butter.
The funny part regarding the Weaver paper is that he used to be THE official go to IPCC climatologist in Canada, especially for the Globe and Mail… and yet now according to the nature of readers comments, the green crowd is not enjoying this study at all…
Are they going to dig some dirt on him now? LOL

February 20, 2012 10:42 pm

From the Vancouver Sun article by Scott Simpson:
“Doing nothing is not an option at all,” Flanders said, adding that he expects the municipality to adopt a mix of options in lieu of a single solution.”
LOL, of course doing nothing would mean NO consulting contracts on top of the UBC salary…
“SFU’s Clague said the sea level may be changing more rapidly than it has in several thousand years, and its historic stability has given people around the world the mistaken impression that it’s not prone to dramatic change.”
Clague is not GSC, my mistake. He is SFU, the same outfit than O surprise, Mark Jaccard of BC Carbon Tax fame! Unless the journalist is misattributing him, he should be ashamed of making such false statement. Tides Gauge in Vancouver and the latest ENVISAT CNES/ESA/LEGOS/CLS is showing NO acceleration and at 0.752 mm/y prove him wrong.
Postmedia is truly becoming as much a shill as Globemedia.

February 20, 2012 11:43 pm

Tonight’s news broadcast, about the rising sea levels. Clague and Flanders make the sales pitch.
(1:39 mins)
Protecting BC coastline from rising tides
Mon, Feb 20 – Some of the world’s top scientists are warning that sea levels could rise faster than first believed.

February 21, 2012 4:37 am

Do they assume that people don’t realize that living next to a river or on the coast has problems or don’t they, themselves, realize this. The “elevated first floor” that is seen as some portent was common along the Mississippi River near New Orleans prior to levees and is somewhat common on the bayous. If you didn’t, you flooded. Beach houses built along the North Carolina coast (and elsewhere, I presume) had elevated first stories to handle rising water and storms. Many houses have been built without this along the coast. Some relatives got flooded out this year in a hurricane. They did what they have done for decades: all the valuable papers were moved inland before the storm came and the house was cleaned and restored after the storm. No whining about global warming and rising seas.
I find it hard to believe that anyone regards as creditable research saying that if you live near rivers and oceans that you may have problems with storms and water. Sort of states the obvious.

Paul Vaughan
February 21, 2012 5:43 am

Do you know why ~1924-1940 data are missing? This could be QUITE important – not about politics, but rather about natural variation — thanks if you have ANY info on this.

February 21, 2012 6:26 am

“He notes that “many individuals seeing the images for the first time had a very emotional response.””
I think that’s a key phrase to note. It’s not about the science. It’s not about reason and thoughtful contemplation. It’s about emotion. Rather telling.

February 21, 2012 6:57 am

The most terrified rule in the world is the ‘Rule of three’. An example: “One climate scientist needs four hours for the New York City Marathon. Question: How long need three climate scientists?”
OK. This is not a case for the ‘Rule of Three’. But because some people talk about school children and a suggested deny bias of the WUWT community, here is one of the ‘terrified’ logic on the level of school children:
Question: What is the increase of the sea level h in 102 years in [mm]?
Rule of three
1. The increasing quotient a of the global temperature (hadcrut3) from 1900 AD to 2002 AD is (0.6757° Cel. / 102) a = 0.006625° Cel. per year.
2. The relevant world sea water volume increase for about 1000 m deepness is ~23 mm per 0.1 ° Cel. (@ 19° Cel.) from the property of water.
3. The increase of the sea level h in 102 years is (0.006625° Cel. * 102 y * 23 mm / 0.1° Cel.) = 155.4 mm.
Check: Mean sea level increasing (1900-2002) from San Francisco is 1.47 mm per year or 149.9 mm for the whole time interval.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
February 21, 2012 7:20 am

From the press release and picture captions, total usage of “dike”, singular or plural:
5 times.
Total usage of “dyke”, singular or plural:
One time only.
“Historically, the municipality has used dykes to protect the land from flooding and tides – a common strategy used by coastal communities.”
Given the rarity and the context of that spelling, would it be childish and immature of me to suggest there was some Freudian slippage involving a certain common slang meaning of that particular spelling?
I sure hope so, I’d hate to think I got too old and stuffy to give that a deserving smirk. 😉

February 21, 2012 7:44 am

I do not sorry.

Larry Butler
February 21, 2012 7:48 am

SAVE DELTA, BC! Divert all the funding for so-called “climate science” to raising Delta, BC above the climate modelers’ maximum sea level guesses until further notice!
Delta will probably look a little “odd” perched up there on the cliff overlooking the Pacific, but, that’s not important compared to saving the people and the landscaping contractors!
As climate science will starve, not only will Delta be saved from the 100 meter tsunami sure to come in the next 50,000 years, but all this useless NOISE will stop and we can all have some peace!

Jay Davis
February 21, 2012 8:20 am

Robert, I have nothing but admiration for the courage of the Dutch, and was fortunate to be able to tour the Oosterscheldekering just after its completion. However, as I stated above, and the residents of the Netherlands know only too well, Mother Nature has a long, successful track record of overcoming man’s attempts to thwart her.

February 21, 2012 10:37 am

British Columbia’s coasts are more likely to be affected by tectonic activity.
Japanese quake an ominous portent for B.C. coast ‘megaquake’

February 21, 2012 11:24 am

PSMSL’s site has much information on their data, such as http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/.
There is a conference in London UK in late March in which PSMSL is participating to some extent, they refer to this session: http://www.planetunderpressure2012.net/session_woodworth.asp.
That web site refers to Rio+20, a “sustainable development” conference. “Sustainable development” is green facism, based on a negative view of humans leading to a presumption that humans cannot conserve nor develop substitutes – a notion rebutted in books like The Doomsday Myth, which chronicles cases of predicted shortages that did not occur, even in the face of government force .(Like Brazil’s attempt to prevent export of rubber plants to limit use of an uncontrolled resource – plants were just growing in the jungle, which failed. Some plants were exported, and people farmed rubber in SE Asia.)

February 21, 2012 11:38 am

Background on Delta B.C.
Obviously named for the delta of the large Fraser River, part of it and south Surrey is low due that and a small river or two flowing into Mud Bay/Boundary Bay, part of both are high ground. (The community of Tsawassen
In the low community of Ladner, as in the similar city of Richmond to the north across an arm of the Fraser, dykes and pumping systems are standard. In recent decades both have been improved, Circa the 1980s Ladner went from a 1 in 10 years probability of flooded streets to something like 1 in 50, I don’t know if what it is today. I think Richmond spent money to ensure redundancy of pumps.
I’ve seen winter high water on the other side of the dyke there, a sobering realization. “Nature to be commanded must be obeyed.” said Francis Bacon, oft repeated by Ayn Rand.
Most of the “Fraser River Valley” to beyond Chilliwack is flood prone, some years farmland and a bit of housing.gets flooded. Dykes are slowly being improved.
As for a specific Dutch connection, there’s a reclaimed area near Chilliwack, through which the “Vedder Canal” flows. And immigrants from Holland also settled in the area of Lynden WA, geographically similar but not close to the big river.
The whole system could be improved for general reasons, not for sea level rise that is not happening at anything more than a very very slow rate. Build or buy in lowland, as I have in the past, and you put yourself at risk
…. Keith, living in earthquake country close to the ocean. 😉

February 21, 2012 2:33 pm

@ Cam-S:
Indeed as I mentioned in my first post, Sheppard is also behind this fearmongering… When Clague is claiming 3mm/y as a “low ball estimate”, he is simply lying through his teeth.
Envisat the latest satellite is at 0.752mm/y… notice how when chosing all missions, envisat’s curve is in yellow, barely visible… One wonders if they will try to calibrate envisat onto Jason to get rid of the problem, you know some correction well buried in the code…
As for the SFU, UBC activists, these guys have found a way to get consulting fees from taxpayers through fearmongering uneducated politicians, through the stealth lobbying of green councilors, who suddenly panic about the whole affair. It’s bonanza for builders and developers as well since public money is going to be spent to redevelop huge areas.
This is a scam. Check images of Vancouver Stanley Park 100 years ago and now…

February 21, 2012 2:41 pm

@ Cam-S
Envisat 0.752 mm/y not the 3mm/y low ball BS by Clague! Notice how Envisat’s curve is barely readable in yellow when plotting all missions… inconvenient… They may even try to bury some new algorythm to get rid of the inconvenient data…
Saw the Global TV coverage… As guessed in my first post, Sheppard is in the mix…
These guys figured out a way to get consulting fees and who knows perhaps developers subsidies for their departments by frightening uneducated politicians -I have seen the Bull Sheppard spreads- through lobbying by stealth green councilors to divert taxpayers money towards developers and juicy contracts. Meanwhile any storm will provide the “we told you so” forgetting about the history of their own cities…
Check photos from Vancouver 100 years ago…
This is a scam.

4 eyes
February 21, 2012 4:11 pm

Whoopee – so there’s no perfect solution. What an earth shattering conclusion. 2 more things. This publication confuses the “is it happening?” with the “what will happen if it happens?”. Of course, to justify all his work he has to believe it will happen. Secondly, it shows how silly it is to allow any form of development at or near sea level regardless of climate change, tectonic activity, etc

February 21, 2012 11:10 pm

I’m betting on the big one to hit the Lower Mainland first. Hopefully not while I’m visiting.
Climate modelling. Nice work if you can write a good grant application.

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