Vancouver Underwater?

July 23, 2009

First Boston, now Vancouver.  According to the Times Colonist in Victoria, Canada, the folks in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island are in dire danger of sea level rise catastrophe.  They report:

“The spectre of rising sea levels and ecological change from climate disruption show land-use plans for Vancouver Island and the B.C. coast will need to be revisited and recalibrated to account for rapid and unabated climate change.”

“‘Once set in motion, sea-level rise is impossible to stop. The only chance we have to limit sea-level rise to manageable levels is to reduce emissions very quickly, early in this century. Later it will be too late to do much,’ says senior NASA scientist Stefan Rahmstorf in a recent article for the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs.”

Really?  Here is 100 years worth of sea level rise data from the B.C. capital, Victoria, on Vancouver Island (Click on graphs to see full graph in its original context):

The sea level rise rate has not changed in Victoria in the last 100 years, even though CO2 levels have gone from about 290 ppm to about 380 ppm today.  Most of that CO2 increase occurred in the last 50 years.  You can see the danger that Victoria is in – I guess we better change the economy of the world in order to save them.  At the current rise rate the sea will rise 8cm (about 3 inches) in the next 100 years. 

If things are too scary in Victoria, then the folks living there might consider emigrating to the city of Vancouver, on the mainland about 50 miles north of Victoria.  They might feel better with the sea level rise rate there…

At the city of Vancouver the sea level has risen a whopping 3.7 (1.5 inches) cm in the last 100 years, and it doesn’t seem to be accelerating. 

But some of the folks in Victoria may not want to move to the mainland, preferring to stay on Vancouver Island.  If so, they could stay on the Island and move about 100 miles northwest to Tofino where they might finally feel safe from the terror of rising seas…

Alas, in Tofino the good people of Vancouver Island might have to contend with a dropping sea level.  At a rate of minus 1.59 mm per year, the ocean would drop 15.9 cm (about 6 inches) in the next 100 years. This dropping sea level might even be worse than a rising sea level, drying out estuaries and wetlands. Everybody knows the only safe sea level is a static sea level.

But seriously folks…

The rate of sea level rise varies form place to place and depends on a lot of factors.  Changes in ice inventories, currents, and geological effects, such as glacial isostatic adjustment all contribute and are worthy of study and measurement.  But they should no be used to foster panic for political ends.

Any serious discussion of the effect of sea level rise in Vancouver Island or the British Columbia sea coast would have to include  the data I have shown above.  So why isn’t this data even mentioned in the Times Colonist article?  You would think a journalist who is seeking the truth, wherever it may lead, would manage to find this data.  But it turns out that the author of the article is not a journalist, but rather Chris Genovali, the executive director of Raincoast Conservation.  Chris Genovali is probably a fine person, and Raincoast Conservation may be a fine organization – I don’t know.  But Genovali is not an objective person when it comes to the issue of sea-level rise in British Columbia or Vancouver Island.


  1. Excellent.
    But not unexpected.
    The underlying AGW premise – that we are facing a grave climate peril- is false.
    So any prediction made from it is very likely to be incorrect. Most scientists now working on climate related issues uncritically accept the premise of AGW. So we should not be surprised that they produce flawed predictions.
    Journalism coverage of AGW related issues suffer from uncritical acceptance of the AGW premise as well. What is uncritically accepted is not going to be critically analyzed.

  2. Junk reporting! Stefan Rahmstorf sometimes posts on a global warming alarmist site which includes Gavin Smith, who is actually employed at NASA.

    He is a German, mathematically challenged oceanologist, pushing sea level alarmism from Potsdam University.

    His sea level projection is fraught with mathematical machinations which he falsely dresses into “newly found” techniques.

    Here is a link if you can handle the math


    Don’t buy flood insurance yet if you live in Vancouver

  3. “A journalist seeking the truth” – you’re a very funny guy!

  4. I fail to see indications that those factors have not been considered by the conservationists. They’re looking at salmon runs, mostly, in the article — and icthyologists have already documented the processes the conservationists claim we should be seeing.

    Is it your claim that the salmon have been misled by reading the newspaper?

    Assume for a moment that sea level rise will be less than the article assumes (which is pretty slow, really) — how would that change the salmon issues?

  5. […] Sanity « Vancouver Underwater? Salmon and Sea-Level August 8, 2009 I recently wrote about  the alarmist claim that sea […]

  6. These calculations are all wrong. What these people are doing is using the simplest formulas to come to a desired outcome. The truth is that global warming affects all the world systems and not just one or two of them. These systems then affect each other. CO2 in the atmosphere keeps the warmth in and the more there is then the warmer it gets. Warm water takes up more volume than cold water. Polar ice caps will completely melt in the next 20 years or less. Glaciers also are melting at an accelerating pace. Nitrogen is causing micro organisms to release even more CO2 into the atmosphere. Nitrogen is given off from burning fossil fuels. The ocean levels will not only rise a couple of feet, it will in fact rise 30 feet or more.
    Don’t trust the Government studies on this. The Government is too interested in money gains than they are in the interests of the people.
    There is a procedure that separates water into its two gases, Hydrogen (a clean fuel) and Oxygen (the byproduct). It’s called electrolysis.
    The government knows about this but since water is a free source (it falls from the sky) the government is unwilling to use it They prefer to burn dirty fossil fuels which they can then charge people for purchasing. If you wish to blame anyone then you might try pointing your fingers at the right group of people. The Rich ones.
    In the end, we will lose many coastal cities and land masses within the next 20 years. There will be some major changes in the world map and those that stand to prosper will continue to lie to the people so that they can continue to get rich. There is a very good chance that we will still be burning fossil fuels in twenty years.

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