Vancouver At Risk Of Disappearing Underwater As Canada's Glaciers Continue To Shrink
It could happen much sooner than expected.
Climate change is accelerating the melt of glaciers in Canada's high Arctic region, which is causing a dramatic rise in sea levels across the planet. As a result, several places are at risk of submersion, including parts of British Columbia.
Vancouver, in particular, is threatened by the thermal expansion of ocean water. According to The Weather Network, over 250,000 people in the city currently live within one metre of mean sea level. By 2100, the melting glaciers could cause the sea level to rise between 0.2 to 2 metres, which would effectively put parts of the city underwater.
"In a worst-case scenario where temperatures warm 4 degrees Celsius by 2100, highways, neighbourhoods, and airports will be underwater, Stanley Park will be an island, and salt water will reach beyond South Surrey," writes Isabella O'Malley, climate change reporter for The Weather Network.
Richmond and Delta are also only one metre above sea level, with only a 49-kilometre dike network protecting them from possible flooding. But as sea levels continue break records, there's a chance that both cities will be completely submerged and relocation will be necessary.
A recent study published in the Journal of Glaciology by researchers at the University of Ottawa found that over 1,800 sq. km. of high Arctic glaciers had shrank as much as 6% over a 16-year period, with some having disappeared altogether.
According to lead researcher Adrienne White, Canada is one of the world's most glaciated regions and it's warming at one of the fastest rates compared to anywhere else in the world.