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AAAS-SFU research: Chilling climate-change related news

A presentation at the world's largest science fair by a Simon Fraser University earth sciences professor promises to make the skin crawl of even the most ardent disbelievers of the predicted impacts of climate change.

John Clague will explain the impact of climate change on historical sea level changes off the Pacific Northwest in his talk Impacts of Rising Seas on the British Columbia Coast in the 21st Century.

Clague is delivering his talk during Causes and Effects of Relative Sea-Level Changes in the Northeast Pacific, a seminar at the 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference. It's at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Clague's talk is on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. in Room 109, VCC West Building.

Clague will draw on his and other studies to explain why "no low-lying coastline in the Pacific Northwest will be unaffected by an expected climate-change driven five-metre rise in coastal sea levels globally."

"Flooding and erosion may be exacerbated by changes in storminess in the warmer climate that is anticipated later in the century," says Clague. The Royal Society of Canada member has more than 500 peer-reviewed research papers to his credit.

"Unfortunately, sections of the coast of northwest North America that are most vulnerable to flooding and erosion are those that support the largest human populations and infrastructure.

"Specifically, they are the southern and central Strait of Georgia, Juan de Fuca Strait and the Pacific coast of Washington. In contrast, sparsely populated, steep rocky shorelines that constitute most of the British Columbia coast will be much less affected."

Clague will explain how warming ocean water and melting glaciers are combining with climate change to create the perfect storm in terms of flooding and erosion that threaten life and property.

Contact: Carol Thorbes
Simon Fraser University

Page: 1

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