Presentations across P.E.I. explain impact of rising sea levels

The UPEI Climate Research Lab is going on the road to give presentations across the Island about sea-level rise.

UPEI lab hoping to raise awareness of what happens when sea levels rise two or three metres

Predicted sea levels have risen sharply, going from one metre to between two and three metres, which could have big impacts on P.E.I. (Submitted by Parks Canada )

The UPEI Climate Research Lab is going on the road to give presentations across the Island about rising sea levels.

The goal is to increase awareness about the consequences of sea-level rise, coastal erosion and storm surges, according to lab director Adam Fenech.

He said scientists studying sea-level rise have predicted about a one metre rise in sea levels over the next 100 years.

But recently, those predictions have become higher — and that could have serious consequences for P.E.I.

"Recent science has changed those predictions, they've increased quite significantly to three metres over the next hundred years," he said. "That might not sound like much but once we get about one and a half, two metres sea-level rise, that's a global average, our Island … becomes three islands."

Fenech said the tour is going to communities that could be most affected by the changes.

Adam Fenech, director of the UPEI Climate Research Lab, says rising sea levels would affect low lying areas of the Island the most. (UPEI)

"We are quite low-lying — flat sandbar, is essentially what P.E.I. is," he said. "There are particular areas, one being at the top of the Hillsborough River and the other being around Summerside across to Malpeque Bay, there are some areas that are particularly low lying and so without protection or without putting a bridge or a causeway, they're going to cover over with water if the sea levels rise by two metres."

The presentations will also allow the public to ask questions and discuss how sea-level rise might affect them.

The tour is going to Lennox Island, Tyne Valley, North Rustico and Bothwell between Feb. 16 and Mar. 6.