Sea Level Rise

Educating Coastal Communities About Sea-level Rise

The ECoAS Project

Carters Point, NS

In Carters Point, how high above today’s sea levels do new and existing buildings need to be located to prepare for sea-level rise? This is called the vertical allowance.

In 2100 under the high emissions scenario (RPC8.5) you will have to build your coastal infrastructure this high above current water levels.

More communities:

In Atlantic Canada, sea levels are rising whether we like it or not. So, when building new community infrastructure like wharves or schools or even building a new home or shed on your property, it is important to take sea-level rise into consideration.


The relative sea-level rise projections and vertical allowance values shown in the diagram on the left provide a starting point for future planning. Vertical allowances for each decade are very similar to the relative sea-level rise projections for each decade, but increase faster because they account for the uncertainty of sea-level rise projections as time goes on.


Relative sea-level rise is the amount of sea-level change that will be seen in a specific location While scientists know what causes sea-level rise, what is uncertain is how we, as a population, are going to behave when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, which cause climate change. For this reason two different


Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) are provided: RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5. RCP 4.5 is an intermediate emission scenario and RCP 8.5 is a high emission scenario.


Vertical allowance is the amount, above current sea levels, that new coastal infrastructure needs to be built to prepare for future changes in sea level. These allowance values do not include the potential heights of future extreme water levels, so by taking these values into consideration, your coastal infrastructure will be at the same flooding risk that it is at today.


To see relative sea-level rise and vertical allowance values for over 650 communities in Atlantic Canada, visit the Canadian Extreme Water Level Adaptation Tool (CAN-EWLAT).


How to use CAN-EWLET.

The ECoAS Project

project partners:

Ecology Action Centre Fisheries and Oceans Canada

© 2016