Understanding and Assessing Impacts
In Surrey, rising average temperatures and more frequent and intense rainfall events have already been observed, and are expected to continue on that trajectory. In British Columbia, the University of Victoria’s Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC) delivers high quality climate data, analysis and interpretation to local governments and other stakeholders. City of Surrey also collects extensive weather data which assists the City in corroborating projections, undertaking finer-grained analyses and recognizing emerging trends. Climate projections and historic weather trends must now be considered together in decision-making since historic weather is no longer an accurate predictor of future climate. In determining the local climate impacts, data were obtained from the PCIC, BC Ministry of Environment reports, and other credible and scientific sources. A vulnerability and risk assessment were conducted for each of 18 impact statements to determine the areas in which the City should focus its effort, resulting in a priority set of 14 impact statements that described the key ways in which Surrey would be affected by projected climatic changes. Of those 14 identified risks, three high risk, three medium-high risk, four medium risk, and four medium-low risk impacts were identified. High risk impacts correspond to sea level rise and expected increases in precipitation and include increased flooding and potential overtopping of existing sea dykes from storm surges and sea level rise.