In photos: What rising sea levels will do to popular Canadian sites

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TORONTO – New visualizations show how popular sites around the world, including Canada, could be lost to rising sea levels if carbon emissions continue at their current rate.

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image, from the non-profit Climate Center, show what areas of the world can be saved and what can be lost if the world fails to meet emissions reduction goals.

According to Climate Central, the land on which 10 percent of the world’s population lives could be destroyed by sea level rise.

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The photos show that 50 major cities, most of them in Asia, are at risk and many smaller islands are facing total land loss. The collection of photographs also suggests that a large nation on every continent except Australia and Antarctica could be lost to climate-driven sea levels.

Some Canadian sites at risk, according to Climate Central, include Fisherman’s Wharf Park in Victoria, the HR Macmillan Space Center and BC Place in Vancouver, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and Quebec City’s Place Royale.

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The left image shows what these sites would look like if Canada sharply cut emissions to keep 1.5C global warming. The image on the right shows what that region will look like if the country approaches 3C global warming on its current path.

HR Macmillan Space Center

Place Royal

Canada, along with the US and Europe, raised greenhouse gas emissions targets ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

Canada announced in July that it was raising its goal to cut its emissions by 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

A United Nations report released in September said current pledges to reduce emissions would still result in 16 percent higher global warming by 2030, with global warming approaching 2.7C by 2100.

The Paris Agreement, which was signed by Canada, was ratified around the goal of keeping global warming around 1.5 C to avoid catastrophic climate change.

To meet the new target, Canada would have to cut emissions by 292 million to 328.5 million tons each year for the next nine years.

Legislative Assembly of British Columbia

Legislative Assembly of British Columbia

Fisherman’s Wharf Park

Fisherman's Wharf Park

(Photos courtesy of Climate Central)

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