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Rising ocean could sever link to Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is in danger of being cut off from the rest of Canada as the Atlantic Ocean rises. The province's only land link to continental North America is the Isthmus of Chignecto. It's just 24 kilometres wide and mostly covered by low-lying wetlands. It could be at least temporarily inundated. Many of Nova Scotia's roads and communities are vulnerable to rising sea level. The province is anticipating the high-tide mark on the Atlantic coast will be at least 70 centimetres higher in the next century. The sea level is expected to rise a minimum 40 centimetres, and the province will sink another 30 centimetres. The impact will be worst during storms, which are expected to become more frequent and severe. Nova Scotians got a taste of what can happen last fall when tropical storm Noel wiped out a road at Queensland Beach. Hurricane Juan in 2003 caused about $100 million worth of damage in Halifax, partly from the coastal storm surge. "We're an island, in many ways, tied together by a fragile and very low-lying body of land." The government doesn't have enough data to know where construction is most needed, and can't begin to predict how much it will cost to build dykes and move infrastructure. Canada has the world's longest coastline and the most vulnerable areas are in Atlantic Canada.

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