Climate Change and Its Effects on White Water Rafting

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Climate Change and its effects of White water rafting
Parker Blackstock
ADVG 101

T00038741

Nov 24/2012

Angela Bueckert

With the rising effects of Global warming taking its toll on glaciers and agriculture in British Columbia, surprisingly the white water rafting industry has managed to grow significantly in the last 20 years. As the global temperature continues to rise, it is predicted that the Glaciers will be reduced to nothing, thus taking its effect on water flow. British Columbia has seen it’s average temperature rise twice as fast as the global average. For rafting companies, this means shorter paddling season and flooding. “Average annual temperatures have warmed by between 0.5-1.7 degrees Celsius in different regions of the province during the 20th century. In fact, parts of British Columbia have been warming at a rate more than twice the global average. Live smart B.C. Effects of climate change 2011.” Evidence shows our climate has changed in the past century and will continue to change, affecting both biological and physical systems. In the past 50-100 years British Columbia has noticed an annual precipitation increase of about 20 percent, and lost around 50 percent of its snow pack annually. Also with the increased precipitation and faster melt the province has been more susceptible to floods in the Fraser Valley, Interior and throughout British Columbia. These floods and early melt are expecting to increase sea level 30 cm on the north coast and 50 cm in the Yukon by 2050. There has also been an outbreak of mountain pine beetle due to warmer winters. The mountain pine beetle has infected an area of pine forest four times the size of Vancouver Island. The pine beetle epidemic has infested around 13 million hectares of forests in British Columbia. It is predicted, by 2013, 80 percent of B.C.’s

pine forest will be “red and dead”. Forest fires are another real source of concern for the rafting Industry, 2003 and 2009 were devastating years for BC, with nearly 5000 fires burning 500 000 hectares of land. As glacial reduction continues to affect the amount of water flow in B.C.s Rivers it will also affect hydroelectric power, fish habitat and tourism. “Changes in climate, and the implications these changes have for destinations reliant on natural resources - whether resources used for industrial purposes or those critically important to the viability of industries such as tourism – will have significant economic impacts in the coming years. For the tourism industry, which simultaneously suffers from the effects of climate change as well as contributes to it, climate change presents unusual and complex policy and business development challenges. Exploring The Effects of Climate Change and Sustainable Development in the Tourism Jan 2004”. Looking towards the future and my career goals I plan to work for Kumsheen Rafting. I worked for Kumsheen previously in 2010 working landscaping and building mountain bike trails around the resort. While I was working for Kumsheen I became quite interested in raft guiding. Once I finish my first year at Thompson Rivers University I plan to work as a guide at Kumsheen and gain experience to progress my rafting and guide career worldwide. After getting a season of raft guiding under my belt my goal is to travel South America starting in Patagonia and make my way north all the way to Mexico. Beginning my journey in Paagonia, Chile working at Maipo Rafting, which is located just outside of Santiago, Chile then make my way to Cuzco, Peru and work at Mayuc Rafting. Moving on to Central America, working with H20 Rafting located in Quepos, Costa Rica. These are just a few select businesses that I have done some research on and find they could be great assets to a great white water rating resume. The effects that global warming will have on these goals is the restriction and quantity of rafting trips will be regulated due to water flow, as well as a shorter season, drought...
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