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Presentation on From Impacts to Adaptation Canada in a Changing

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Presentation on  From Impacts to Adaptation  Canada in a Changing Powered By Docstoc
					CCIAP Speakers Series Natural Resources Canada 14 May 2008

Don Lemmen, Fiona Warren and Jacinthe Lacroix

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Outline
1 – Background 2 – The Assessment Report 3 – Synthesis: Ten Key Conclusions • Impacts • Vulnerability • Adaptation • Moving Forward 4 – Additional Information
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Background Key Concepts Climate Change – Impacts –

change in the Earth’s climate system, caused by natural or human factors

adverse and beneficial effects of climate change on human and natural systems

Mitigation – activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions Vulnerability – susceptibility to be harmed – considers
exposure and ability to adapt

Resilience –

ability of a social or ecological system to absorb disturbances the capabilities, resources and institutions of a community to implement adaptation measures
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Adaptive Capacity –

Background What is adaptation to climate change? Adaptation:
• adjusting decisions, activities and

thinking because of observed or expected changes in climate • we adapt to moderate harm or take advantage of new opportunities • adaptation and mitigation are necessary complements in addressing climate change

“Adaptation means not clinging to fixed methods, but changing appropriately according to events, acting as is suitable”

Zhang Yu (Sung Dynasty 960-1278)

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Background

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Background Global scientific consensus provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 4th Assessment Report (2007)
“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal”
(WGI SPM)

“Adaptation will be necessary to address impacts resulting from the warming which is already unavoidable” (WGII SPM) Even in regions with high incomes, some people, areas and activities can be particularly at risk from climate change
(Synthesis Report)
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Background Complementary Policy Responses
Climate Change
including variability

Impacts
autonomous adaptation

Mitigation
via GHG sources and sinks

Planned Adaptation
Policy Response and Investments
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The Assessment Report
First national-scale assessment of climate change impacts and adaptation in Canada since the Canada Country Study (1997) GOALS
• Highlight advances made in understanding Canada’s vulnerability to climate change in past decade • Provide a knowledge foundation that informs adaptation decision-making and policy development in a nonprescriptive manner

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The Assessment Report A robust, scientific process with many partners:
• The process was overseen by an advisory committee with representation from governments, academia, Aboriginal groups and the private sector. • 145 authors from governments, universities and NGOs from across Canada participated, and over 3100 references were cited. • Chapters were reviewed by 110 scientific experts and government (Federal, Provincial/Territorial) officials.

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The Assessment Report APPROACHES USED
Sources of Information
• peer-reviewed published literature • grey literature • local / practitioner knowledge

includes traditional (Aboriginal) knowledge

Likelihood and Confidence

• use common-sense language rather than prescribed expressions • confidence strongest where projections are consistent with historic trends and/or well established relationships
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The Assessment Report

Table of Contents
Synthesis Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter 3 4 5 6 7 8 Introduction Background Information: Concepts, Overviews and Approaches Northern Canada Atlantic Canada Quebec Ontario Prairies British Columbia Canada in an International Context Moving Forward on Adaptation
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Page 1 21 27 57 119 171 227 275 329 387 425 441 11

Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Glossary

The Assessment Report

Regional Chapters
Structure reflects regional circumstances, but common elements include: • summary of key findings • discussion of climate and relevant socioeconomic trends and projections • current climate sensitivities • risks and opportunities associated with climate change • ongoing and future adaptation practices, options and planning Case studies are used to provide additional details on key issues and highlight adaptation initiatives
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The Assessment Report CLIMATE CHANGE IN CANADA
The Canadian Economy
• the services sector represents nearly 70% of Canadian GDP • more than 1600 communities in Canada rely on climate-sensitive natural resources for more than 30% of employment income • aggregate economic analysis tends to hide critical local impacts

Population and Demographics

• growing population – medium scenario 30% increase by 2056 • aging population – 1 in 10 over 80 years of age by 2056 (medium) • Aboriginal and immigrants represent greatest growth

• Canada has warmed about 1.3oC since 1948 (twice global average) • observed increases in many temperature and precipitation extremes • significant regional variability in historic and projected changes
[key references: Barrow et al., 2004; Hengeveld at al., 2005] 13
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Climate Trends and Projections

The Assessment Report Presentation of Climate Scenarios
Scenario maps

Scatterplots

Box-and-whisker plots
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Synthesis

Synthesis of all Chapters
•

key findings of individual chapters summarized in Box SR-2

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Conclusions: IMPACTS
1 - The impacts of changing climate are already evident in every region of Canada.
Permafrost degradation

Reduced ice cover Reduced snow cover Changing animal distributions Increased coastal erosion

Increased coastal erosion

Reduced glacier cover

Earlier onset of spring Increased plant productivity
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Lower lake and river levels
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Conclusions: IMPACTS
2 - Climate change will exacerbate many current climate risks, and present new risks and opportunities, with significant implications for communities, infrastructure and ecosystems.
Exacerbate current climate risks
• Reduced water quality and quantity across Canada • Increasing demands for water • Increased frequency and magnitude of extreme events

New risks and opportunities
• New diseases and pests • New challenges to management of protected areas • New opportunities for more profitable crops and tree species
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Conclusions: IMPACTS

Hengeveld et al. (2005)

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Conclusions: IMPACTS
3 - Climate change impacts elsewhere in the world, and adaptation measures taken to address these, will affect Canadian consumers, the competitiveness of some Canadian industries, and Canadian activities related to international development, aid and peace keeping.
• Economic implications (trade issues, competitive advantages, tourism) • Social implications (migration, development, aid) • Humanitarian needs (disaster relief, development assistance)
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The number of global climate-related disasters has been increasing

Conclusions: VULNERABILITY
4 - Impacts of recent extreme weather events highlight the vulnerability of Canadian communities and critical infrastructure to climate change.

Size of Event (mm)

Change in mean, no change in variability
1998 Ice Stormfuture Frequency
$5.4 billion in estimated costs current 945 injuries

Based on Kharin and Zweirs (2000)

Change in mean, change in variability

2003 Wildfires (BC/AB) Frequency
$700 million in estimated costs current 45 000 evacuations future

Hurricane Juan (2003) 1996 Saguenay Floods Event recurrence Time (years) $200 million in estimated costs $1.7 billion in estimated costs Climate Variable

8 deaths 10 deaths Frequency of high extreme for weather variable Smit and Pilifosova (1999) 20

Conclusions: VULNERABILITY
5 - Adaptive capacity in Canada is generally high, but is unevenly distributed between and within regions and populations. In Canada, adaptive capacity is generally high:
• • • • strong and growing economy high levels of education access to high technologies strong and effective institutions – public and private sector

But, difference between:

• areas (e.g. urban versus rural) • populations (e.g. elderly, Aboriginals, recent immigrants)

Results in vulnerable sub-regions and populations
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Conclusions: VULNERABILITY
6 - Resource-dependent and Aboriginal communities are particularly vulnerable to climate changes. This vulnerability is magnified in the Arctic.
• Vulnerability greater owing to: high climate sensitivity of resources, limited economic diversification, more restricted access to services, strong linkages to the land. • In North, rates of warming have been, and will be greatest in world - impacts already significant. • Adaptive capacity is also being eroded by other stresses (social, political, cultural and economic).

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Conclusions: ADAPTATION
7 - Some adaptation is occurring in Canada, both in response to, and in anticipation of, climate change impacts.
Limiting development in vulnerable areas Implementing heat-health alert initiatives Adapting infrastructure design

Policies for coastal regions

Implemented in urban areas in Thermosyphons to induce artificial cooling of permafrost Ontario and Quebec

Vulnerability maps for permafrost terrain

Building on pylons to reduce damage from flooding

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ADAPTATION
Large or small – examples of actions taken by: • individuals
• community groups • industry • governments (all orders)

Manitoba Floodway Authority

Example of a Case Study
Annapolis Royal, NS Chapter 4 - Atlantic Canada

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ADAPTATION Examples of Adaptation Actions
Implemented Toronto Hot Weather Response Plan
• established 1998, revised in 2001 and 2005 (from Chapter 6 - Ontario)

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
• flood protection increased 20%, berms designed to be raised

City of Stratford
• adopted a 250-year design standard for storm-water infrastructure

Potential • Ontario Clean Water Act (source-water protection) • Emergency preparedness
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Conclusions: ADAPTATION
8 - Integrating climate change into existing planning processes, often using risk management methods, is an effective approach to adaptation.

- Practical and credible approach - Way to deal with uncertainties - Understood by decision-makers

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Conclusions: Moving forward
9 - Barriers to adaptation action need to be addressed, including limitations in awareness and availability of information and decision-support tools. Other key barriers can include:
• existing regulations / legislation • societal expectations • • • • engaging all actors increasing awareness building on existing initiatives improving access to, and utility of, information, data and tools
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Overcoming barriers will involve:

MOVING FORWARD A Multitude of Existing Research and Policy Initiatives
• Multiple federal departments • Regional initiatives (Ouranos, Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative, Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium) • Northern research (ArcticNet, IPY) • Practitioner activities (Engineers Canada, Canadian Institute of Planning) • Policy direction (NRTEE, Conference Board of Canada) • Provincial and Territorial strategies

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Conclusions: Moving forward
10 - Although further research will help to address specific knowledge gaps and adaptation planning needs, we have the knowledge necessary to start undertaking adaptation activities in most situations now. Knowledge gaps identified in the report include:
economic analysis; understanding adaptation processes; enhanced climate and socioeconomic scenarios; understanding of thresholds.

Research needs do not justify inaction
• first steps include no regrets adaptation that reduce vulnerability to both current and future climate • adaptation is an ongoing process rather than a one-time action

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MOVING FORWARD Possible Near-term Steps 1 – Broadening engagement and collaboration
• understanding roles and responsibilities • learning from others (mechanisms to share knowledge / experience)

2 – Leading by example

• governments – assess vulnerability of programs and policies AND how programs and policies affect adaptive capacity • industry business – how climate change will influence operations, planning processes and competitiveness

3 – Enhancing institutional capacity

• strengthening climate change capacity in existing institutions • where appropriate, new institutions and mechanisms(?)

4 – Promoting and mandating adaptation measures
• incentives or penalties • market mechanisms (e.g. insurance) • Mandate in case of health and safety issues
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More Information

http://adaptation2007.nrcan.gc.ca

Contact us at: adaptation@nrcan.gc.ca
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