Canadian Municipal Water eBulletin
Archive/Subscribe | www.cwwa.ca  
   
April 30, 2014
 
 

Canada Not Immune to Impact of Global Warming

Print Print this Article | Send to Colleague

Top scientists say the latest international report on climate change shows that Canadians must wake up to the impact of warming temperatures on land, on water and in communities across the country.

They say the Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change, released Sunday in Japan, shows changes are on their way and further delays in responding to them only narrow the options. The report and other work of the Intergovernmental Panel is available from their website.

The report says crop patterns will need to shift. Although some studies predict better growing conditions in more northern latitudes, disruptions to normal rain and snowfall patterns will cause problems, it suggests.

Some Canadian lakes are already seeing algae blooms increase at rates that can't be explained by agricultural run-off, he said. Popular fish such as lake trout could be threatened by changing patterns of spring thaw and winter freeze-up.
Floods, too, will be an issue for Canada, predicted Andrew Weaver, a British Columbia Green party legislature member, climate modeller and lead author on previous editions of the report. The number and value of insurance claims are already on the rise in Canada, he pointed out.

The report warns the entire fresh-water ecosystem of the vast boreal forest that stretches almost across the country is under threat.

Look for other nations to eye Canada's abundant fresh water with envy, Weaver warned. "If you look at the climate projections, we get a heck of a lot more water and the southern U.S. gets a heck of a lot less. Where we have water, we get more, where they don't have water, they get less."

"There are issues of water transportation that are going to raise their head in the near future whether we like it or not.''
Davidson warned that the consequences of climate change will fall more heavily on poor communities. Wealthy centres have more money to upgrade homes, build seawalls or buy more insurance. They're more likely to have better infrastructure in the first place.

An Environment Canada scientist was one of the lead authors of the study. The department declined to make him available for an interview and instead outlined in an email the measures the federal government has taken to fight climate change.

A 2012 report by Environment Canada acknowledged the country will miss its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction targets by nearly one-third.

 

 

Back to Canadian Municipal Water eBulletin

Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn