The newly released Canada’s Changing Climate Report provides the first in-depth, stand-alone assessment of how and why Canada’s climate has changed, and what changes are projected for the future.
“Climate change is real, and Canadians across the country are feeling its impacts,” said Catherine McKenna, minister of environment and climate change. “The science is clear, we need to take action now. Practical and affordable solutions to fight climate change will help Canadians face the serious risks to our health, security and economy, and will also create the jobs of tomorrow and secure a better future for our kids and grandkids.”
The assessment was undertaken from scientists across Canada. It was led by Environment and Climate Change Canada, with contributions from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and university experts.
“This report is a wakeup call for all Canadians,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “It is clear that climate change is real, human made, and requires urgent action. Our plan to fight climate change lays out measures across the country to take action on this urgent issue. Our plan will help build a cleaner and greener future that will provide new jobs for our kids and grandkids.”
The assessment confirms that Canada’s climate has warmed in response to global emissions of carbon dioxide from human activity. The effects of widespread warming are already evident in many parts of Canada and are projected to intensify in the near future. A warmer climate will affect freshwater availability, the frequency and intensity of forest fires, the extent and duration of snow and ice cover, precipitation, permafrost temperatures, and other extremes of weather and climate. It will also affect sea levels and other properties of the oceans surrounding Canada.
“Climate has an impact on the crops we grow and the resilience of our infrastructure,” said Kirsty Duncan, minister of science and sport. “That is why the work of Canada’s climate researchers is so important. They study climate impact, adaptation and mitigation so we can make evidence-based decisions to help people and communities across Canada thrive.”
This is the first report completed as part of the national assessment Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action, led by Natural Resources Canada. It provides the climate science foundation for the forthcoming reports by addressing the impacts of climate change on our communities, environment, and economy, as well as how we are adapting to reduce risk.