Federal government releases report showing the impacts of climate change on industry
by CM Staff
Climate change brings both threats and opportunities to Ontario agriculture and food systems, while existing human health inequities will be worsened by climate change.
OTTAWA — On Aug. 15, Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced the release of the Ontario Chapter of the Canada in a Changing Climate: Regional Perspectives Report to help inform and support adaptation to climate change in Ontario.
According to the report, temperatures are increasing in the province, with the greatest warming observed in Northern Ontario and the largest increases occurring in the winter. With further warming, heat waves are projected to become more frequent. Annual precipitation is projected to increase along with extreme precipitation events, resulting in increased risk of flooding. Lake levels in the Great Lakes have been highly variable, experiencing both record lows and extreme highs. These changes are affecting Ontario’s communities, environment and economy.
This new chapter also highlights the wide range of climate impacts that Ontario is facing and how the province is adapting. It reveals that Ontario’s infrastructure is vulnerable to climate change and that nature-based solutions help address climate change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Impacts on biodiversity are magnified through the cumulative effects of climate change, habitat loss, urbanization, pollution and other threats. In the Great Lakes Basin, adaptive management is key for addressing climate change impacts, and adaptation measures improve forest health, carbon storage and biodiversity.
Climate change brings both threats and opportunities to Ontario agriculture and food systems, while existing human health inequities will be worsened by climate change. The chapter also concludes that while adaptation is occurring, progress remains limited.
The report is a part of Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action, Canada’s National Knowledge Assessment of how and why Canada’s climate is changing, the impacts of these changes and how we are adapting. The assessment reports raise awareness and understanding of the key issues facing our country and provide information to support sound adaptation decisions and actions.
“Today’s report confirms that Ontario, like every region of Canada, is facing significant climate challenges, from exacerbated health inequities to increasingly at-risk infrastructure. That is why our government is examining the regional effects of our changing climate: to better enable informed decision-making to prepare for, and respond to, climate impacts. With these reports, we are ensuring that Canadians have access to credible, evidence-based information, information that will go on to inform their choices as well as our own as we develop Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources.