Canada is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, resulting in more precipitation – especially in the winter – more extreme fire weather, water supply issues in summer and a heightened risk of coastal flooding.
A study by 26 government and university scientists, for Environment and Climate Change Canada, notes the human factor is dominant in this, in particular, where greenhouse gases are concerned.
Study authors say extreme heat events, which currently occur every 20 years on average, will happen every five years by the middle of the century if things don’t change.
In addition, they say warmer winters also mean certain species that have not been able to survive our traditional cold, will start to, bringing pests and diseases we aren’t used to seeing in Canada.
The report suggests the climate impacts we’re already seeing are going to stay with us for “centuries to millennia” even if we hit the emissions cuts Canada is aiming for.
The federal government is hoping to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by about 200 million tonnes by 2030 with policies like the carbon tax, phasing out coal power, and investing in public transit, green energy and building energy efficiencies.