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Climate Adaptation and Impacts Research

Atmospheric change is a global environmental issue with impacts that will affect the quality of life, economic efficiency, and the environmental quality of Canada, and other developed countries and developing nations alike.  In the coming decades, the rate of projected changes due to human-induced climate change will likely be outside the range of historical experience.  Impacts will therefore likely be beyond the range to which humans or ecosystems can easily adapt without explicit planning and human interventions.

The number and cost of extreme weather events /disasters (extreme storms, floods,

A photo of the cover of the "Compendium of Adaptation Models for Climate Change: First Edition" publication.
Environment Canada research is helping Canadians adapt to a changing climate (Compendium of Adaptation Models)

heat waves, droughts, etc.) is rising and new thresholds, regulations, technologies and infrastructure codes and standards need to be developed now to improve the safety of Canadians.  Both mitigation and immediate adaptation actions are needed within the context of sustainable development that will require new human adjustments.

Environment Canada has undertaken impacts and adaptation science for more than 15 years, developing methodologies and tools, and interpreting climate and weather data.  Environment Canada conducts impacts research to improve our understanding of the sensitivities of sectors, regions, people and property to a changing climate in order to help develop appropriate adaptation actions, with implementing partners, for the benefit of all Canadians.  Multi-disciplinary studies have led to numerous adaptation success stories to safeguard health, safety, economic competitiveness and the biological diversity of Canada.

Within Environment Canada, this research is carried out by the Adaptation and Impacts Research Section (AIRS), which works in partnership with universities, other government agencies and the private sector to bring together experts in a wide variety of fields, including meteorology, climatology, hydrology, geography, environmental studies, forestry, agriculture, and engineering.  

Many of our researchers are embedded within universities and meteorological offices across Canada and are often part of research consortiums, such as Ouranos in Quebec.  This enables us to enhance our contribution to Government of Canada programs and policies by harnessing the intellectual capacities of the universities linked with regional expertise.

Climate Change Science and Research Home