Climate has been changing in Whitehorse. It is clear from weather data going back to the 1940s that temperature has been warming, especially in winters. Spring break up has been arriving earlier, freeze up later and frost free days have been increasing. The Whitehorse Community Adaptation Project, or WhiteCAP, funded by the Northern Strategy Trust, begins the process of preparing Whitehorse for climate change. WhiteCAP consists of two distinct phases: planning and implementation. The WhiteCAP plan assesses how climate change may positively or negatively affect the community over the next forty years, to 2050. The first half of the planning process focuses on exploring multiple scenarios of how the community may change by 2050, and is presented in the companion document for this plan: Future Histories of Whitehorse: Scenarios of Change. The second half of the planning process assesses the risks of climate change impacts and then the priorities of climate change adaptations. Portions of the plan have been implemented in the second year of the WhiteCAP project.
Alaska is changing before our eyes. Some changes are dramatic, others subtle, some rapid and some gradual, but there is no question that our physical environment is undergoing change, much of it related to temperature, weather and climate. The exact causes of these climate-related changes are not in all cases well understood, and discussion continues about what can be done in the long term to slow and eventually halt them. While many people are working on that problem, we have an important and urgent task: deciding how to respond to change. This manuel is for extension professionals, community organizers, local planning officials, teachers, or anyone else whose task is to help individuals, families, businesses, communities, and local governments think through the meaning of climate change on the local scale, assess vulernabilities, devise strategies for improving resilience, locate tools and resources that will help, and develop and implement plans for adaptation.
Agencies and stakeholders working in the Lake Tahoe Basin initiated a project to provide guidance and create procedures to address current and projected climate change impacts in the region. The project developed tools to evaluate and communicate climate adaptation and mitigation actions for the Basin. A working group composed of multiple agencies and stakeholders was created to provide input and guidance, and share findings and products within their organizations.
This report summarizes for 18 regions, the observed climate trends to date and some climate related factors. Projections are then given to 2050 of these key climate and climate-related factors. These related factors emphasize events or trends which result in hardship or damages or benefits, and are often felt most strongly in communities. An emphasis has been placed on extreme events when data and projections were available, since they often cause the largest damages and human disruptions. Where very limited Canadian data are available, trends in adjacent U.S.A., where much more such data have been available and analyzed, are cited.
Climate change is now widely acknowledged as a global problem that threatens the success of marine and coastal conservation, management, and policy. Mitigation and adaptation are the two approaches commonly used to address actual and projected climate change impacts. Mitigation applies to efforts to decrease the rate and extent of climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions or the enhancement of carbon uptake and storage; adaptation deals with minimizing the negative effects or exploiting potential opportunities of climate change. Because the benefits of mitigation are not immediate and because we are already committed to a certain amount of climate change, adaptation has been increasingly viewed as an essential component of an effective climate change response strategy. The field of adaptation is developing rapidly but in an ad hoc fashion, and organizations and governments are often challenged to make sense of the dispersed information that is available.
The intent of this report is to provide a brief overview of key climate change impacts on the natural and built environments in marine and coastal North America and a review of adaptation options available to and in use by marine and coastal managers. This report presents the results of EcoAdapt’s efforts to survey, inventory, and assess adaptation projects from different regions, jurisdictions, and scales throughout North America’s marine and coastal environments.
With a grant from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs the City of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Canada, engaged a group of stakeholders in an extensive adaptation planning process. The city, with the support of the Pembina Institute, hosted three workshops to discuss impacts to the region and viable local adaptation options. The project results were written up in a summary document authored by the Pembina Institute and included recommendations for the city to take to make Yellowknife more resilient to climate change.
To increase provincial and local ability to adapt to climate change, the Government of Nunavut joined together with the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) to form a partnership to support local communities while helping to develop Nunavut’s climate change adaptation strategy.
Seabird Island is located in British Columbia, Canada, and is home to a First Nation population. Increased precipitation and snowmelt threaten to flood the community of Seabird Island. To proactively prepare the community for possible flooding, the Seabird Island Emergency Response Team has developed an emergency preparedness plan that was distributed to community members through a door-to- door awareness and educational campaign spearheaded by the local fire department.
The Nunat Climate Observations Database is part of a broader website (www.nunat.net) created to facilitate the exchange of tribal observations of climate, land, and subsistence changes in Native Villages in Alaska. The database is searchable by geographic location, date range, and type of change, and is supplemented by additional information on stressors (e.g., contaminants) that may exacerbate the effects of climate change.