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Climate Initiatives: Nova Scotia

Expert Panel Begins Advising Atlantic Canada on Climate Adaptation

Atlantic Canada recently formed an expert panel composed of leading researchers in the physical and social sciences to help promote awareness, understanding, and integration of climate change adaptation research in the region.

ACASA Expert Panel (1)
Photo: UPEI

The Atlantic Climate Adaptation Solutions Association (ACASA) panel provides guidance to provincial and local governments regarding adaptation strategies to address climate impacts in communities and ecosystems. The panel offers peer-review of papers, reports and activities, and will produce an annual communiqué to governments and the general public on the state of climate change adaptation science and policy.

Dr. Adam Fenech, who serves on the Gulf of Maine Council Climate Network subcommittee, chairs the Expert Panel and directs UPEI’s Climate Research Lab. “The Atlantic Region is already witnessing climate changes affecting its fisheries, agriculture, tourism and natural environment. Our panel can help government and citizens determine how best to grasp opportunities and respond to the challenges posed by climate change.”

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  • Precipitation from extreme events in the GOM region has increased 74 percent since 1958 (NOAA).
  • Extreme weather already poses economic and ecological challenges, and these events are expected to grow more frequent in coming decades, with precipitation increasing 5-9 percent (IPCC 2013).

Credit: Sherry Godlewski

  • By 2050, climate scientists project a more rapid increase of 2.5 to 3.5°C (4.5 to 6.3° F) in regional air temperature (IPCC 2013).
  • Temperatures in the Gulf of Maine have risen much more in recent decades than many other coastal waters around the world, and a 2012 "heat wave" in sea surface temperatures had damaging economic impacts.

Projected Temperature Changes in the Gulf of Maine Region by the 2050s (°C.), reflecting the most recent IPCC models (Credit: Adam Fenech, UPEI Climate Lab)

What’s Climate Change and What’s Just the Weather?

This one-minute animation by Ole Christoffer Haga, produced by Teddy TV for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, clearly and humorously illustrates the difference between long-term climate trends and variable weather patterns.