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Climate Change and Municipalities in Canada: Mitigation and Adaptation Thomas Homer-Dixon Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies University of Toronto.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change and Municipalities in Canada: Mitigation and Adaptation Thomas Homer-Dixon Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies University of Toronto."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change and Municipalities in Canada: Mitigation and Adaptation Thomas Homer-Dixon Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies University of Toronto September

2 Climate change, some basic Climate change, some basicscience Consequences Consequences Responses at municipal level Responses at municipal level

3 BASIC SCIENCE Take-away messages: Earth is warming quicklyEarth is warming quickly Humans are the main causeHumans are the main cause Warming will be most pronounced at high latitudes and on landWarming will be most pronounced at high latitudes and on land Future warming will be nonlinear because of feedbacksFuture warming will be nonlinear because of feedbacks

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5 Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level. Direct Observations of Recent Climate Change

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11 More rapid warming at poles Main reason: Ice-albedo feedback Melting of ice Melting of ice Lower reflectivity Lower reflectivity Increased absorption of suns Increased absorption of suns energy energy Melting of ice Melting of ice

12 Sept million km 2

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15 Projections of Future Changes in Climate Best estimate for low scenario (B1) is 1.8°C (likely range is 1.1°C to 2.9°C), and for high scenario (A1FI) is 4.0°C (likely range is 2.4°C to 6.4°C).

16 Projected warming in 21st century expected to be greatest over land and at most high northern latitudes and least over the Southern Ocean and parts of the North Atlantic Ocean Projections of Future Changes in Climate

17 Years before Present Ice Accumulation Rate (meters per year)

18 CONSEQUENCES Take-away messages: Extreme events will become more frequentExtreme events will become more frequent Climate change will interact synergistically with other stresses and vulnerabilitiesClimate change will interact synergistically with other stresses and vulnerabilities

19 Rising Frequency of Extreme Events Severity of Event Frequency of event

20 Rising Frequency of Extreme Events Severity of Event Frequency of event X Y1Y1

21 Rising Frequency of Extreme Events Severity of Event Frequency of event X Y1Y1 Y2Y2

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25 RESPONSES Municipalities need to mitigate andadapt

26 Impact, Mitigation, and Adaptation Potential Impact 2050 realized impact mitigation adaptation Chris Milly (USGS/NOAA-GFDL, 2007)

27 We have very little room to warm: Estimated maximum safe warming: 2°C Warming to date: 0.8°C Warming in pipeline, even if emissions cease: 0.6°C Room to warm: 0.6°C The Challenge: Very soon, humankind must cap and then ramp downglobal carbon emissions

28 So we have very little room to emit: Estimated carbon concentration that is likely to produce at least 2°C warming: ~450 ppm Current concentration: ~380 ppm Room to emit: ~ 70 ppm Incremental annual increase: ~2 ppm and rising Years to 450 ppm: ~ 30

29 Increasing our use of Green PowerIncreasing our use of Green Power Capturing methane from landfills for energy useCapturing methane from landfills for energy use Greening our vehicle fleetGreening our vehicle fleet Improving the energy efficiency of buildings & facilitiesImproving the energy efficiency of buildings & facilities Conserving water and energy in our facilitiesConserving water and energy in our facilities Demonstrating new & innovative technologies & practicesDemonstrating new & innovative technologies & practices CALGARYS TARGET 50 PLAN

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31 RESPONSES Municipalities need to act in four areas: Overall planningOverall planning InfrastructureInfrastructure FacilitiesFacilities Emergency preparednessEmergency preparedness

32 PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS Population densityPopulation density TransportTransport Vegetation, landscapingVegetation, landscaping Disease and pests that affect humans, plants, and livestockDisease and pests that affect humans, plants, and livestock

33 INFRASTRUCTURE WaterWater EnergyEnergy SewersSewers

34 FACILITIES SchoolsSchools Seniors homesSeniors homes HospitalsHospitals Parks and recreation facilitiesParks and recreation facilities

35 EMERGENCY PREPARATION FloodFlood DroughtDrought Heat wavesHeat waves BlackoutsBlackouts

36 FINAL ADVICE Be creativeBe creative Challenge standard operating proceduresChallenge standard operating procedures Work with civil societyWork with civil society Plan longPlan long Remember your grandchildrenRemember your grandchildren

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