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PRESENTATION OF C-CIARN BRITISH COLUMBIA Stewart J. Cohen, Ph.D. 1) Adaptation & Impacts Research Group (AIRG), Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment.

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Presentation on theme: "PRESENTATION OF C-CIARN BRITISH COLUMBIA Stewart J. Cohen, Ph.D. 1) Adaptation & Impacts Research Group (AIRG), Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment."— Presentation transcript:

1 PRESENTATION OF C-CIARN BRITISH COLUMBIA Stewart J. Cohen, Ph.D. 1) Adaptation & Impacts Research Group (AIRG), Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada 2) Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability University of British Columbia, Vancouver Presented to the Senate Standing Committee on Forestry and Agriculture, Ottawa, Feb. 4, 2003.

2 Summary of Briefing Temperature and precipitation have increased in British Columbia Observed warming has affected growing season length and the mountain pine beetle Projected impacts include continued lengthening of the growing season, increased crop water demand, and increased risk of fire and pest infestations Important regional concerns include N.E. BC forests, agriculture in the Okanagan, flood risks in the Georgia Basin, and fisheries & coastal erosion in coastal areas More research is needed to better understand adaptation to climate change, and how this could affect resource management & regional development—a role for C- CIARN B.C.

3 Outline of Presentation Climate trends in British Columbia Climate Impacts & Adaptation Assessment – cases from B.C. –Okanagan/Columbia: water, agriculture and other users –Forestry: pests, fire Expanding the Dialogue on Climate Impacts & Adaptation—C-CIARN B.C.

4 Average temperatures are increasing in BC Change in temperature over 20 th Century ( °C/100 years) Source: BC Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection – Environmental Trends, 2000

5 Source: BC Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection – Environmental Trends, Nighttime minimum temperatures are rising faster than daytime maximums.

6 Glaciers in retreat Source: IPCC, Third Assessment Report, 2001

7 Precipitation has increased in southern BC Change in precipitation over 20 th Century ( %/decade) Source: BC Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection – Environmental Trends, 2000

8 Lake & river ice is melting earlier in northern and interior BC Change in date of first melt, ( days/decade) Source: BC Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection – Environmental Trends, 2000

9 Water Management & Climate Change in the Okanagan/Columbia

10 Water Resources in the Columbia River Basin System objectives affected by winter flows Winter hydropower production (PNW demand) System objectives affected by summer flows Flood control Summer hydropower production (California demand) Irrigation Instream flow for fish Recreation Source: Alan Hamlet University of Washington

11 Columbia Basin Impacts of Climate Change on Streamflow Less snow, earlier melt means less water in summer –irrigation –urban uses –fisheries protection –energy production More water in winter –energy production –flooding Natural Columbia River flow at the Dalles, Oregon Source: P. Mote, University of Washington

12 Will the Columbia Basin System meet its Water Management Objectives in the 2040s? Source: Alan Hamlet University of Washington

13 Okanagan Climate Change Scenario: Implications for Water Management

14 Projected changes in Growing Degree Days (> 5 C) Kelowna Airport (Brewer & Taylor, 2001)

15 IrrigationdistrictAllocationReportedUse Crop water demand Source Oliver Mainchannel Penticton Tributary + Main Summerland Tributary Naramata Tributary Source: Denise Neilsen, Agriculture & Agrifood Canada

16 Overview of Okanagan study catchments Camp Cr. (34 km 2 ) Dave’s Cr. (31 km 2 ) Vaseux Cr. (117 km 2 ) Bellevue Cr. (78 km 2 ) Whiteman Cr. (114 km 2 ) Pearson Cr. (73 km 2 )

17 Intra-annual flow variability (Dave’s Cr.)

18 Intra-annual flow variability (Whiteman Cr)

19 Stakeholder views on adaptation Engaging dialogue to identify adaptation strategies to scenarios of streamflow reductions during the growing season in the Okanagan Basin Web site: Preferred adaptation options among the stakeholders? S tructural (e.g. building upland dams) and social measures (e.g., buy out water licenses) preferred over institutional measures Some implications of their choices? Stakeholders identified the high cost of dams, associated impacts on fisheries, and difficulties in restricting development as possible implications of their adaptation choices.  adaptation dialogue is just beginning...

20 Water Management & Climate Change in the Okanagan—Study Framework

21 Forest Management & Climate Change in Interior and Northern British Columbia

22 2001: Mountain pine beetle damage

23 Mountain Pine Beetle – limits Cool summers Winter minimums (below -40°C) -40 Source: Allan Carroll Canadian Forest Service

24 Areas of susceptible pine and Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) infestation since 1910 Area of susceptible pine (ha × 10 6 ) MPB outbreak area (ha × 10 3 ) Year Frequent large-scale MPB outbreaks during last century Size of outbreaks correlated with increase in susceptible pine Frequent large-scale MPB outbreaks during last century Size of outbreaks correlated with increase in susceptible pine Source: Allan Carroll Canadian Forest Service

25 Very low Low Extreme Moderate High Climatic suitability Climatically suitable habitat for the mountain pine beetle Source: Allan Carroll Canadian Forest Service

26 Scenario changes to fire weather, BC and Alberta (Mackenzie Basin Impact Study, 1997) 1980s 2050s

27 Source: Greg O’Neill, BCMOF In SE B.C., Lodgepole Pine seedlings can achieve greater yield if planted at elevations higher than their origin!

28 Research has identified some important potential impacts for forestry and agriculture in British Columbia BC is already experiencing climate change Glaciers are receding, affecting summertime water supply Future water supply will be affected by changes in timing of snowmelt; watersheds will likely have more water in winter and less in summer Growing seasons will lengthen and become warmer Forest pest and fire risks will likely increase in interior BC, and expand to higher elevations and latitudes

29 Impacts & Adaptation Research in British Columbia: Important New Questions How will water supply and demand change? –Increasing population and changes in land use may limit our ability to adapt to water supply changes. –Climate change may constrain possible adaptation strategies, such as expanded irrigation, and controlled reservoir releases to support fisheries and electric power production. How will climate change alter forest management? –Reforestation plans have to consider climate changes over the lifetime of newly planted trees. –What will future harvest levels be, and can they sustain communities? How will climate risks change for communities? –Are businesses and governments making planning and management decisions based on the assumption that climate will not change? –How can uncertain climate “scenarios” be incorporated into assessments of risks and opportunities?

30 C-CIARN B.C. is Expanding the Dialogue on Climate Impacts & Adaptation C-CIARN BC and partners are holding workshops with academic researchers –UBC, Okanagan College, University of Victoria, Malaspina College, Simon Fraser University C-CIARN BC and partners are initiating dialogue with stakeholders throughout BC –Columbia Basin (Cranbrook), northern BC (UNBC and region) Through this process, stakeholders and researchers are raising concerns about: –Need for expanded monitoring programs –Vulnerability of regional economies and questions about adaptation options –Concerns about impacts on health and lifestyle –Unknown potential for “surprise” impacts

31 C-CIARN BC is Promoting New Research Opportunities in Climate Impacts & Adaptation Encourage stakeholder participation in earliest phases of impacts/adaptation research. –Promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and the application of local knowledge and experience Identify potential new vulnerabilities or adaptation opportunities that should be studied. –Adapting to climate change is about becoming more resilient to current and future climate variability and risks

32 C-CIARN B.C. Advisory Committee Affiliates: Agriculture and Agrifood Canada (AAFCa) BC Hydro Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment Canadian Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Commission Community Representative (East Kootenays) Environment Canada (EC) Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) Ministry of Water Land and Air Protection (MWLAP) Okanagan University College (OUC) Royal Roads University (RRU) Simon Fraser University (SFU) University of British Columbia (UBC) University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) University of Victoria (UVic)

33 More information: Contact:


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