Understanding and Assessing Impacts
Information from Natural Resources Canada shows that the Country is warming twice as quickly as the average global rate while the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC) notes that Northeastern BC is warming even faster. The report utilizes data from PCIC’s 2019 report, Climate Projections for the BC Northeast Region, in order to gain a detailed understanding of the projected changes to Northeastern BC related to temperature, precipitation, heating and cooling, and growing seasons. Authors highlight seven changes of particular future significance including: increased precipitation across all seasons, considerably warmer summers, summer will narrowly remain the wettest season, temperatures will create water supply challenges, winter temperatures will warm, extreme storm events will become more common, summer stream flow will decrease in all basins. Preliminary steps to understand impacts included a gap analysis which consisted of a combination of document review and interviews. This gap analysis was followed by a qualitative vulnerability and risk assessment process with stakeholders through a workshop on March 7th, 2019. Climate impacts identified as of greatest risk include:
- Potential damage to key infrastructure from heavy rainfall
- Increasing intensity of rainfall causing more frequent localized flooding and sewer surcharge, which can result in damage to buildings and health impacts
- Increasing frequency of wildfires and landslides impacting evacuation routes and transportation in and out of the community
- Increasing frequency and intensity of extreme events locally and/or regionally resulting in pressure on the physical and emotional capacity of the community staff & volunteers including emergency services and fire fighters.