Understanding and Assessing Impacts
Piikani Nation, located on Treaty 7 lands of Southern Alberta, is part of the Blackfoot Confederacy and has approximately 4,200 members across two reserves and off-reserve urban areas. Piikani Nation is already experiencing observable impacts of climate change including changes in temperature, precipitation, and extreme weather events. In southeastern Alberta, the average annual temperature has increased by ~0.9°C since the early 1900s with winter months experiencing greater warming than summer months. Since the early 1900s, the amount and timing of precipitation in Alberta have also changed. Regional climate projections for this initiative were provided by the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative (PARC) in consultation with Dr. Dave Sauchyn. Climate change projections were derived from high-resolution Regional Climate Models from NA-CORDEX for RCP 8.5. Notably, these models reveal the most critical climate change impacts in the prairies are related to precipitation and water.
The secondary impacts of climate change, such as increased drought, flooding, high wind events and wildfires are projected to occur and increase in frequency in the region. Water scarcity from glacier retreats, food insecurity, biodiversity loss, poor air quality and loss of land and property due to wildfires, and drought are some of the highest priority concerns. In addition, during the Local Early Action Planning (LEAP), the community identified food and water insecurity, invasive species, changes in precipitation, and loss of culture as risks related to climate change (see image).
For additional climate information, look at the Resources section of this example (below).