Ottawa, December 1st, 2005 – The Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS) together with science leaders from the public and academic sectors has issued a call to Prime Minister Paul Martin for urgent action on climate change, as Canada is warming faster than most other countries and will be one of the most impacted countries. The call is endorsed by 49 eminent Canadian scientists from across the country.
“Significant steps are needed to stop the growth in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, by reducing emissions” wrote Dr. Gordon McBean, Chair of the CFCAS Board of Trustees. “Since mitigation measures will become effective only after many years, adaptive strategies as well are of great importance and need to begin now.”
The group believes that latest findings reinforce the need for immediate research action – that Canadians will need sound policies and specific advice on how our changing climate and weather will affect their livelihoods and security, and on how to adapt. “For the sake of all Canadians and the global community, continued investments in research and monitoring of the climate system are required “, wrote Dr. McBean, who is chairing the session Science for Solutions, being held December 1st, at the Conference Centre of the Guy-Favreau Complex, Mousseau Room, from
9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m..
“Climate change is real” underline the scientists. “Over the past 50 years… Canada has warmed faster than most other regions on the globe, with the greatest warming, of more than 2oC, occurring in the Mackenzie Basin.” Canada is already experiencing changes that are affecting the lives and health of its citizens and new knowledge is essential in order to slow warming, adapt to changing conditions and avoid triggering irreversible changes.
Canadian scientists agree that further knowledge of the complex climate system is needed “for informed decisions on emissions reductions and particularly on adapting to the inevitable impacts that we will experience.”
Impacts on Canada’s ecosystems and socio-economic activities could include: inadequate water for Prairie agriculture; the spread of insect pests through our forests; migration of Pacific salmon northward; and increased severity and frequency of extreme weather events like floods, storms, tornadoes and droughts.
Over the past five years CFCAS has invested over $76 million in research on climate, air quality, extreme weather, atmospheric science, and ocean-air interactions. The Foundation funds university-based research to increase our understanding of weather processes and predictions, furnish relevant science to policy makers and determine how Canada’s natural resources are absorbing – or emitting greenhouse gases.
The letter is available on CFCAS’s website (www.climateforum.ca) or at this link in pdf format.
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