CBC News: Extreme weather is the new normal


CBC reports that climate specialists are calling for a national strategy to help Canadians prepare for extreme weather.

View the short video here.

The CBC report includes interviews with Bob Sandford, ACT Water Governance author and senior water policy adviser, and Dr. Gordon McBean, Chair of the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, Co-Principal Investigator of the Coastal Cities at Risk Project and ACT Climate Change Adaptation and Extreme Weather report author.


Big Ideas for Sustainable Prosperity Conference – April 28 & 29 – Join us over webcast!

Research Conference - April 28 & 29, 2014

Conference Webcast

The Sustainable Prosperity research-policy network is bringing together some of the world’s pre-eminent environment & economy thinkers for a two day research conference to share knowledge and think big about Policy Innovation for Greening Growth.

Join us online Monday, April 28 & Tuesday April 29 for fascinating panels, inspiring keynotes & powerful conversation.

Keynotes & Speakers

Marianne Fay, World Bank, Chief Economist, Sustainable Development & Climate Change

Jeremy Oppenheim, McKinsey, and Global Commission on the Economy and Climate

Geoffrey Heal, Columbia, and Earth Institute

Kathryn Harrison, UBC

James Meadowcroft, Carleton (CRC)

Matthew Kahn, UCLA

Vic Adamowicz, Alberta

Richard Lipsey, SFU

Anne Dale, Royal Roads (CRC)

Peter Nicholson, Council of Can. Academies

Ed Barbier, Wyoming, and author of New Blueprint for a Green Economy


Visit our conference website  for the full schedule and list of speakers.

Or join the conversation online by following #SPBigIdeas





Join DSF and David Suzuki for a movie night at the Rio!

FREE tickets for SFU staff &  students. RSVP to Ryan Kadowaki at rkadowaki@davidsuzuki.org and he will put you on the guest list. The event information is below.


Join the David Suzuki Foundation for the Vancouver premiere of Climate Change in Atlantic Canada on April 24. The evening will include a screening of the documentary followed by Q&A and a panel discussion with David Suzuki and filmmaker Ian Mauro. Dialogue will focus on issues facing communities and the leadership required to navigate our collective future.


Rio Theatre
1660 East Broadway
Vancouver, B.C.


April 24, 7 to 9 p.m.
Doors: 6:30 p.m.

About the film

Across Atlantic Canada, coastlines and communities are being adversely affected by climate change, and as temperatures, sea levels and storm surges increase, mitigation and adaptation initiatives are being planned and implemented to navigate the impending storm. Ian Mauro and his multi-media research team used video to document this remarkable story of climate change in Atlantic Canada and conducted over 100 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders across the region, including researchers, local and traditional knowledge holders, government officials and industry.

Using cutting-edge multi-media research techniques, the objective of this project is to assess and present the challenges and opportunities facing Atlantic Canadians, as their environment, cities and municipalities, and mechanisms for societal governance experience often immense and immediate climatic changes. The results of the project suggest four main thematic case studies – focused on climate, communities, mitigation and adaptation – leading to this documentary and multi-media website to showcase the results. Given the high-impact nature of digital media, this project seeks to increase awareness and educational opportunities for Canadians about the real-world experiences and responses of coastal communities, which are on the front lines of climate change.


A Risk Analyst Explains Why Climate Change Risk Misperception Doesn’t Necessarily Matter

Screenshot 2014-04-21 16.34.36Climate change doesn’t feel “It can happen to ME” personal. It doesn’t feel immediate/imminent. It doesn’t feel…well…real. It’s more of an idea, a concept, an abstraction. Who “thinks globally” about climate? We wake up in the local here-and-now and check today’s weather.

These influential components of risk perception psychology, of our Inconvenient Mind, identify opportunities to frame climate change in ways that are emotionally resonant to the audiences that climate communicators are trying to influence.

Read the full article here.


California Suffers Astonishingly Fast Snowpack Melt as Drought Intensifies

Screenshot 2014-04-21 16.26.57While the drought conditions in California and Texas were likely initially triggered by natural variability, such as ocean temperature patterns in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, studies show that manmade global warming can intensify such conditions by raising temperatures and increasing evaporation. In addition, a new study found that manmade global warming likely intensified the weather pattern that has kept California so dry since 2013.

Read the full article here.


New hurricane maps will show whether your house could drown

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The federal government will begin making its hurricane warning maps more colorful this summer, adding a range of hues to represent the danger of looming floods.

Red, orange, yellow, and blue will mark coastal and near-coastal areas where storm surges are anticipated during a hurricane. The different colors will be used to show the anticipated depth of approaching flash floods.

Severe flooding that followed Superstorm Sandy helped prompt the change — NOAA says it had a hard time convincing Manhattanites that they faced any real danger from such floods.

Read the full article here.



Canadian economy will lose billions to climate change: report

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A new report on the financial implications of climate change notes that while natural catastrophes are estimated to cost Canadians $21-$43 billion per year by 2050, popular economic measures like GDP fail to capture the escalation, discouraging preventative investment.

The TD report follows a recent and alarming warning by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that governments are ill-prepared for a warming world. If action is not immediately taken, the UN report projected risks could become unmanageable.

Monday’s report detailed the Canadian perspective on increasingly frequent natural catastrophes — the average number per year has doubled over the past three decades — and how by 2020 they will sap an estimated $5 billion from the economy.

Read the full article here.


Bombshell: Study Ties Epic California Drought, ‘Frigid East’ To Manmade Climate Change

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Natural variability alone cannot explain the extreme weather pattern that has driven both the record-setting California drought and the cooler weather seen in the Midwest and East this winter, a major new study finds.

A new study in Geophysical Research Letters (subs. req’d) takes the warming link to the California drought to the next level of understanding. It concludes, “there is a traceable anthropogenic warming footprint in the enormous intensity of the anomalous ridge during winter 2013-14, the associated drought and its intensity.”

Read the full article here.


Managing risk through catastrophe insurance: Reducing the fiscal and economic impact of disasters

This paper, released by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, offers an in-depth look at how insurance helps to lower the economic and fiscal costs of natural disasters. It demonstrates that insurance is an efficient and effective way to mitigate these impacts. The research presented here can help policy-makers, and homeowners plan for disaster risk and management decisions.

Access the full document here.




Acclimatise: Climate Change Resilience in Europe – A snapshot of the private sector

The CDP report “Climate Change Resilience in Europe” provides actionable insight for businesses and serves as an invaluable tool to facilitate informed decision making by business leaders, governments and policy makers across Europe.

The report’s key findings include:

- Businesses identify two climate risks by climate change for every one opportunity (responding companies identified 780 risks compared to 379 opportunities).

- The most anticipated risk companies cite is a reduction or disruption in production capacity (32% of all reported risks).

- Two in five companies anticipate increased demand for existing goods and services (43% of all reported opportunities). One in five expect new products or services to be profitable in a changing climate (18% of all reported opportunities).

- Risks are perceived differently across sectors, with financial companies accounting for nearly one third of all critical risks mentioned in the survey (33%), followed by consumer discretionary companies (25%).

Download the full report here.


Look on bright side of climate change, says IPCC report author

Screenshot 2014-04-21 15.00.43Doom and gloom about the impacts of climate change risks preventing effective action being taken to tackle it, one of the lead scientists in a major UN report into the impacts of global warming has said.

Chris Field, co-chairman of the working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), called for more positivity about the “really exciting opportunities” to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Read the full article here.


Lake Erie on Verge of Death as Climate Change Effects to Serve Double Blow

lake-erieLake Erie is on the verge of being declared dead again because of climate change, according to researchers.

Their reports show that drastic new pollution targets are needed if Lake Erie is to protected from developing a massive “dead zone” (or hypoxic zone), where toxic algae blooms and regions are starved of oxygen, meaning life cannot thrive.

While the lake – the fourth largest of the Great Lakes in America – came back to life once, problems  with its water quality have been increasing since the mid-1990s.

Read the full International Business Times article here.



Interview with Dr. Stewart Cohen on the IPCC WGII results

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The latest episode of CBC’s Quirks and Quarks ‘Adapting to a Warmer World’ includes an interview with Dr. Stewart Cohen, a senior researcher with the Adaptation and Impacts Research Division of Environment Canada, an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Forest Resources Management, University of British Columbia and a member of ACT’s Advisory Board, on the IPCC WGII results.

Listen to the entire episode here.





CFAX Interview: ACT ED Deborah Harford on WA Mudslide and Extreme Weather

Click here to listen to ACT’s Executive Director Deborah Harford speak about WA mudslide and extreme weather in an interview on CFAX (interview begins at the 14 minute mark).


Monster El Nino Emerging From the Depths: Nose of Massive Kelvin Wave Breaks Surface in Eastern Pacific

We are observing an extraordinarily powerful Kelvin Wave, one that was likely intensified by factors related to human global warming, traveling across the Pacific. It appears to be an epic event in the making. One that may be hotter and stronger than even the record-shattering 1997-98 El Nino. What this means is that we may well be staring down the throat of a global warming riled monster.

Read the full article here.



ACT Co-Hosting Livable Cities Forum 2014 – Are you going to be there?

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Join us in Vancouver at the Livable Cities Forum, April 2-4 2014 – there’s something for everyone! ACT Executive Director Deborah Harford will moderate the April 2nd morning session on financing adaptation, and ACT presents a workshop on the Coastal Cities at Risk project on April 4th from 10am-12 noon. Check the program for details!
From Farm to Fork: Building Local Food Systems
Sustainable Consumption and Urbanism: Building Neighbourhood Cohesion
#ClimateChange: Innovative Communication and Engagement Strategies
Building Green and Sustainable Businesses: Lessons on saving money, energy, and resources
Using Natural Systems to Further Resilience
Cities for People: Collaboration, Exchange, and Knowledge Sharing

Register here to attend these and other exciting sessions!

Already attending? Hotel rooms are booking up quickly!
Take advantage of the significantly reduced delegate rate at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver by booking your room

Please feel free to pass on this information to those who might be interested in attending. 

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