Core ACT Topics

ACT was founded to study nine core topics that require climate change adaptation planning in Canada. Each topic was assigned a senior policy author and a team of graduate researchers, and featured research into climate change challenges and policy responses as well as workshops and other engagement and outreach. To date, ACT has released reports on five of the core topics - Biodiversity, Extreme Weather, Energy, Water Governance, and Crops & Food Supply. Work is currently underway with a variety of partners on the remaining four topics: Health, Sea Level Rise, Population Displacement and New Technologies.

Biodiversity

ACT's first core topic was biodiversity and climate change adaptation, culminating in a set of reports released in 2009. We are continuing work on this theme through our Nature-based Solutions Project.

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Extreme Weather

Extreme weather events are one of the principal challenges driven by climate change, which is projected to cause storms and associated damages of magnitudes that render current standards obsolete.

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Energy

Climate change poses a variety of challenges for the energy sector, including power outages caused by extreme weather events, interruption of hydro power generation due to low water levels and melting glaciers, and implications for emissions reduction planning as temperatures increase and drive up demand for energy needed for cooling.

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Water Governance

Increasing average temperatures, climate change impacts on weather patterns and extensive changes in land use are seriously affecting the way water moves through the hydrological cycle in many parts of Canada, seriously impacting water quantity and quality.

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Crops & Food Supply

Increasing summer temperatures combined with drought, flooding and pest expansion all affect Canadian and international farmers, and could pose problems for food supply.

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Sea Level Rise

According to estimates, we will see a 1-metre rise in ocean levels by 2100. Combined with storm surges – also forecast to increase in severity – this places our ports and associated transport, industry and tourism networks at significant risk, as well as many coastal towns and valuable waterfront developments.

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Health Risks

Climate change poses numerous challenges for human health, from critical infrastructure challenges to new or exacerbated physical and mental health risks.

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Population Displacement

Millions of people face relocation as ocean levels change and regions around the world suffer from extreme weather events, placing a heavy burden on countries with limited resources and driving internal displacement within Canada as well as increases in migration.

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New Technologies

While technology has limited potential to solve the systemic issues that are driving climate change, low carbon resilient innovations will be key to our success in transitioning to a sustainable path forward.

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