As global temperatures continue to rise and extremes in our weather become increasingly unpredictable, communities are beginning to recognise the risks that a changing climate represents and have begun to ask more questions. Particular interest surrounds the causes of the change, and how the change will affect communities and the environment into the future. We all need to know what we can do to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.
Climate change is a result of a build up of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere, which have been markedly increasing since the dawn of the industrial revolution. Increased amounts of these GHGs trap reflected solar radiation leading to general increase in overall global temperatures. While GHGs occur naturally, the increases which are the cause of Climate Change are primarily from industry and transportation. The impacts of these increases in GHGs are aggravated indirectly from deforestation and the general reduction in green spaces.
Climate change brings home the very important message of conservation which is the foundation of the TRCA's The Living City vision. TRCA is committed to initiating both mitigative and adaptive actions, both in the short term and long term in response to Climate Change and exemplifying leadership to support our communities and partners in dealing with the climate crisis.
On a watershed scale, some of the expected effects of climate change include:
- Overall increase in risk of extreme and erratic weather;
- Increase in risk of heavy-rapid rainfalls;
- Increase in risk of flooding and drought events;
- Increased in risk for bank erosion;
- Increased risks for flooding and erosion will lead to:
- Increased water turbidity, decrease in water quality;
- Increased stress on aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity;
- Increased stress on water management structures;
TRCA understands that climate change will exacerbate the stresses already present in our watersheds, and therefore believes that a comprehensive approach which includes both mitigative and adaptive actions is needed to both reduce and cope with the effects of climate change.