By Kristian Rasmussen
The Columbia Basin Trust has released a report designed to keep the Columbia Valley out of the dark when it comes to the looming cloud of climate change.
Released September 24th, From Dialogue to Action: Climate Change, Impacts and Adaptation in the Canadian Columbia Basin is an in-depth look at how climate change has affected the Columbia Basin in the past, what effect it will have in the future, and how communities must learn to adapt.
“Basically the paper that we released containing the dialogue is a compendium of different research pieces from scientists and community groups that have been looking at climate change and climate change adaptation,” said Kindy Gosal, Columbia Basin Trust director of special initiatives. “We wanted to update the most recent and accurate finds and put them into one place where citizens could use it.”
The average recorded annual temperature in the basin has increased over the last century by 0.7 C to 1.7 C. Changes in glacier runoff, water temperature, stream flows, freeze/thaw cycles, flooding, droughts, diseases and wildfires are all aspects of climate change that will change communities in the future, according to the report. The report outlines specific ways in which communities can learn to adapt to their changing environment.
“Adaptation is the concept that the planet is going to change no matter what happens,” Mr. Gosal said.
“The future is going to be different than the past and we need to understand what the changes are. We need to start planning for how we are going to adapt to these changes in our communities. This report and this program is an adaptation program that works with communities to outline what changes might be coming and what they might do to adapt to those changes.”