Province Releases Climate Risk Assessment
Nova Scotia’s latest climate change projections and risk assessment present a clear picture of the current impact of climate change and what Nova Scotians can expect over the next 80 years if further action is not taken.
The report, released today, December 5, shows that Nova Scotia is getting warmer, precipitation patterns are changing, Nova Scotians are experiencing more frequent and intense storms, sea levels are rising and the oceans are changing.
“It’s important to understand where and how we are vulnerable so we can all take action,” said Timothy Halman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “We need to take a holistic view and recognize that climate change will affect the province and Nova Scotians in many ways – our economy, the environment, and our well-being. Together, we have an opportunity to make positive change and work to protect each other and all that we value.”
Climate change projections for Nova Scotia by 2100 if global greenhouse gas emissions are not cut significantly include:
- an increase of 4.8 degrees Celsius in the average annual temperature
- many more nights that are warmer than 18 C – in the range of 45, compared with about three currently
- a 10 per cent increase in annual precipitation
- higher peak wind speeds by 3.7 to seven kilometres per hour
- sea level rise by up to one metre
- an increase in the sea surface temperature by 5.1 degrees.
The climate change risk assessment identifies areas of concern, as well as the opportunities and priorities for action for Nova Scotia. These include:
- building capacity to prepare for multiple hazards that interact and evolve over time
- acting on flooding and increased heat-related hazards
- protecting people’s well-being and recognizing the links between people and the environment
- regularly updating the risk to the province.
The report, titled Weathering What’s Ahead: Climate Change Risk and Nova Scotia’s Well-being, is at: https://climatechange.novascotia.ca/climate-impacts . It helped inform the Province’s climate plan, which will be released Wednesday, December 7.
The report is also a resource that will support all levels of government in planning and setting priorities and will help the Province achieve goals in the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act.
The concerns and priorities identified in the risk assessment show the importance of addressing climate change from a public health perspective. From air quality to food and shelter, climate change can have wide-reaching and sustained impacts on human health. A focus on the public health impacts will allow us to prevent disease and better protect the health and well-being of all Nova Scotians.
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health
“From rising sea levels and extreme weather to wildfires and flooding, climate change already presents risks to Nova Scotia’s communities, environment and economy. Natural Resources Canada was pleased to support the Nova Scotia Climate Change Risk Assessment – a key piece of the Nova Scotia government’s efforts to identify critical climate change risk information, prioritize adaptation actions, and increase resilience across the province.
- Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources Canada
- the risk assessment will be updated in 2025 and then every five years
- Nova Scotia’s last climate change projections were released in 2011 and the last provincial risk assessment was completed in 2005
- the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act contains 28 goals to address climate change and achieve sustainable prosperity, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 53 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and reaching 80 per cent renewable energy production by 2030
- the act requires climate adaptation planning across all government departments
Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act: https://nslegislature.ca/sites/default/files/legc/statutes/environmental%20goals%20and%20climate%20change%20reduction.pdf