Warmer winters. Warmer, drier summers. Lower summer stream and river flows. Loss of glacial mass. Rising snowlines. Earlier spring runoffs. Climate change is happening right now.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which involves about 2,500 scientists from 130 countries worldwide, has concluded that the temperature change in the past 50 years cannot be adequately explained by natural warming in climate models. IPCC issued a report with three key conclusions:
Climate change is occurring and it will impact our forests, our watersheds and our way of life. Here in the Columbia Basin, wildfires, flooding and drought are all potential symptoms of the issue that could get worse if we fail to act. A report titled, Climate Change in the Columbia Basin: Starting the Dialogue gives a good overview of the impacts currently being experienced in the Columbia Basin.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the world's foremost authority on the subject, and believes it's time to act - mitigation efforts can reduce the impacts of climate change.
What we have seen in the past isn't what we can expect in the future. Changes in temperature and precipitation will impact people living the Columbia basin. CBT is taking the lead and working with a number of partners to increase awareness, help reduce emissions and support local communities to adapt to the expected changes.
As a resident of the Columbia Basin, you can take some simple steps to help reduce impacts of climate change. Visit our tips!
CBT is supporting local governments to reduce their emission of green house gases as a key step in doing their part to reducing future climate impacts.
For more information on climate change initiatives of the BC Government, visit www.livesmart.bc.ca.
The Meteorological Service of Canada provides answers to some of your frequently asked questions about the science of climate change at http://www.msc.ec.gc.ca/saib/climate/FAQ_2002/sections/1_e.html