Hot enough for you? Just in case there was any doubt, NASA and NOAA confirmed it last week: 2016 was Earth’s warmest year since temperature record-keeping began in 1880. It’s the third straight year that average global surface temperatures have hit record highs.
— NASA (@NASA) January 18, 2017
How will a steadily-warming climate affect us here in the Greater Toronto Area? It may not be pretty. A 2012 report prepared for the Toronto Environment Office projected that, by 2040, average annual temperatures will be 4.4ºC warmer. Temperature extremes could reach highs of 44ºC.
Toronto and Region Conservation plays a key role in helping the city adapt to and mitigate the many impacts of climate change. A new article from Torontoist highlights some important examples:
- Plant and animal populations in urban centres are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Through efforts such as tree plantings and stocking local streams with native Atlantic salmon, TRCA strives to restore and maintain the diversity of species in Toronto’s natural spaces.
- Toronto’s aging stormwater management system may not be up to dealing with more severe and frequent extreme weather events, which raises the troubling prospect of increased erosion and flooding. TRCA is confronting this challenge by promoting a range of green infrastructure solutions designed to minimize flood impact, such as green roofs, permeable pavements and rainwater harvesting.
- TRCA erosion control projects at locations such as Ashbridges Bay, the Scarborough Bluffs and the mouth of the Don River aim to make the Toronto region’s nine watersheds better able to withstand the impact of extreme storms.
Interested in learning more about climate change in the Toronto region? The Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC), headquartered at TRCA, will be hosting its fifth annual climate change symposium at York University on May 11-12, 2017. Visit the OCC site soon for more details.