If Quebec’s vulnerability to climate change is better documented, much work remains to be done in terms of adaptation measures, underscores a report by the Ouranos Consortium released on Tuesday.
Posted at 10:00 am
Ariane Krol The press
The implementation of climate change adaptation responses “is unequal among different sectors and remains a major challenge for specific environments to address,” says the document, which is the Quebec chapter of a federal report by Natural Resources Canada. entitled Canada in a Changing Climate: Regional Perspectives.
If reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions remains a priority to “avoid worst-case scenarios,” climate change is still “inevitable,” recalls the Quebec Chapter, whose lead author, Angelica Alberti-Dufort, research and knowledge mobilization specialist at Ouranos is.
“The goal of adaptation is to learn to live with climate change. »
The average temperature in the province has already warmed by 1 to 3 °C, depending on the region, since 1950, Ouranos had warned back in 2015.
The effects are manifold. And urban areas (where 80% of Quebecers live), coastal areas in the east of the province, indigenous communities, and disadvantaged people or those with “physical or mental disabilities” are particularly at risk, the report said.
Extreme weather events and the damage they cause sometimes accelerate adaptation, the authors note, noting the mapping of floodplains following the 2017 and 2019 floods and the “significant investment in research” in eastern Quebec in response to damage caused by coastal erosion and floods.
However, “a lot of knowledge is still missing, especially in relation to social sciences and adaptation methods”, argues the Quebec Chapter and calls for more research.
Montreal’s strategy for coping with extreme heat shows that certain interventions, such as home visits and daily phone calls, “appear to have reduced mortality” among sick and socially isolated seniors. On the other hand, the health effects of heat waves or other climatic hazards associated with variables “translating social deprivation” (being single or living alone, contact with relatives, or participation in social activities) have been the subject of “Little Quebec Work”.