There is considerable potential for development of natural resources (minerals and oil & gas) in northern Canada. A changing climate has the potential to affect terrain and coastline stability, thus affecting critical infrastructure and communities. Sound geoscience information will help reduce the uncertainties associated with development of critical infrastructure for the resource industries. This will positively affect investment in northern resource development. The Earth Science Sector’s Climate Change Geoscience Program (CCGP) is focused on developing geoscience information to help land-use planners, industry and regulators mitigate the risks in northern resource development arising from climate change.
The program has three projects. The Land-based Infrastructure project is focused on regions with existing road and airport infrastructure and is undertaking terrestrial terrain characterization, mapping and assessment of climate change susceptibility. The Coastal Infrastructure project is carrying out northern coastline characterization, mapping and assessment with focus on regions with existing and potential coastal infrastructure. The Essential Climate Variables project is monitoring and assessing key components of the climate system, including glacier mass balance, permafrost, and snow cover.
Researchers in the program collaborate nationally and internationally with other federal government departments, provincial and territorial agencies, academia and industry to improve geoscience knowledge and ensure that it is used to mitigate the risks to responsible northern resource development that arise from climate change. Through its monitoring of selected components of the climate system, the program also contributes to international initiatives to understand the Earth’s changing climate.
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