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Climate change is now recognized in the international science and policy communities as a risk that needs to be addressed through adaptation as well as through mitigation. Changes of the magnitude projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the current century would have significant impacts on Canada. Different sectors and regions would have differing vulnerabilities, which are a function of the nature of climate change, the sensitivity of the sector or region and its adaptive capacity. Although both benefits and challenges are expected to result from future climate change, there is general consensus in the literature that negative impacts will likely prevail for all but the most modest warming scenarios. Adaptation is critical to minimizing the negative impacts of climate change and allowing us to capitalize on potential benefits. Effective adaptation strategies should consider current and future vulnerabilities, and aim to incorporate climate change into existing risk management frameworks. Continued research into the potential impacts of climate change and the processes of adaptation would further contribute to reducing Canada's vulnerability to climate change.
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