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Freshwater: The Role and Contribution of Natural Resources Canada - Sustainable Development
The Earth Science for National Action on Climate Change project generates new knowledge in key areas where gaps were identified by the Canadian Climate Change Program and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Relating to water, research activities tackle ‘Cryosphere Changes: Glaciers and Permafrost'; ‘Coastal Zone Changes'; ‘Ecosystem Impacts'; ‘Surface Water Availability'; and ‘Canada's Landmass Response to Climate Change from Satellite Records'.
The Regional Climate Change Impacts: Geoscience Information for Other Government Departments project emphasizes the development of information-sharing relationships with key clients, including federal, provincial and territorial transportation agencies, territorial governments, and environment and water resource agencies. A particular activity that relates to water is the ‘Impact of Climate Change on Regional Snow/ Ice - Dependent Water Supply'.
The Municipal Case Studies: The Planning Process and Climate Change project has undertaken a limited number of case studies that will address a representative cross-section of the major climate change issues facing Canada (water resource depletion, coastal attack due to higher sea levels, and permafrost melting). The project relies on the involvement of municipal planners and stakeholders in the individual case studies, and will communicate results through collaboration with the Canadian Institute of Planning, provincial planning institutes and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. One such study that relates to water is the ‘City of Calgary Case Study: Municipal Water Supply'.
The Paleo-environmental Records of Climate Change project goal is to provide paleo-climatic, paleo-environmental and, paleo-geographic data required by scientists and policy makers in developing or using realistic scenarios for assessing potential future impacts caused by climate change. As well, clients for these data are scientists developing numerical models of past climate change (ice sheet evolution, hydrology, crustal motion and paleo-biome shifts) who require paleo-data for verification and development of these models. Outputs from this project will provide paleo-scenarios for evaluating the potential response of specific regions or environments to climatic change, and will help to constrain or validate simulations of past climatic changes. Three activities relate particularly to water: ‘National Paleo-environmental Records of Climate Change'; ‘Regional Scale High-Resolution Reconstructions of Paleo-Climatic Variability'; and ‘Critical Process Thresholds from Past Climate Changes'.
Finally, the Socio-Economic Vulnerability and Integrated Assessment project goal is to address the cost issue by linking scientific assessments of climate change vulnerability with socio-economic dynamics for improved understanding of socio-economic costs and vulnerability. From case studies, regional and local cost estimates will be generated, including impacts of coastal erosion and extreme events on selected eastern and western coastal communities; costs of permafrost degradation to northern communities; and costs of declining water resources to communities in the Prairie region.