Climate change

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  • Even if we significantly reduce GHGs, the impacts of climate change will continue
  • There is uncertainty in the models, confusing policy makers and practitioners
  • “The extent of the impact of climate change is not fully known, and there are limitations in understanding the Earth’s climatic variations over long spans of time (CSIRO 2007). Additionally the modelling of climate projections to a local level is still not yet precise. As expressed by the MOE (2011): “Climate change science and modeling currently is not at a level of detail suitable for stormwater management where knowledge of the intensity, duration, frequency of storms and their locations and timing is required. However the economic, health and environmental risks dictate a need to be proactive in the management of stormwater.” These uncertainties require a process for continuously assessing the adapted measures, as well as assessing the physical facilities or infrastructures affected by these adaptations.”  Upadhyaya et al 2014
  • Climate change should be considered in future planning but the uncertainty in estimates makes it harder for those involved
  • “How to adapt cities to climate change is emerging as one of the greatest challenges that spatial planners will face in the 21st Century (Measham et al., 2011; Perry, 2015).”  cited in Matthews et al 2015


Increases in temperature will affect evapotranspiration

Rainfall patterns[edit]

Rainfall patterns are forecast to change [1][2]. Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) curves have been forecast for a number of urban areas in Southern Ontario[3]


Increased atmospheric CO2 levels will stimulate photosynthetic processes, increasing phosphorus uptake of all plants[4].

For further information[edit]

Reach out to our colleagues at the Ontario Climate Consortium.

  1. Wang, X., & Huang, G. (2015). Technical Report: Development of High-Resolution Climate Change Projections under RCP 8.5 Emissions Scenario for the Province of Ontario. Regina.
  2. Simonovic, S. P., Schardong, A., Sandink, D., & Srivastav, R. (2016). A web-based tool for the development of Intensity Duration Frequency curves under changing climate. Environmental Modelling & Software, 81, 136–153.
  3. Coulibaly, P., Burn, D. H., Switzman, H., Henderson, J., & Fausto, E. (2016). A Comparison of Future IDF Curves for Southern Ontario. Retrieved from
  4. Jin J Tang C Sale P. 2015. The impact of elevated carbon dioxide on the phosphorus nutrition of plants. A review. Annals of Botany 116: 987–999.