Katie Thompson Risk Management Official (705) 739-4220 x4796Katie.Thompson@barrie.ca
Climate change continues to bring challenges that municipalities need to face head-on and manage proactively. The City’s
Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and
Implementation Plan have been developed to address the physical, economic, social, and ecological impacts of climate change.
Climate within the City of Barrie is changing. Increases in mean annual temperatures, changes in the timing and average annual precipitation and increases in the intensity, duration and frequency of extreme storm events are taking place. These changes may pose challenges to the City and its residents that we have to work cooperatively to prepare for.
Here are examples of local climate change related events, their risks and what the City residents can do to minimize the impacts:
The City has developed a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and accompanying Implementation Plan to build community resilience to the risks of Climate Change. Read the full list of goals and their implentation status in the detailed
Climate Actions document.
Cross-cutting actions apply to a variety of goals. By taking a more holistic approach to maintaining more effective, efficient and sustainable application of resources, the City uses actions to integrate climate change considerations into existing plans, policies and decision making frameworks. Actions include:
The goals below outline what the City is doing to adapt to Climate Change:
Barrie will experience more severe and potentially life threatening weather and climate changes (e.g. extreme heat and freezing rain events) and impacts due to vector-borne diseases (e.g. West Nile and Lyme disease) which are expected to increase in the future.
As a result of changing climate conditions, the City has experienced more incidents of basement flooding, cracked foundations and damaged landscapes. More frequent extreme weather events, overland flooding and changes to freeze-thaw cycles affect the way in which buildings and landscapes are designed, constructed, managed and maintained.
Recent climate events, such as increased rainfall intensity causing runoff and erosion leading to wash-outs, have offered insight into what continued changes might mean for Barrie’s infrastructure. Recognizing that climate change will strain Barrie’s critical infrastructure, the City is committed to strengthening the resilience of its infrastructure systems while managing water naturally through the protection of wetlands and greenspace. Strengthening the integrity of City infrastructure to climate change and other factors is necessary to prevent disruptions of essential services and ensure safety of the community.
Climate change can pose significant risks to businesses, not only for their operations, but also to their suppliers, employees, customers and people living in the areas in which they operate. The City will help local businesses and the tourism industry in adapting to climate change impacts to ensure the continuity of their operations, improve their ability to reduce and manage risk, and build and maintain a positive reputation in the community.
Climate change directly affects ecosystems by creating favorable climatic conditions for the spread of invasive species, causing environmental damage due to extreme weather events, while simultaneously interacting with other human stressors. The City will take steps to further protect and enhance ecosystems’ functions and services as increases in rainfall intensity leads to overburdened stormwater ponds, or an increased frequency of winter events requiring the use of de-icing products.
Frequent occurrences of extreme weather could hinders people’s routines and day-to-day activities, while posing safety risks to drivers or people using outdoor recreational spaces. Recognizing the ability of the City to efficiently deliver services to residents will be under pressure due to changing climatic conditions, the City will take measures to ensure that the needs of the community are met and disruption to core services are minimized.
Climate change poses a variety of risks to the community, ranging from flooding, to extreme heat and cold, to habitat loss, and property damage. To ensure that the City of Barrie is able to withstand and recover from the impacts of climate change, it is important to build and maintain community resilience .
Climate Change Adaptation refers to any action that seeks to reduce vulnerability to the local climate change impacts. Mitigation refers to measures that aim to address the root causes of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The City has undertaken several initiatives to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions. While mitigation efforts aim to reduce the long-term effects of global warming, adaptation measures are needed to minimize impacts of a changing climate. Adaptation is not meant to replace or undermine mitigation efforts. It’s a proactive way to protect from expected impacts and avoid high costs of remediating damages.
Climate change is expected to lead to warmer winters and longer summers. Average annual precipitation is expected to rise, with an increase in precipitation falling in the winter, spring, and fall and a decrease falling in the summer. It is expected that water resources will be put under stress both from a quantity and quality perspective, especially with the expected increase of temperatures and prolonged drought periods. Lower stream baseflows and soil moisture will have an impact on food security.
Everyone can play a part in reducing the need for fossil fuels and participate in creating a cleaner, more green and sustainable future. Encouraging greener ways to commute, supporting local businesses and farmers, upcycling materials and using energy efficient items are just a handful of ways that we can help to reduce climate change.
Greenhouse gases (GHGs) can be both naturally occurring and created by humans. There are six primary GHGs found in the atmosphere: Water Vapour (H20), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2O), Ozone (O3) and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). GHGs are essential in the atmosphere because they allow the heat from the Sun to pass through and warm the Earth but do not let the heat pass back through into space. This is what has allowed the Earth to sustain life. The issue surrounding Climate Change and GHGs, is that because of human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and intense agriculture, the natural balance has been affected, resulting in a higher concentration of GHGs now found in the atmosphere.
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