It was recognized when undertaking the development of the Climate Change Strategy that the residents of Oakville would benefit from the development of a public education campaign, geared towards climate change resiliency. Actions by residents would also serve to reduce the call upon town and other agency services in times of extreme weather and emergency response.
Oakville’s Climate Change Primer (pdf) provides local information for residents on the science and complexity of climate change with climate change projections for southern Ontario and more specifically Oakville. This is primarily an online document that links directly to local information on how to help protect human health, the natural environment, residential homes and properties against the impacts of a changing climate.
Extreme Weather Maps
Global Map - This map represents a one month period, May 2011, where droughts, extreme rain and flash floods caused food shortages, wildfires, death and the displacement of populations world-wide.
Canadian Map - Major disasters related to climate during the past decade (from 2004-2014).
Greater Toronto Area Map - Major disasters related to climate during the past decade (from 2004-2014).
Local Impacts and Actions
Oakville's Changing Climate, this table provides an overview of the observed and projected climatic changes in Oakville. All data, unless otherwise referenced is taken from the Canadian Climate Change Scenario's Network's (CCCSN) Localizer Report.
1.0 Annual increase in temperature and precipitation
NOTE: This section covers the projected annual increases in temperature and precipitation not the extreme temperatures or precipitation events that have are being noticed in Southern Ontario, these extreme weather events are discussed in Section 5.0 Increased Frequency and severity of Extreme Temperatures.
The impacts of an increase in annual temperatures and precipitation are easier to prepare for and adapt to since the change is gradual. Although it may be easier to adapt to these slight increases over time this does not mean that mitigation efforts related to energy and fuel conservation can be stopped, in fact they need to become more aggressive.
Through recent experience and predicted models, warmer winters ON AVERAGE are projected despite the unusually cold winter of 2013-2014 which had 13 cold alerts spanning 41 days in Halton Region.
An increase in annual average temperatures refers to both summer and winter temperatures, and the expected impacts of more highly variable temperatures are reviewed below.
1.1 Northerly migration of invasive species (forests stands hit with extreme weather being more susceptible to pests and disease, Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Long Horned Beetle)
1.2 Changing migration patterns and increase activity of disease vectors (West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease)
1.3 Longer, warmer and more variable growing season (drought, heat, more variable crop types and yields)
1.4 Variable winter climate and precipitation patterns (freezing rain, sleet, increased freeze/thaw cycles, spring melt)
Increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather
The impacts of climate change are complex and interrelated. Rising average temperatures and increasing precipitation may cause an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events including: high winds, extreme precipitation, lightning storms, and extreme temperature events.
Southern Ontario has recently been hit a number of times with severe storm events. Luckily most have bypassed Oakville, but Mississauga, Burlington, Toronto and Hamilton have experienced significant and costly impacts resulting from extreme weather. For example, since the 2005 Finch Street washout Toronto has had to recover financially from five other extreme weather events including an ice storm, high wind events and other instances of extreme precipitation.
This section details several types of extreme weather events including: high winds/tornados, severe storms (extreme precipitation, lighting), and extreme temperatures/poor air quality. Click on each of the links below for more information on how you can build your resilience to the following extreme weather events.
To learn more on how you can build your resilience to all extreme weather and emergency situations before during and after an event, visit the town's Emergency Preparedness webpages.