Climate Change

 

Join the Town of Oakville at the fourth annual Keep Calm and Adapt - Emergency and Extreme Weather Preparedness event taking place to kick off Emergency Preparedness Week on Sunday, May 6, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information visit the Keep Calm and Adapt webpage.

Building our community's resilience to our changing climate

Oakville's Climate Change Primer provides local information for residents on the science and complexity of climate change with climate projections for southern Ontario and more specifically Oakville. This online document 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 drawn from Environment Canada, Climate Ontario, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and from the Canadian Climate Change Scenarios Networks (CCCSN) Localizer Report.

1.0 Increase in annual temperature and precipitation

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.

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)

2.0 Heavy Precipitation

Heavy precipitation can have devastating effects on our natural and built environments, health and safety as well as recreation and tourism. Observation of changing weather patterns and data projections indicate that more precipitation will fall in shorter periods of time causing personal safety risks, environmental impacts and property damage.

For information on how to prepare for heavy rain and the possibility of flooding visit the town’s webpages on the Town of Oakville's Stormwater Management and Emergency Preparedness or the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction’ s (ICLR)YouTube channel, Halton Regions Basement Flooding and the FloodSmart Canada webpages. 

3.0 High Wind and Tornadoes

In the past an average of approximately 12 tornadoes were reported in Ontario per year. In 2013, 22 tornadoes were reported in Ontario. Environment Canada accounts for this increase in part due to population growth and urban sprawl – there are more people in more places to report such occurrences. But there is also scientific evidence that states that rising air and water temperatures will contribute to more tornado activity in areas not previously prone to this type of activity.

For information on how you can build your resiliency visit the town’s Emergency Preparedness pages on high wind and tornadoes.

4.0 Thunder and Lightning Activity

A reminder from Environment Canada states, ‘When thunder roars, go indoors! – When you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance of lightning.’ For information on how to prepare for increased lightning activity visit the towns Emergency Preparedness page.

5.0 Temperature Extremes

An increase in the frequency and duration of extreme temperature events such as heat, often accompanied by smog, and extreme cold events pose health and safety risks to town staff and residents. It is important to be aware of appropriate actions and safety measures to take during extreme heat events or on days of poor air quality. The Halton region Health Department issues all heat, smog and cold related warnings to area municipalities who in turn offer relief programs. For more information on how to protect human health in light of temperature extreme and poor air quality visit the Halton Region website.

Corporate Resilience

The Town of Oakville has had a Council endorsed Climate Change Strategy since 2014. visit the town's Climate Change Adaptation Initiative to see how we are better preparing our operations.