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National Assessment on Climate Change - Prairies Chapter 


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Introduction to the Assessment

What is the Assessment?

This initiative is a national scale scientific assessment of existing knowledge of climate change impacts and adaptation in Canada. It will address key questions regarding Canada's vulnerability to climate change as well as opportunities presented by climate change. The main goals of the Assessment are:

•To integrate multiple sources and types of knowledge in order to assess the current state of scientific knowledge (including biological, physical, social and economic science) relevant to understanding Canada's vulnerability to climate change;

•To provide an up-to-date, non-biased source of information which informs, but does not direct, decision-making and policy development;

•To highlight what is known about vulnerability, as well as identify knowledge gaps that remain to be addressed in order to make more comprehensive statements;

•To communicate the findings of the assessment to Canadians and the global community;

•To build upon interest generated by the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment Report in 2007, and provide Canadians with a country-specific report.

The Assessment will be constructed around six regional chapters (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies, British Columbia and North) complemented by two chapters examining vulnerability at international and local scales. Other chapters will include an introduction, a national picture of climate change, research methodologies and directions. A synthesis report will be developed that integrates the key findings of all of these chapters.

Further clarification is provided in the table below:

The Assessment is: The Assessment is not:
Focused on priority issues of concern with respect to vulnerability to current and future climate. An encyclopaedic summary of all potential impacts and adaptation issues.
A scientific report. A policy document.
An assessment of existing knowledge regarding Canada’s vulnerability to climate change. An opportunity to conduct extensive new research on vulnerability to climate change
A source to inform decision-makers. A tool to direct decision-making
A component of an on-going, constantly evolving process A definitive, static statement of Canada’s vulnerability to climate change.
A critical analysis of the existing literature, which explores how the research contributes to our understanding of vulnerability. A synthesis of existing knowledge, which simply summarizes recent research.
A scientific report of use to researchers, policy makers and decision makers, and of potential interest to members of the general public. A public outreach report (although outreach products will be produced as part of the assessment).
A national-scale assessment of vulnerability from a regional perspective. A detailed assessment of vulnerability at the regional and local scale (these are seen as a complementary scale of assessment)
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