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
•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
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
|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
|A scientific report of use to researchers, policy makers
and decision makers, and of potential interest to members of the general
||A public outreach report (although outreach products
will be produced as part of the assessment).
|A national-scale assessment of vulnerability from a
||A detailed assessment of vulnerability at the regional
and local scale (these are seen as a complementary scale of assessment)