New climate projections for National Capital Region spark planning resilience initiatives

OTTAWA – As part of collective efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change in the National Capital Region, the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the City of Ottawa commissioned a new climate projections report to assist in planning resilience initiatives.
The report shows that the National Capital Region will become warmer and wetter in the coming decades.

“Our actions to mitigate emissions and adapt will determine the impact of these changes,” city staff released in a statement Monday (June 8). “The report details how our region’s weather will change in the coming decades, including detailed analysis of future climate conditions with respect to temperature, precipitation, wind and extreme weather events. These projections will help us better understand the impact of climate change on communities, infrastructure, the economy and the natural environment. Having consistent regional climate information will help us develop resilience and adaptation initiatives and reduce future impacts.”

The City of Ottawa declared a climate emergency and committed to take action to protect Ottawa’s economy, ecosystems and community. One of the city’s priorities is to develop a climate resiliency strategy to make sure Ottawa is prepared to adapt to changing climate conditions. This study is the first milestone for this project.

“The City of Ottawa is committed to taking action to address climate change,” Mayor Jim Watson said. “Our aim is to reduce climate risks and impacts, and to make sure that our city is prepared to adapt to changing climate conditions. We will use the projections to create a proactive strategy and take action to prepare for future changes.”

In 2018, the NCC’s board of directors approved its five-year Sustainable Development Strategy, providing a focused and innovative agenda for environmental leadership in Canada’s Capital Region, and serving as an overarching element to be included in all the NCC’s plans, strategies, policies and operations. This climate projections project is a deliverable under the strategy’s climate change adaptation initiative.

Staff will use the projections to identify risks both from gradual changes in temperature and precipitation and from extreme events (such as heat waves, flooding and storms). This will guide the city’s development of a long-term climate resiliency strategy, and the NCC’s creation of a plan to manage the greatest risks.

Key findings
  • The National Capital Region will become warmer in all seasons, and wetter during fall, winter and spring.
  • The calendar of the seasons will shift, with later fall and earlier spring.
  • Extreme heat events will become more common.
  • Winters are expected to become shorter, with fewer snowfalls.
  • Precipitation will increase in volume and intensity.

Visit the links listed below to read the full report and explore more climate data.

The NCC’s Climate Change Initiative

The NCC’s Sustainable Development Strategy, 2018–2023

City of Ottawa Climate Change and Resiliency web page