In Nova Scotia, climate change is expected to bring warmer average temperatures, higher sea levels, more extreme rainfalls and storm flooding, and more frequent and extreme storms. These changes will have many impacts. Our findings on the impacts of climate change come from Natural Resource's Canada's comprehensive 2007 report:
Climate change is expected to have impacts on:
- Coastlines: Nova Scotia is particularly sensitive to coastal impacts. Most of our population lives along the coastline and much of our infrastructure is located in vulnerable areas. In many cases, that infrastructure was designed to withstand weather events less extreme and less frequent than what we now expect.
- Fresh water: We can expect increased demand for water and increased competition for it. Nova Scotia's supplies of fresh water may be at greater risk of salt contamination from rising sea levels, pollution from runoff caused by heavy rains and snow, and parasites drawn to warmer water temperatures.
- Business: Not all impacts will be negative: warmer conditions may present opportunities for industries such as tourism and agriculture. Industries that benefit in some areas, however, will likely have to manage new challenges: protecting public and private infrastructure and making climate sensitive industries, like forestry, resilient to climate variability and extremes.
Many bodies are responsible for adapting to climate change, including: provincial, municipal, and federal government, private industry, as well as communities and individuals throughout Nova Scotia. Although more research is needed to understand the impact of climate change on Nova Scotia, we know enough to begin to prepare now.