The University of Prince Edward Island signed an agreement today to host Environment Canada’s climate change data for Atlantic Canada. The Atlantic server node is part of Environment Canada’s Canadian Climate Change Scenarios Network, which supports climate change impact and adaptation research.
“The Canadian Climate Change Scenarios Network server node is an invaluable tool for researchers and communities investigating climate change,” said Dr. Katherine Schultz, UPEI’s Vice President of Research and Development. “These are data that will benefit the entire region. I’m proud that UPEI is partnering with Environment Canada in making this resource available.”
“The Adaptation and Impacts Research Section of Environment Canada is pleased to welcome UPEI into the national partnership of the Canadian Climate Change Scenarios Network,” said Neil Comer, Environment Canada Climatologist and Manager of the network. “Along with other academic institutions across the country, UPEI will strengthen a proven successful collaborative effort to provide Atlantic Canadians with the best available climate change science information.”
Dr. Sheldon Opps, Associate Professor and Chair of UPEI’s Department of Physics, initiated the discussions which led to the agreement with Environment Canada after identifying a need for access to climate data on Prince Edward Island. In his own research, Opps will use the data to track changes in migration and distribution of birds, as an indicator for climate change.
“Although birds make up a major part of the animal diversity on the Island, we know very little about how current and predicted future changes in the environment may affect them,” said Opps. “These data will allow us to model possible scenarios, identify solutions, and monitor the progress and change.”
The announcement follows a two-day workshop and training session put on by Environment Canada for potential users of the node.
“As we have observed during recent storm surge events, Prince Edward Island is very vulnerable to the consequences of climate change,” said private environmental consultant Don Jardine. “The intent of these workshops is to learn about tools which are available to help us better prepare for similar future events.”
The data within the Atlantic node of the Canadian Climate Change Scenarios Network are publicly available at the website atlantic.cccsn.ca. The site provides researchers, policy makers, and the general public access to information and tools to understand and plan for climate change.