UGRA Spring Forum 2017

Climate Change: Implications, Adaptation and Mitigation
Thursday April 13, 2017,  1:00pm-4:00pm
Arboretum Centre

Human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and industrial agriculture have led to large increases over the past 200 years in the atmospheric content of greenhouse gases, such as Carbon Dioxide and Methane. Climatologist have theorised that the increase in Greenhouse gases will lead to an increase in the average temperature at the surface of the earth, and in turn this will result in melting of glaciers and ice sheets, a rise in sea level, and changes in climate, especially in mid-to high-latitudes. Recently the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that there is now overwhelming evidence that global warming is occurring and that it is largely driven by human actions. Despite this there are still climate change deniers who say there is no global warming and climate change skeptics who say that there may be global warming but it is all part of a natural cycle. Climate change is now a highly politicised word and the wide range of views in turn affects the kinds of actions that small communities, large urban centres and countries take to adapt to the potential impacts of climate change on society, including all forms of economic activity, and to mitigate the causes of climate change.

Join us as our panel of speakers address these issues and provide their thoughts on how climate change is affecting us now, and how steps being taken to mitigate it and to adapt to it will affect our lives and those of our children and grandchildren.

Speakers

Robin Davidson- Arnott
Climate, Climate Change and Climate Change modelling – implications for Canadian coastal regions

Barry Smit
Implications of climate change for societies, economies and communities.

Kirby Calvert
Climate change mitigation: the effects of renewable energy development on landscapes and land use planning.

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Robin Davidson-Arnott is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geography, University of Guelph. He has carried out research on coasts and coastal processes, particularly in the Great Lakes and on the east coast of Canada. Some of this includes modelling of the impact of sea level rise on sandy coasts and of the potential impacts of reduced ice cover on coastal erosion. He has been working with agencies such as Parks Canada, the Atlantic Provinces Regional Adaptation Collaborative, Ontario Parks and various Conservation Authorities in Ontario on both the identification of climate change impacts on coastal processes and measures to adapt to these.

Barry Smit is University Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geography, University of Guelph. His research and practice on climate change impacts and adaptation span more than 30 years and integrates natural science, social science and health science. He has advised agencies in Canada, and in countries as diverse as Norway, USA, Bangladesh, UK and Samoa on adaptation to climate change. He was a member of the IPCC which won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Kirby Calvert is Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, University of Guelph. He completed a Ph.D at Queens in 2013 and came to Guelph in 2015 after two years at The Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on a number of issues related to the adaptation of renewable energy and on how this affects land use planning and the evolution of landscapes and land use systems. He puts this research to work as a member of the City of Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative Task Force, and he is Co-Director of the Community Energy Knowledge and Action Partnership (CEKAP); a national partnership of universities and non-academic partners which aims to facilitate local climate change mitigation and resilience building through community energy planning (www.cekap.ca).

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