Climate change and Canada’s north coast: research trends, progress, and future directions
This paper identifies and characterizes current knowledge on climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability for Canada’s northern coastline, outlining key research gaps. Warming temperatures and increased precipitation have been documented across the northern coast, with the rate of sea ice decline ranging from 2.9% to 10.4% per decade. Storm intensity and frequency is increasing, and permafrost is warming across the region. Many of these changes are projected to accelerate in the future, with in excess of 8 °C warming in winter possible under a high-emission scenario by 2081–2100. Vulnerability to these changes differs by region and community, a function of geographic location, nature of climate change impacts, and human factors. Capacity to manage climate change is high in some sectors, such as subsistence harvesting, but is being undermined by long-term societal changes. In other sectors, such as infrastructure and transportation, limitations in climate risk management capacity result in continu...