University of Regina researchers study adaptation to climate change

News Release Release Date: April 22, 2014 11:00 a.m.

University of Regina researchers continue to lead the way in the effort to adapt to climate change. Dr. David Sauchyn, a senior research scientist at the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative (PARC), is a co-director of the Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Extremes in the Americas or VACEA project. The $2.5 million research project just completed the third year of a five-year study. VACEA is a multi-disciplinary comparative study of adaptation to climate change on the Canadian plains, and in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia.

“We are working with rural communities to help them deal with flooding, drought and storms as these events seem to be happening more often and with greater intensity,” said Sauchyn.

Earlier this month, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report that says the planet is on track to warm by almost four degrees Celsius by the end of this century if action to reduce greenhouse gases isn’t taken. Sauchyn was one of the scientists to review the report before its release.

Under VACEA, researchers are studying the past and future climate in Shaunavon and Rush Lake in Saskatchewan, Pincher Creek and Taber in Alberta, and in the four South American countries.

Another important aspect of the research included a team of four PhD students spending months living in rural communities and conducting more than 170 interviews. Through this process, they were able to find out what the public believes about climate change, how they have been affected by extreme weather, and how they will respond to it in the future.

The project is shared among its many partners, and the communities, and is funded by the International Development Research Centre, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.


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