Ottawa will continue to get warmer and wetter year-round, with a greater chance of extreme weather, according to recent climate projections for the nation’s capital region until 2100.
The city received advanced climate modelling used to predict changes in temperature, precipitation and seasons.
Winter will be shorter, causing seasons to shift. Fall will start later while spring will start earlier. Days that are hotter than 30 C will be more common and precipitation will increase in volume and intensity. Climate variability from year to year will continue, with some years being much warmer or wetter than others. The greater the increase in global greenhouse gas emissions, the warmer it will be.
The city says the projections will help it to better understand the impact of climate change on its communities, infrastructure, economy and natural environment. Using these projections, staff will determine Ottawa’s vulnerabilities and assess adaptation measures. Staff will also develop a climate resiliency strategy next year to prepare Ottawa to adapt to changing climate conditions.
A first phase of a proposed bylaw to protect urban trees, known to help reduce heat island effect, was expected to roll out in May with stiffer fees and penalties. However, the city’s response to COVID-19 has delayed this work. The committee recently approved a motion to accelerate part of phase two, which reduces the size of distinctive trees. That will come into effect with phase one on Friday, January 1, 2021.