PCIC, Ottawa collaborate to boost climate services

PCIC is now a part of a national initiative to help Canadians prepare for and adapt to a changing climate.

Canadians can access more accurate information and services to help them adapt to the environmental impacts that come with climate change, thanks to a new collaboration between the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC) at the University of Victoria and the Government of Canada’s Canadian Centre for Climate Services (CCCS). 

Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna announced on Tuesday a $1.25-million investment, over five years, that will help PCIC deliver climate services jointly with CCCS—the first in a series of collaborations across Canada. CCCS was created last year to ensure Canadians get accurate and credible climate information. 

“By collaborating with the climate experts at the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, we’re ensuring Canadians on the Pacific coast and across the country have access to the climate information they need. Together, we are building resilience to climate change and building the foundations of our children and grandchildren’s low-carbon future,” said McKenna. 

With extreme weather causing $1.9 billion in property damage last year in Canada, the initiative helps PCIC share its expertise with Canadians to plan for the impacts of climate change. This includes enhanced engagement and user training, as well as coordinating a national approach to how information and services are disseminated. 

“It means a great deal to us that PCIC and the University of Victoria can be part of this important national initiative to help communities and stakeholders across the country prepare for and adapt to a changing climate,” said Francis Zwiers, director of PCIC. 

PCIC provides historical and projected future climate data along with real-time information, and it analyzes the impacts of global climate change in Canada’s Pacific and Yukon region. Established in 2005, it has developed extensive expertise in delivering climate information with strong support from the Government of British Columbia, BC Hydro, and other regional and national organizations. 

Dave Spittlehouse, a climatologist with BC’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, said PCIC services will continue to help users obtain authoritative information. “Staff across government require detailed, credible climate information, both historical data and projected long-term changes, in providing services to the public. This increased funding will improve the ability of PCIC to provide this information to help the province adapt to a changing climate,” he said. 

UVic is a leader in research on climate modelling, mitigation and adaptation, the development of sustainable energy systems, and the policy implications of climate change. University researchers work with governments, industry and community groups to foster clean growth, sustainable solutions and low-carbon economic development to address the challenges posed by climate change.   

Government of Canada news release.

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Media contacts

Jennifer Kwan (University Communications + Marketing) at 250-721-7641 or researchcomm@uvic.ca

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Keywords: climate, community, environment, education, government, sustainability, PCIC, PICS

People: Francis Zwiers

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