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Climate Change Exchange

Climate Change in Simcoe Muskoka

Climate change is affecting people and communities in Simcoe Muskoka. It impacts all aspects of our lives in direct and indirect ways. Indirect impacts occur when climactic changes (e.g., changes in temperature, precipitation, extreme weather) interact with human and natural systems to create additional climate-related impacts. Human health, the natural and built environment, and the economy are all affected and interconnected. Changes to the environment (e.g., water quality) have an influence on health (e.g., increased risk of water-borne diseases) and the economy (e.g., increased health system cost, reduced tourism opportunities). Changes to the economy, in turn, also impact health because they can alter key determinants of health (or conditions of daily life) such as changes related to income, shelter, behaviour, natural and built environments and social connection.

In Simcoe Muskoka, our average temperature has increased since the 1990s; we experience more hot days and extreme heat events and milder winter temperatures punctuated by extreme cold events. Extreme weather events such as flooding, severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes increasingly affect our communities. Increased temperatures are associated with an increase in food- and water-borne illnesses, and the risk of vector-borne diseases such as Lyme disease has risen. These changes impact our built and natural environments, health, and economic opportunities.

Overall, climate change affects people’s lives, livelihoods, and well-being, with some people impacted more than others.

See the Climate Assessments and Data in the expander bar below, for more information on climate change and climate-related impacts.

Climate Assessments and Data

Several climate change assessments have been completed locally, nationally and internationally from various perspectives (e.g., health, environment, economics). These assessments are tools to identify and understand the impacts of climate change on our communities and inform the development of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a United Nations body for assessing the science, technical and socio-economic knowledge related to climate change. The sixth comprehensive assessment reports (AR6) and special reports include:

See Climate Risk Institute’s list of Climate Data available here to inform decision-making regarding climate change action and preparedness.

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