Welcome to NMAP

A Climate Debate Imbalance?

The HBO comedy show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver  made a mockery of media false balance in its climate science coverage. Oliver was also interviewed on the science podcast Inquiring Minds, and host Chris Mooney noted:

"I feel like they said in 4 minutes something I've been saying for 10 years with like tens or hundreds of thousands of words; what they said was that there's no debate over global warming, so to have these 'balanced' 1-on-1 TV debates is just preposterous."

Citing the 97% expert consensus result from a paper published last year, John Oliver illustrates what a statistically representative climate change debate should look like.

Project Announcements

NEW: NMAP is working GeoLive at UBC to develop an interactive map tool that can be used by communities and individuals in Canada to outline how climate change is affecting their community. The web-based map will be launched in the Fall of 2015.

Many analyses of change and impacts emphasize quantitative information -- often presented at a broad scale. The new NMAP map tool will provide a unique site where the focus is on the stories, images and experiences provided by individuals and communities. This will help build an understanding of the reality of climate change and what it means at the local scale.

An outline of the initiative will be provided by Kevin Hanna and Jon Corbett (from UBC) at the 2015 Resilient Cities Conference in Bonn. Click here to see the presentation (a pdf document).

Research of note

A reassessment of historical data and methodology by US research body debunks ‘hiatus’ hypothesis used by sceptics to undermine climate science The report "Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability; April 2014", by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes that ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are .under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and many fish and other creatures are migrating toward the poles, or in some cases going extinct.

Some of the most extreme predictions of global warming are unlikely to materialize, new scientific research published in Nature Geoscience has suggested, but the world is still likely to be in for a temperature rise of double that regarded as safe. That would still lead to catastrophe across large swaths of the Earth. Click here to see the Guardian article.

The MC3 project has published a set of best practice case studies in community and local government actions for climate change.Click here to visit the MC3 website.

CO2 emissions rises mean dangerous climate change now almost certain.
Research by the Global Carbon Project says emissions growth placing world on path to warm between 4 and 6C.

NMAP's Work 

Climate change has become the chief global environmental issue. The climate change discussion has grown from accepting the science and thinking about attenuation to acknowledging that we now have to adapt and plan for environmental change. We need to adapt to new and changing conditions.

The adaptation imperative requires new and novel approaches to planning and infrastructure development and it requires leadership and innovation in governance. Local governments are often most responsible for infrastructure and land use planning and will play a central role in shaping the response to adaptation.

In Canada leadership on adaptation issues increasingly comes from local governments.

There is a growing acknowledgement that adaptation and resiliency strategies developed and implemented at the local level are essential for supporting sustainable infrastructure, adaptive land use planning, and the continued provision of the broad range of services that local governments supply.

Canadian local governments are on the frontline of the adaptation and resiliency imperative, but are they planning for change? There is a need for research that not only provides an image of what local governments are doing, but also identifies requirements, options and planning strategies. NMAP works to help address these gaps.

The need is for research that not only provides an image of the present situation, but also identifies the requirements of local governments, planning options and policy strategies. The National Municipal Adaptation Project works to develop research that does this.

The need for planning

Our view of planning is comprehensive – we see it as the core activity in local decision-making about how to best provide and support the physical systems that support community economic, social and environmental public services. We also see it as a strategic activity that is ideally inclusive, proactive and interdisciplinary.

NMAP is working to assess the state of planning for adaptation and resiliency in Canadian local governments, develop case studies, and generate applied knowledge for advancing community adaptation planning. In Canada there are a range of organizations and government agencies that are addressing different aspects of adaptation and developing examples and guidelines. Our approach is to develop a comprehensive image of the state of planning and the needs of local governments.

Learning about climate change

The New York Times has posted a series of articles about climate change. The series, titled 'Temperature Rising', may be accessed by clicking here.


Featured Videos

The rapid transition from a society of individual fishermen and hunters to an economy supported by corporate mining raises difficult questions. How would Greenland’s insular settlements tolerate an influx of thousands of Polish or Chinese construction workers, as has been proposed? Will mining despoil a natural environment essential to Greenland’s national identity — the whales and seals, the silent icy fjords, and mythic polar bears? Can fishermen reinvent themselves as miners? Click here to see the slide presentation from the New York Times.

From the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 to this June's conference, how has the UN summit process evolved? Sustainability pioneers reflect on the shift of focus from the environment to sustainable development and discuss how business has become an essential element. Click here to see the video, posted on the Guardian website

Canada has withdrawn from the Kyoto Protocol. The Canadian environment minister said that Kyoto did not represent the way forward for Canada. Canada, Japan and Russia have said they would not accept new Kyoto commitments. Click here to see the video, posted on the Guardian website

UN climate talks ended with an agreement to work towards a legally enforceable deal, covering all countries, to take effect by 2020. Management of a fund for climate aid to poor countries has also been agreed, though how to raise the money has not. Click here to see the video, posted on the BBC website

Researchers in Chile have released time-lapse footage of the dramatic retreat of a glacier in Patagonia. The footage, which shows a yearly cycle of the Jorge Montt Glacier, demonstrates that the glacier is melting - at a rate the scientists say is faster than any other in Chile.  Click here to see the video, posted on the BBC website.

Image above: Many parts of the Vancouver are region are at risk for flooding. A key adaptation planning need for many Canadian communities is the development of 'adaptation infrastructure' and resiliency plans for higher water, and more frequent high water events.



Adaptation News 2015


Canada has agreed to a G7 commitment to deep cuts in carbon emissions by 2050 — with an eventual stop in the use of fossil fuels by the end of the century. But Canada and Japan blocked attempts at a stronger statement on binding greenhouse gas reduction targets, according to The Canadian Press sources who saw a working draft of the G7 communiqué, which was released today after the two-day summit in Germany.  "We emphasize that deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are required with a decarbonization of the global economy over the course of this century." (G7 statement). The call to put energy sectors on a low-carbon footing has serious implications for Canada's greenhouse-gas-emitting oilsands. From the CBC.

Canada's Prime Minister faces international criticism on the country's  climate change polices as he heads to a G7 meeting in Germany. Canada is being publicly blasted as a climate laggard in a report co-authored by former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan, while the Canadian government's chief climate negotiator fielded skeptical questions about Canada's greenhouse-gas reduction policies at a UN climate conference in Bonn. From the CBC.

Scientists have long labored to explain what appeared to be a slowdown in global warming that began at the start of this century as, at the same time, heat-trapping emissions of carbon dioxide were soaring. The slowdown, sometimes inaccurately described as a halt or hiatus, became a major talking point for people critical of climate science. Now, new research suggests the whole thing may have been based on incorrect data. From the NYT.

Canada announces new targets that would cut carbon emission up to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. But are the oil sands part of the cuts? The Environment Minister encounters problems explaining the policy From the CBC

Norway’s parliament has formally endorsed the move to sell off coal investments from its $900bn sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest. It is the largest fossil fuel divestment yet, affecting 122 companies across the world, and marking a new success for the fast-growing and UN-backed climate change campaign. A new analysis said the fund would sell off over $8bn (£5bn) of coal-related investments as a result. From the Guardian.

NMAP Links Policy

We select links that are relevant to adaptation planning and related climate change or local government planning activities. We do not link to external sites in return for remuneration or any other consideration in kind. We link to sites based on content merit.

These are free to access, but users may sometimes be asked to register or subscribe before viewing some content. Some sites may require registration and a fee after viewing a certain number of articles. External links on this page are selected and reviewed when the page is published. We do not produce them or maintain them. We do not necessarily endorse services. views or information they provide.

Service Statement

NMAP is a collaborative research group based at the University of British Columbia. NMAP does not provide consulting or other services, nor is it an advocacy organisation. All data and results that NMAP develops are provided on request or are available through this website.