1. Research spotlight: Climate change extremes & Ontario agriculture
  2. Researchers in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
    1. Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
    2. Department of History
    3. Department of Philosophy
    4. Department of Sociology and Anthropology
    5. Institute of African Studies
    6. Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies
    7. Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies
    8. School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies

Research spotlight: Climate change extremes & Ontario agriculture

Carleton faculty members Ruth Waldick and Scott Mitchell from the department of Geography and Environmental Studies (in collaboration with Kathryn Lindsay of the Biology department) have spent the last three years on a project that aims to address two key information gaps of vital importance to agriculture and related sectors in Ontario:

  • Risks for local agriculture caused by extreme weather events under a changing climate, specific to key crop development and farm operation stages; and
  • Climate change information on the region, describing the nature and extent to which future weather conditions are expected to change.

Future weather projections are commonly presented in general terms, for large geographic areas, and coarse time scales; these provide limited value to farmers and the agricultural sector. In their work, Profs.  Waldick and Mitchell focus on methods to transform climate model scenarios into weather projections that can be used at seasonal time scales and across localized areas (e.g. within sub-regions of eastern Ontario); this provides information regarding the nature of change, by season, that can be applied to operations on individual farms.

The use of a Geographic Information System approach allows these outcomes to be presented not just as graphs or tables, but also visually, using maps of the local area to show areas at risk of greater changes than others. Dynamic models of land use change and agricultural operations are being developed and refined, based on consultations with farmers and environmental managers in the area, and the visual outputs from scenario runs of the model provide information for local scale planning discussions. [Climate Change Extremes & Ontario Agriculture 2017]

This project is funded by the New Directions funding program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The data being collected here has value for many people and applications, and as such, findings are being disseminated through a general access website. You can also view the team’s webinar recordings and leave your comments and questions on their very own YouTube channel.

Researchers in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Department of History

Department of Philosophy

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Institute of African Studies

Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies

Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies

School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies