May 24, 2015


Latest News

Climatologist warns municipal planners to factor in climate change

Building codes are 'not keeping up with the science'

A warming climate has made past long-term weather patterns unreliable in planning for the future, says Environment Canada climatologist David Phillips.

Speaking to a provincial disaster management conference in Winnipeg, Phillips said municipal planners should now consider climate change when approving new building designs or even where to locate water treatment plants and transmission lines.

Manitoba Hydro workers repair hydro lines that were damaged by a storm. With warmer temperatures as a result of climate change come more frequent episodes of severe weather, including destructive rains and winds, warns Environment Canada climatologist David Phillips.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES

Manitoba Hydro workers repair hydro lines that were damaged by a storm. With warmer temperatures as a result of climate change come more frequent episodes of severe weather, including destructive rains and winds, warns Environment Canada climatologist David Phillips. Photo Store

"The cost of considering climate change in your initial plans is maybe zero to five per cent more. And it’s a lot less expensive than retrofitting after the fact," Phillips said.

With warmer temperatures come more frequent episodes of severe weather, including destructive rains and winds.

"The future is not going to look like the past," Phillips told the conference, which attracted more than 450 government officials, first responders and emergency measures experts when it opened on Wednesday but had thinned out somewhat by this morning because of the impending snowstorm.

Phillips said governments will have to enhance building codes to adapt to a warmer future with more extreme weather events.

He said building codes generally are "not keeping up with the science of climate change and the science of building materials, the building sciences."

He said some communities are also beginning to integrate climate change considerations into public health and disaster risk planning.

Meanwhile, Phillips said that because of the timing of the looming storm, Winnipeggers can expect this weekend’s snow to last until March.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Jessica B-U | @_jessbu

May 23 7:43 pm

#tablefor1201 is well underway at the Manitoba Legislative grounds. pic.twitter.com/kL104OkkDE

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 23 6:20 pm

A feast fit for 1,201 to take place at MB Legislative grounds wfp.to/RTE

Jessica B-U | @_jessbu

May 23 3:19 pm

About 30 people marched in memory of Simone Sanderson today, from Burrows and Main, down Selkirk Ave. #MMIW pic.twitter.com/TONWhOHIQo

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 23 3:18 pm

BlackBerry to lay off more employees wfp.to/RTg

Trevor Hagan | @wpgphotog

May 23 1:42 pm

Jason Graveline Pilots the @STARSambulance over #investorsgroupfield #winnipeg #starsairambulance… instagram.com/p/3CNKdYQwra/

Scroll down to load more

Top