Nathan Gillett highlights some of the research carried out at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis of the Climate Research Division at Environment and Climate Change Canada. He answers the question: How do we know that global warming is mainly due to human influence?

DR. NATHAN GILLETT (Research Scientist & Manager, Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Environment and Climate Change Canada): My name is Nathan Gillett. I’m manager of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, which is part of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s climate research division.

Looking to the future, the negative impacts of climate change will… could come from a number of areas. Sea level rise is one that’s… that’s well-known, which could increase… would increase flooding in… in coastal regions. We can expect, depending on the level of climate change, it could have an impact on… on agriculture, on farms, on the production of food. We can… or we expect impacts, for example, on wildfire, and that’s a topic that’s been in the news recently where… where, you know, we expect an impact on climate change.

Climate change is important because it’s already having significant impacts globally and also within Canada. You know, we’ve seen an increase in the number of extreme heatwaves, and we’ve seen increase in heavy rainfall events, and, you know, that’s on the global scale and within Canada. That’s having significant effects on humans and on the environment.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has a number of roles connected with climate change. So my own section is responsible for developing a model – a climate model – which we can use to make predictions of how climate change is going to… how the climate is going to change in the future. And so we can use that to adapt to climate change – to make changes so that the… the damages from climate change are less… are less severe, and also so that we can use it to help decide policies to reduce climate change.