© Jukka Jantunen / Shutterstock Collared Pika

CLIMATE CHANGE

The climate crisis is wreaking havoc across Canada and the globe, putting the future of the planet as we know it at risk.

The Global Climate Crisis

Climate change is accelerating sea-ice loss and worsening wildfires, floods, drought, avalanches, heatwaves and sea-level rise. It’s changing the flow of rivers, eliminating streams altogether and increasing ocean acidification, which threatens marine life. Climate change is also contributing to the degradation of natural habitats, which is being felt by wildlife and people in Canada and around the world.

Meet Our Experts

    Photo-of-Simon-Mitchell-WWF

    Simon J. Mitchell

    Vice President, Resilient Habitats

    Simon J. Mitchell

    Vice President, Resilient Habitats

    Simon leads WWF-Canada’s Resilient Habitats team, which works from coast to coast to coast protect landscapes, habitats and species.  A key function of Simons work is to identify strategies and actions across terrestrial and marine environments that improve the healthy and resilience of nature and people.

    Photo-of-Andrew-Dumbrille-WWF

    Andrew Dumbrille

    Lead Specialist, Marine Shipping and Conservation

    Andrew Dumbrille

    Lead Specialist, Marine Shipping and Conservation

    Through research, advocacy, and engagement with Indigenous communities and international forums like the Arctic Council and the International Maritime Organization, Andrew works on reducing the impact of shipping on the marine environment. Andrew attended Trent Univeristy and focused on culture, english and Indigenous studies.

    Photo-of-Jessica-Currie-WWF

    Jessica Currie

    Specialist, Science, Knowledge and Innovation

    Jessica Currie

    Specialist, Science, Knowledge and Innovation

    Jessica supports WWF-Canada’s Science, Research and Innovation team through research, management of big data, and both qualitative and quantitative analyses, providing an evidence base for WWF-Canada’s conservation work. Noteworthy analyses include the Living Planet Report for Canada and the Wildlife Protection Assessment. Jessica holds a Master’s of Science in Environmental Sustainability.

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© BMJ / Shutterstock ice melting

Rising Global Temperatures

Since the industrial revolution, human activities have caused average global temperatures to rise by about 1°C. Levels of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are higher than they have been at any point in human existence — and they’re still increasing.

Scientists warn that exceeding an average global warming of 1.5°C will significantly accelerate changes that are already underway, leading to ecosystem disruption and, in some cases, destruction. The magnitude of these changes will negatively impact nature and people — and unless stronger climate actions are taken, our planet will continue tracking towards unsustainable rises in temperature.

The Effects of Climate Change

© Shutterstock Atlantic Walrus

Wildlife

The warming planet is altering ecosystems and affecting where species live, how they interact, and in some cases changing lifecycle stages. Even the most subtle changes to habitat can result in wildlife struggling to find food and places to live, leading to growing numbers of species whose populations are in severe decline.

© DCBPresents / Shutterstock free flowing river

Freshwater

Climate change is altering weather and water patterns in Canada and around the world, causing shortages and droughts in some areas and floods in others, which impact wildlife and the viability of freshwater ecosystems.

© Yingna Cai / Shutterstock sea shore

Oceans

People and wildlife depend on the health of our oceans as a natural resource. Oceans have absorbed a great deal of the carbon released since industrial times, resulting in more acidic waters. This results in more acidic oceans. The changes have disrupted marine food chains and ocean habitats such as coral reefs and eelgrass beds.

© Paul Nicklen / National Geographic Stock

Arctic

The Canadian Arctic is warming three times as fast as the rest of the Earth, affecting climate around the globe and threatening the foundation of Arctic ecosystems. If current trends continue, Arctic summer sea ice is expected to disappear before the mid-century, which will have cascading consequences on Arctic and global ecosystems, wildlife and people.

What is WWF-Canada doing

WWF-Canada is working on nature-based climate solutions to prevent the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere from the destruction of natural carbon stores like forests, peatlands and coastal ecosystems and to increase our adaptation and resilience to the changes that have already begun. Over the next decade, this work will help us reduce carbon emissions by 30 MT.

WWF-Canada is committed to working with Indigenous partners where our support is welcome, along with governments, businesses and others to:

  • Conduct research to understand the specific threats that climate breakdown poses to wildlife and identify what is required to restore habitats and increase resilience.
  • Restore land-based habitat such as forests and groundcover in built-up areas as well as marine coastal ecosystems to naturally increase carbon capture and storage.
  • Restrict the release of carbon to the atmosphere by protecting Canada’s carbon stores.
  • Build a model for regional water management that can help at-risk communities become more resilient to the growing effects of climate change.

How You Can Help Fight the Climate Crisis

To address the climate crisis, we must act quickly to reduce carbon emissions, protect natural carbon stores and make nature and communities more resilient.

You can help fight the climate crisis with nature by:

  • Supporting local biodiversity in towns, cities, and other built-up areas to improve wildlife habitat and carbon capture through enhanced vegetation. Check out In The Zone for inspiration on how you can transform your garden or balcony into  your own nature-based climate solution.
  • Supporting local efforts to restore or protect shoreline, coastal and land-based ecosystems.
  • Supporting stewardship of wildlife and habitat by Indigenous communities wherever possible.

What You Can Do

hands planting

In The Zone

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gardeners

Living Planet at Campus

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employees with panda

Living Planet at Work

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