Webinar: Our Incredible Shrinking Island: Climate Science Public Outreach Information Sessions on Prince Edward Island
Dr. Adam Fenech, UPEI Climate Lab
The University of Prince Edward Island Climate Lab has undertaken a travelling road show of public information sessions on sea-level rise, coastal erosion and their potential effects on the island province. The lab, which undertakes research on climate change vulnerability, impacts and adaptation, did a similar series of presentations four years ago, but had a strong incentive to visit over eight communities again this year. The first was funding from the Ecology Action Centre. The second was the new science surrounding the rate of sea level rise. For the last 30 years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading authority on climate change science, advised planning for a one metre of sea-level rise. The new science says it could be as much as three times that. The star of the show is CLIVE (Coastal Impacts Visualization Environment), a visualization tool developed by the UPEI Climate Lab and Simon Fraser University’s Spatial Interface Research Lab to show the impact of future coastal erosion, sea-level rise and storm surges. Using a game controller, users can fly over a 3D representation of PEI and zoom in on their home or community. They then select different erosion and sea-level rise scenarios to see how they will affect the land. Results of showing CLIVE to PEI communities have proved an increase in knowledge and awareness about climate change impacts; an increase in the concern over these impacts; and a willingness to adapt or “take action.” This webinar will provide more details.
Dr. Fenech has worked extensively in climate change since 1988, initially as an inaugural member of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He worked with Harvard University examining the science-policy interface of climate change, wrote climate policy speeches for Ministers of Environment Canada, and represented Canada at international negotiations. He has edited eight books on climate change, most recently on Global Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainability in the Middle East.
Dr. Fenech leads a new Bachelor of Science programme in Climate Change and Adaptation at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), and works as Director of UPEI's Climate Research Lab. The Lab is internationally-recognized for its leading research in applying the innovative, new technologies of virtual reality, drones and “big data” analytics to the issue of climate change adaptation. The Climate Lab’s work on coastal erosion, storm surge and sea-level rise has been honoured by an award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in communicating coastal issues; and the Pinchuk Community Builder Award presented to the Climate Lab from the PEI Association of Planners for raising awareness and concern about coastal issues to PEI communities.
Dr. Fenech is also an associate professor at the University of Toronto where he has taught since 1998; is an adjunct professor at universities in Canada and the United States of America; teaches annually at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC; and lectures regularly at universities across Canada and around the world.