The effects of climate on Canada’s landscape, including flooding, drought and loss of biodiversity, are well known.
However, the impact on Canadian communities and communities of the effects of warming have yet to be fully studied, a new study suggests.
The study, released Thursday, finds that the majority of Canadians don�t realize the impacts of climate changing are already being felt.
The findings come from a survey of more than 3,000 Canadians and are the first to look at the relationship between the amount of time residents spend outdoors and their perceptions of climate changes.
The survey found that more than half of Canadians who live in rural areas and more than one-third of residents living in urban areas think that climate change will cause problems for the future, while just over half of those living in the cities believe it will help the economy.
The impact of greenhouse gases on our climate, the report says, is already being observed, with more than three-quarters of respondents saying that the amount and severity of their own climate change has become more pronounced in the past decade.
This is a huge issue for people, said Chris Davenport, one of the researchers on the report.
“It’s really about how much of the world’s carbon we are going to get rid of, because the world is becoming more and more vulnerable,” he said.
A similar study from 2014, found that Canadians in the central-east region were most likely to believe that climate changes will make it harder for them to survive.
That survey found the average climate change denier in Canada was younger than any other demographic group.
However that difference may be due to the fact that in that survey, only 25 per cent of people said they believed that climate causes the greatest harm to the planet.
The new report, released by the University of British Columbia’s Centre for the Study of Climate Change, also found that climate-related damage has become worse over the past several decades.
It said this trend could be due in part to higher temperatures, more extreme weather events, more intense droughts and higher rates of crop failure.
More than 90 per cent said climate change had contributed to the increase in extreme weather and drought, and that climate would continue to play a significant role in their everyday lives.
“There’s been a huge amount of work done on climate change and climate change impacts, but the majority hasn’t been done,” said co-author Scott MacDonald.
“Our study provides a very clear picture of the impact that climate is having on the landscape and how we can do things to protect it.”
The study surveyed more than 800 people living in Canada, in five different provinces and territories, as well as some people living outside of Canada.
It found that nearly half of the people surveyed in Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Alberta said that climate affects their daily lives in some way.
In Alberta, people who live along the Front Range and parts of the Rocky Mountains have been particularly affected by climate change.
About four-in-ten people in the province said climate impacts have affected their daily life.
About a third of people in those areas said they have had to make changes in their daily routines or take steps to reduce their exposure to the elements.
The report says the impacts can be seen in some of the things people can do to limit the damage caused by climate events.
For example, people in northern Saskatchewan are more likely to face a more severe drought this year, MacDonald said.
He said the survey results show that Canadians need to do more to get involved in the debate about climate change, and to educate people about the effects it will have on their lives.
The results of the study will be presented at the 2017 International Conference on Climate Change in Vancouver on May 15 and 16.
It is a collaboration between the University and the Canadian Centre for Climate Change Solutions.
With files from The Canadian Press