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Philippe Gachon: Climate change sciences and models: For a comprehensive level of understanding of climate risks

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2:00 PM, Tuesday 25 May 2021 EDT (1 hour 15 minutes)

In recent decades, changes in climate have caused tremendous impacts on natural and human systems across the world, with an increase in socio-economic costs from climate-related events. In the future, climate change is also expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and heat waves, as well as the intensity of hydro-meteorological hazards. The rate of warming will then increase the likelihood of severe and irreversible impacts, especially for the most vulnerable and exposed peoples.

To reduce climate risks and their consequences or potential damages on natural and human systems at the community scale, there is an urgent need to improve risk identification, assessment, monitoring and early warning, through innovative risk prevention procedures or tools. To fully understand the systemic or combined risks with multiple consequences, it is also necessary to understand and fill the gap between global, regional and local risks.

This talk will present an overview of climate-related risks and their potential consequences considering different factors within various natural and human contexts, in terms of exposure and vulnerability. It will also focus on understanding the nature and extent of physical risk from a changing climate over the next decades. As climate-related hazards exacerbate other stressors, potential domino effects will be discussed, in particular when physical or critical thresholds are reached. Concluding remarks will be given on how to improve our level of understanding of climate risks, and mobilize and promote scientific and practical skills using intersectoral approaches in order to develop our collective resilience.

  • Bourque, C.-A., Gachon, P., MacLellan, B.R. et MacLellan, J.I. (2020). Projected Wind Impact on Abiesbalsamea (Balsam fir)-Dominated Stands in New Brunswick (Canada) Based on Remote Sensing and Regional Modelling of Climate and Tree Species Distribution. Remote Sens, 12(7), 1177.
  • Wazneh, H., Arain, M.A., Coulibaly, P. et Gachon, P. (2020). Evaluating the Dependence between Temperature and Precipitation to Better Estimate the Risks of Concurrent Extreme Weather Events. Advances in Meteorology, 2020, Article ID 8763631.
  • Gachon, P. (2019).Leçons à tirer des inondations récentes : l’importance de l’intersectorialité. Dans F. Huot (dir.). L'état du Québec 2020 (p. 148–155). Montréal : Del Busso.
  • Ogden, N.H. etGachon, P. (2019).Climate change and infectious diseases: What can we expect? Canada Communicable Disease Report, 45(4), 76–80.
  • Rees, E.E., Ng, V., Gachon, P., Mawudeku, A., McKenney, D., Pedlar, J., Yemshanov, D., Parmely, J. et Knox, J. (2019). Risk assessment strategies for early detection and prediction of infectious disease outbreaks associated with climate change. Canada Communicable Disease Report, 45(5), 110–126.
  • Boyer-Villemaire, U., Gachon, P., Boucher, E., Germain, D., Raphoz, M., Doré, M.C. et Martin, J.P. (2017). La réduction des risques de désastres : défis et possibilités pour le Québec et le Canada. Université du Québec à Montréal, Chaire de recherche UQAM sur les risques hydrométéorologiques liés aux changements climatiques.
  • Saad, C. Boulanger Y., M. Beaudet, P.Gachon, J.C. Ruel, and S. Gauthier (2017). Potential impact of climatic change on the risk of windthrow in Eastern Canada's forests.Climatic Change, 143 (3-4), 487-501.

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