U of R Receives Funding for Research into Climate Change Impact on the Prairies

Release: June 2, 2011

Contact: Dale Johnson, External Relations
Phone: (306) 585-5439
Cell: (306) 536-4312
Email: dale.johnson@uregina.ca

University of Regina to study how to cope with the impact of global
warming on the Prairies

Researchers at the University of Regina have been awarded $1.25 million
to study how climate change will impact the Prairies, especially the
agricultural and Indigenous communities. The money is part of a $2.5
million international project on Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate
Extremes in the Americas. A total of $12.5 million was announced by the
International Development Research Centre (IDRC) under the International
Research Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change (IRIACC) today in
Ottawa.

The University of Regina project will be led by David Sauchyn, a
geography professor, and senior research scientist at the Prairie
Adaptation Research Collaborative. The University of Regina will partner
with the Universidad de Chile in its work on the five-year project,
which will also involve collaboration with researchers and
decision-makers in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.

“The work will take us to the Swift Current region in Saskatchewan,
so we can see first hand the potential impacts of global warming in our
own backyard,” said David Sauchyn. “The idea is to examine how
vulnerable people and regions can adapt to climate change.”

Sauchyn said a portion of the work will also be carried out in Southern
Alberta, and that water stewardship groups in both provinces will be
actively engaged.
“We need to hear from the people on the ground in these communities,
because they are the ones who know best what is happening, and stand to
be impacted the most ,” said Sauchyn. “The more we know about
possible impacts, the better able we are to deal and adapt to potential
change.”

“The University of Regina has developed an international reputation
for its expertise in climate change research,” said Vianne Timmons,
President and Vice-Chancellor of the University. “We are proud that
our researchers will be playing such a key role in this latest study
that will have important benefits both within Saskatchewan and around
the world.”

Sauchyn has been at the forefront of research looking into climate
change and adaptation for years, including involvement in a 2008 natural
Resources Canada report which found that the climate of the Prairies is
warming faster than the global average, potentially leading to an
increasing number of extreme events such as drought and excess water.

IRIACC is a unique collaboration funded by IRDC, the Canadian
Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences
and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).