WIT Press

Climate Change Adaptation And Food Production In Canada: Some Research Challenges


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

101 - 112




170 kb


S. Kulshreshtha & E. Wheaton


Canada is a vast country and faces different types of weather and climatic patterns. As a result, Canadian agriculture is a spatially heterogeneous industry and therefore, would face differing impacts of climate change in different regions. Depending on the region of study, although, such impacts would vary with different climate characteristics, differing enterprise combinations and the adaptation potential of producers may also have a significant role to play. In general, as average temperatures increase in northern latitudes, for many crops particularly in the northern regions of Canada (more specifically in the Prairie region); such impacts are estimated to be positive for the shorter term through higher yields. New production opportunities are expected to emerge; however, such knowledge is somewhat scarce. These positive benefits of climate change would be reduced when extreme events strike – droughts and floods are expected to become more frequent and severe. Although the impacts of one-year or backto- back droughts have been estimated, such is not the case with the impact longer period drought might have on producers and the economic system in Canada. For livestock, due to a negative impact on forage, pastures, and feed grain production, coupled with higher temperatures, some livestock productivity is expected to suffer in some regions. However, empirical studies on this impact are lacking. Among various challenges in meeting knowledge gaps some stand out. For example, many studies have employed different methodologies with respect to assumption of level of climate change, prediction period, inclusion of CO2 fertilization effect, shift of agro-ecosystems northwards, inclusion or exclusion of extreme events, among others. This makes comparison of regional


Canada, agriculture, climate change, adaptation, extreme events