Drought Research Initiative


Canada is, and always has been, buffeted by weather and climate extremes; these may become more frequent in the future. This issue may well be the key issue that the country has to face in terms of climate change. It affects virtually all aspects of society and our environment and it needs a coordinated private sector, government, academic effort to address it appropriately.

  1. To develop a consensus on the critical elements to be included in a science plan on understanding and adapting to extremes.
  2. To develop a strategy for implementing a project to address these science and policy issues.
Extremes is arguably the most significant issue associated with climate change. The variations that will occur are expected to push the limits of extremes in heat, winds, precipitation, floods and droughts as well as their many associated features including forest fires, ecosystem changes, agricultural and infrastructure impacts. A component of these changes will come in temporal and geographical shifts in the boundaries between climate extremes.

To address these events in a spatio-temporal framework we need to consider the trends in extremes, the process responsible for them, and an assessment of future conditions across Canada but this can’t be done without considering the whole continent. This will require a closer partnership between us in Canada and the US and Mexico in this area of climate research. This is also the time for a major thrust in this area because, for example, model outputs at high resolution (CMIP-5) will soon be available and satellite records are becoming long enough and of sufficient resolution that they can provide more insights on extremes.

A strategic plan with steps for moving forward to address the issue of Extremes in Canada and eventually North America in collaboration with international groups.

Discussion topics:
  1. What do we want to achieve in regards to Extremes?
  2. What is currently missing?
  3. What steps should be taken to address the key outstanding issues?
Final Programme and Abstracts


The workshop was funded by the Drought Research Initiative.

2 ½ day workshop (finishing mid-late morning of February 9), February 7-9, 2011.

Winnipeg, Inn at the Forks

Researchers, government leaders and private industry representatives from across Canada and the US who are concerned with developing a path forward for addressing Extremes and our adaptation to them.

Claim information for individuals receiving travel support


If you have any further questions please contact extremes.2011.workshop@gmail.com

This workshop was followed by a half day focused workshop on Red River flooding, one specific example of the Extremes issue being discussed. This workshop was supported by the Disaster Research Institute. Click here for more information.