Position Statement on Climate Change
Improved Knowledge Needed for Smarter Decisions
The Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, noting the Kyoto Protocol negotiated by Canada and other nations, as well as the ongoing debate about climate change, issues this policy statement for the information of all concerned.
CMOS asserts that a common understanding of the science of climate change and variability is an essential basis for developing effective programs and policies on climate change, including addressing the commitments laid out in the Kyoto Protocol of 1997.
CMOS endorses the process of periodic climate science assessment carried out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and supports the conclusion, in its Third Assessment Report, which states that the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.
CMOS also endorses the conclusions of the Canada Country Study: Climate Impacts and Adaptation, which shows that our response will be critical in determining the environmental, economic and social costs and benefits of climate change for Canada.
CMOS recognizes that current uncertainties in the scientific understanding of climate limit our ability to predict the nature of future change accurately. In particular, it is unclear to what degree and in which regions Canada will experience an increase of weather extremes (floods, droughts, ice storms). However, there is sufficient understanding to justify reducing the human activities which can induce climate change and developing techniques to adapt to climate change.
Thus, among the necessary scientific endeavours, CMOS recommends enhanced monitoring of climate and further research aimed at the following:
Updated, February 2002