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Research on climate change impacts to northern transportation infrastructure 

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Research on climate change impacts to northern transportation infrastructure 

Today the Government of Canada announced investment for an important new climate change adaptation research project under the Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative.

Northern infrastructure is particularly susceptible to climate change impacts and adaptive strategies are needed to deal with the increasing risk to safety and reliability and to manage long-term costs effectively.

The Government of Nunavut will be leading a permafrost study to support increased climate resilience of the transportation system serving communities in Nunavut. The project will develop data to assist in decision-making processes for airports in Pangnirtung and Rankin Inlet, and in the analysis of how long-term changes in the climate may affect transportation underlain by permafrost in these and 14 other territorial communities.

“Our climate is changing and is affecting Canada’s transportation system in the North and Arctic. That’s why we are investing in the Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative to improve climate resilience and build a safer, more secure and efficient northern transportation system,” said federal Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra. “In partnership with the Government of Nunavut, we will continue to work to safeguard the region’s social and economic development by strengthening the capacity of Northerners and northern communities to adapt to climate change.”

The total cost of the project is $540,335: Transport Canada is providing up to $349,000, while the Government of Nunavut is contributing $116,335. The Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office is also offering in-kind contribution.

Canada’s North is vast, with a limited transportation network. Many communities’ year-round transportation options are limited. With this funding, the governments of Canada and Nunavut are taking concrete steps to make those options more reliable as the climate continues to change.

“The health, well-being and resiliency of northern communities depends on a safe and reliable transportation system. The North and Arctic are seeing significant impacts due to climate change, through melting permafrost, coastal erosion and more, affecting vital transportation infrastructure,” said federal Minister of Northern Affairs Daniel Vandal. “With today’s announcement, we are supporting the Government of Nunavut’s research project that will help to make the transportation system in the territory more resilient to those impacts, and Nunavummiut continue to see improvements in their quality of life.”

Transport Canada’s Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative aims to strengthen the capacity of northerners to adapt their transportation systems to climate change, through support for research, development, and testing of adaptive technologies.

For further information, visit: Northern Transportation Adaptation Initiative

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