Q: Why is Bonfield susceptible to climate change?
A: Bonfield is vulnerable to climate change because:
- A1: Bonfield is a rural community, where the residents use resources much more than an urban community. For instance, the way that the farmers of Bonfield count on and need the natural resources e.g. land, rainfall, is different than the residents of Toronto.
- A2: Bonfield is blessed with abundant water bodies situated in the area e.g. Kaibuskong River, Nosbonsing Lake. Water is a vital resource and is a carbon dioxide sink, but it can elevate the risk of flooding events. That is especially true when paying attention to the fact that extreme rainfall events in Bonfield are expected to follow an increasing trend.
- A3: Bonfield has a mid-high latitude (~46o). It is known that climate change is more critical in the northern areas (Environment and Climate Change Canada). In that sense, Bonfield needs to be prepared for climate change impacts.
- A4: 30% of Bonfield is composed of seniors and children (www.statcan.gc.ca), who are more vulnerable to climate change impacts.
Q: How Bonfield can be impacted by a new warmer climate?
A: The rainfall pattern is expected to change in Bonfield. Generally, extreme events are expected to be more severe and more frequent. As well the annual temperature is expected to increase. This new pattern of temperature, rainfall and snowfall can cause flooding events, heatwaves, disturbed farming activities, a different pattern of energy demand, and climate-related diseases (warmer lakes are better hosts for bacteria).
Q: Can we make a climate-proof Bonfield?
A: Hopefully, we can. Bonfield should be resilient. This means that Bonfield, i.e. the residents and the infrastructures, should be able to absorb climate-related shocks and return to normal life in a reasonable amount of time. This does not mean that no disaster will be a threat to Bonfield. Rather, it means that, if a disaster happens infrastructures can tolerate it. And properly trained residents in Bonfield can withstand the disaster, learn lessons from it and reach a balanced life again.