WATCH: Okanagan climate report projects hotter summers, more wildfires

Okanagan residents should get ready for hotter and drier summers, including the risk of more wildfires, according to a new climate change report.

That’s according to the Okanagan Climate Projections Report, which was commissioned by the Regional Districts of North Okanagan, Central Okanagan, and Okanagan-Similkameen.

The report states the region will see an average of 22 days above 30 Celcius a year moving into the 2050s, compared to six days a year on average now.

Gillian Aubie Vines, the report’s lead writer, said the higher temperatures will lead to heat stress for plants and animals and could have serious health impacts on humans, especially for vulnerable populations including children and the elderly.

There will be also be increased precipitation outside of the summer season, which means there will likely be more flooding and landslides that could put significant stress on ecosystems as well as infrastructure.

She acknowledged the report paints a grim picture of the future, but said she’s still hopeful.

“It’s not uplifting, but I like to think that knowledge is power. This just means education and collaboration will play a huge role in preparing for these changes,” she said.

“Working together as a region to understand and prepare together will be very important.”

While the report focuses mainly on the negative impact of climate change, it also projects the region will have longer growing seasons over time, which could bring new opportunities for new crops, but could also reduce the agricultural sector’s productivity because of more frequent and intense storms.

There is also a risk water shortages could become more frequent as farmers fight to take advantage of the longer growing season.

To read the full report, click here.

READ MORE: Climate change causes annual temperatures to rise in Kelowna

READ MORE: Environmental group takes climate strike to Kelowna City Hall


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Climate change

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Warm temperatures bring welcome news for Salmon Arm residents who use public washrooms

City plans to open remaining washrooms, playgrounds to remain closed

Provincial COVID-19 rules lead to closure of two Columbia Shuswap Regional District rec sites

CSRD parks not managed with Rec Sites and Trails BC remain open

Cougar caught on camera in Lake Country

A Lake Country resident caught a cougar prowling near their home

Too late for property tax adjustment from Columbia Shuswap Regional District

Timing of provincial deadlines eliminate option for tax relief in response to COVID-19

YMCA Okanagan offers care for children of essential service workers

Priority will be given to children aged 5 to 12 years old

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Smiles, honks and waves as teachers stage parade for their students

Classrooms are closed, but kids and teachers manage to connect

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

Summerland winery sold for $5.2 million

Property overlooking Okanagan Lake was on the market 160 days

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Most Read