ParCA Year 1 in Review

The Partnership for Canada Caribbean Community Climate Change Adaptation (ParCA) is now entering its second year. Many accomplishments make up the first year, most notably the ParCA Community Based Vulnerability Assessment (CBVA) training workshop and CBVA field work was completed in May and June of 2012 in the Tobago study site of Crown Point to Plymouth.

In preparation for the Community Based Vulnerability Assessment (CBVA) field work, an extensive field guide and review of available tools was developed.  This guide will be used by all ParCA study sites and has been adopted by other allied research projects in the Caribbean and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The CBVA Training Workshop at Mount Irvine Bay Hotel and Golf Club in Tobago in May 2012 was a wonderful opportunity for many of the ParCA team to meet members of the GIVRAPD and C-FISH, and CCCCE-ARK projects. Special thanks to CARIBSAVE, Environment Tobago, Dr Wandel and Alvin Thompson for making this networking event happen.

The CBVA training workshop has been executed to commence the Tobago CBVA process in May 2012.  This training workshop involved ParCA scholars from all universities, community partners from 4 study sites, and graduate students.  Other allied projects in the region, and with a SIDS focus, recognized the expertise at this event and paid to send some of their team members to participate in this professional development and networking opportunity (including projects funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, Inter-American Development Bank, and the UK Department for International Development).

Touring coastal sites in South-west Tobago

Following the establishment of an MOU with the University of West Indies, two open calls for prospective graduate students from CARICOM nations were distributed through a range of university, scientific and public forums (in August 2011 and Jan 2012). Eighty-one (81) applications were received and a number of highly qualified candidates with research interests and experience that best matched the ParCA research program are being integrated into the specific research projects.

A total of 16 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are now involved in ParCA. These students are studying at St Mary’s University, University of Prince Edward Island, University of Waterloo and the University of the West Indies, St Augustine (Trinidad) and Mona (Jamaica) campuses. Their specific research areas are outlined in the Students and Research Associates page.

Other research going on simultaneously

Downscaling of climate projections for Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. Multiple variables have been analyzed to create projections of future climate scenarios. This Regional Climate Model (RCM) provides a more accurate picture of future climate conditions in the countries and communities involved in this research.   Cooperative climate modelling work was conducted by experts from the University of Oxford and the Cuban Meteorology Institute and faculty, Dr. Taylor, and students at the University of the West Indies (Mona Campus, Jamaica). This collaboration led to the training and exchange of knowledge by leading researchers in the Caribbean and especially some graduate students at Mona.

Dr. Fenech has simultaneously downscaled latest AR5 GCM and RCM results for use by research teams in the PEI and Nova Scotia study areas.

Dr. Fletcher‘s team has used historical, semi-empirical models of sea level rise (SLR) data from tidal gauges to project downscaled SLR estimates for the Caribbean. A SLR trend has been produced, representing  Caribbean SLR given a 1 mm / yr global mean sea level rise trend. When combined with fluctuating factors, such as storm surge events, which affect SLR, this baseline, linear SLR trend can be used by adaptation planners to make more informed decisions.