Our new Climate Atlas for Canada goes live

Introducing the new Climate Atlas of Canada. It features videos, maps, and plain-language explanations that make climate change meaningful from coast to coast to coast.

On April 4th, 2018, the University of Winnipeg’s Prairie Climate Centre (PCC) launched the Climate Atlas of Canada with Minister Catherine McKenna – Environment and Climate Change Canada – at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

“This is a made-in-Manitoba solution. A made-in-Winnipeg solution. It provides something you don’t see anywhere else around the world,” McKenna said at the event.

After years of development, our team at the PCC is excited to finally make the Atlas available, for free, in both French and English, for all Canadians to understand the impacts and opportunities that climate change represents across the entire country.

What is the Climate Atlas of Canada?

The Climate Atlas of Canada is an interactive tool for citizens, researchers, businesses, and community and political leaders to learn about climate change in Canada. It combines climate science, mapping and storytelling to bring the global issue of climate change closer to home, and is designed to inspire local, regional, and national action and solutions.

The Climate Atlas of Canada includes the following assets:

  • Data about 2000 Towns, Cities and Regions
  • Video documentaries across Canada (based on 300+ interviews)
  • 250 interactive map layers
  • 25 climate variables
  • 12 global climate models
  • 2 emission scenarios (RCP 8.5 and RCP 4.5)

It explains what climate change is, how it affects Canada, and what these changes mean in our communities. Various aspects of climate change can be explored using maps, graphs and climate data for provinces, local regions and cities across the country. Plain-language descriptions and analyses make climate science more understandable and meaningful.

Documentary videos, collaboratively developed with local and Indigenous knowledge holders, as well as other experts, help make local sense of the global issue of climate change. These voices of lived experience provide personal perspectives that complement the climate data and help explain the reality and the meaning of climate change in Canada.

The Atlas is one of the only tools in the world that integrates interactive web design with climatology, cinema, and cartography to connect scientific data with personal experience in compelling and easy-to-use ways.

What are people saying about the Atlas?

“In many parts of Canada, it can be tough to recognize how climate change is affecting our lives today, and to imagine the extent of changes ahead. Tools like the Climate Atlas can show us how we can be affected. The more we learn about the changes in store for our cities, regions and country, the more equipped we will be to make smart decisions to minimize risks to our infrastructure, communities and economy.” –Minister Catherine McKenna, Environment and Climate Change Canada 

“For most of my life, I’ve been combining science and communications to engage Canadians regarding the importance of the environment. Along this journey, I’ve collaborated with Dr. Mauro on his climate change filmmaking, and believe the Climate Atlas of Canada is a game changer. I hope it helps all Canadians realize the need for immediate and widespread climate action.” –Dr. David Suzuki, Scientist, Broadcaster and Environmentalist,

“Our climate researchers are at the forefront of climate mapping, communications, and citizen engagement nationally and internationally. Their work demonstrates the power of knowledge mobilization – a core strategic pillar of our university – and how we translate research into action that benefits communities, policy makers, and society as a whole.” –Dr. Annette Trimbee, University of Winnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor

“The Atlas is a resource that I can imagine drawing upon in my own effort to inform the public and policymakers about the reality and threat of climate change…it looks a bit more comprehensive than anything in the US.” –Dr. Michael Mann, Climatologist, Penn State University

A special thank you to supporters of our work

The Climate Atlas of Canada is a project that is years in development and we would like to thank all the individuals, groups and organizations that have supported our work. In particular, we are very grateful to our funders who have made this project possible, including: the Province of Manitoba, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Great-West Life, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and the University of Winnipeg.


 

The Prairie Climate Centre is committed to making climate change meaningful and relevant to Canadians. We explain and communicate climate change through maps, videos, reports, and web content like this. Sign up for our mailing list to stay informed about our work and about new developments in climate change science and policy. Help us move Canada from climate risk to resilience.