Custom Climate Change Reports for Your Community

Last month, we launched our new interactive Climate Atlas website. One of its primary goals is to make climate data accessible and meaningful by providing maps, graphs, explanations, and summaries. Today we highlight a little-known feature embedded in the Atlas: the ability to download climate change summary reports for any location on the map. They…

How does Canada plan to reduce its Greenhouse Gas Footprint?

In a previous blog post, we took an in-depth look at Canada’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions [1]. The most recent GHG census pegged total annual emissions at 722 Mt (million metric tons) [2]. This is a very large number considering Canada’s relatively small population, meaning our per capita emissions rank among the highest in the world [3]….

Roy McLaren: A Conversation about Climate Change and Farming

Roy McLaren has a lifetime of farming experience: he’s farmed in southwest Manitoba for over 70 years. He looks at the climate projections presented in the Prairie Climate Atlas with concern. “That is pretty bad,” he says, looking at maps projecting a huge increase in very hot weather. “With that kind of heat,” McLaren muses,…

As Long as the Sun Shines: Montana First Nation Solar

Montana First Nation is located in what was once rich oil and gas country in central Alberta. But as the oil wells began to dry up, the small community was faced with the enormous challenge of finding new employment for many of their members who landed out of work. That’s when the idea of solar…

Climate Atlas: Agriculture Topic Goes Live

Climate Atlas gets major update at local launch event. In front of a home-town audience at the University of Winnipeg, the Prairie Climate Centre (PCC) unveiled its first major update to the Climate Atlas of Canada: an Agriculture themed section, complete with all-new articles, videos, and maps. Manitoba’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Rochelle Squires, was…

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…

A new Climate Atlas for 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….

Where Do Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Come From?

Earth’s atmosphere is made up of many different gases, some of which are “greenhouse” gases. They are called that because they effectively act like a greenhouse or a layer of insulation for Earth: they trap heat and warm the planet. For the past couple of hundred years, human activities (such as burning coal to generate…

Climate and Chaos

An answer to the question ‘how can you predict the climate if you can’t even predict the weather?’ By the 1960’s, it seemed like the centuries old problem of accurate weather forecasting was finally about to be solved. Scientists had long assumed that the math behind weather forecasting was relatively straight forward[1]. Like a river,…

Can electric vehicles solve the climate crisis?

A little more than ten years ago, the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?” mourned the wasted promise of electric vehicles. But times have changed: seemingly out of nowhere, affordable electric and hybrid vehicles are suddenly all over the place. Tesla now offers high-performance electric cars with a range of almost 500 km between charges,…

The Venus Paradox

The planet Venus is hot. Really hot. Its average surface temperature is over 460 °C, compared to Earth’s 14 °C. This might not come as a surprise: Venus is, after all, much closer to the sun than we are. So, the paradox is not that Venus is so hot, it’s that Venus is also so…

2017 ranked second-hottest year on record

To almost nobody’s surprise, 2017 was ranked as the second-hottest year ever recorded. At 0.9 °C above the 1950-1980 average, 2017 is second only to 2016, when one of the strongest El Niño events on record pushed global temperatures above 1 °C. In fact, when the temperature-boosting effects of El Niño are ignored, 2017 actually…

Urban forests under threat from climate change

Picture this: a quaint suburban street with row upon row of mature ash trees, their canopies growing and weaving together to form a tunnel of green, through which you can just make out a row of houses being shaded from the hot afternoon sun. Before 2002, much of Toronto fit this description perfectly. Today, thanks…

Record cold, winter cyclone symptoms of a warming planet

It was so cold, even the penguins had to be moved indoors. The Calgary Zoo was just one of hundreds of locations across North America impacted by the recent spell of record-breaking cold temperatures. And while Canadians are no stranger to extreme cold, the seemingly never-ending blast of icy Arctic air that 2017 left in…

Top 5: Canadian Weather and Climate Stories of 2017

Record-breaking hurricanes in the Atlantic; wildfires raging across the West coast and the Mediterranean; killer heatwaves across Europe and Australia; destructive flooding in South Asia. The list goes on and on. It seemed like 2017 had more than its fair share of disastrous weather. Although no single event can ever be directly linked to climate…

Hey Winnipeg: was November warm or cold?

Hey Winnipeg: was this a cold November, or a warm November? Winnipeggers need no reminding that November 2017 started off cold. Very cold. Record-breaking, in fact: November 9th set a frigid new record low of -23.7 °C. Predictably, many online commentators used the cold as a talking point to deny the reality of climate change….

Animating Canada’s Climate History

This animated map shows Canada’s changing climate using weather station data going all the way back to 1898. Through much of the 20th century, the map shows a mixture of red dots (warmer than average) and grey dots (colder than average). Year-to-year fluctuations and regional differences are a normal part of a healthy climate system….