Warmer Prairie winters: sounds good, but what does it really mean?

Residents of Churchill, Manitoba know cold. On average, Churchill experiences about 44 days of extreme cold — where the minimum temperature drops below -30 °C — per year. These temperatures are potentially dangerous for those not accustomed or prepared for them; but are vital to the ecosystem and an important component of the global climate…

Science Update: Tropical Nights in Manitoba?

A Tropical Night occurs when the overnight temperature remains above 20 °C. Tropical Nights are exceptionally rare phenomena across most of Prairies. In fact, both Calgary and Edmonton experienced a grand total of zero Tropical Nights between 1981 and 2010. Winnipeg experiences an average of one Tropical Night per year. Water is a Greenhouse Gas….

Opinion: The 1.5 °C Challenge

      A recent article in the Guardian newspaper highlights the implications of the Paris agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 °C compared to 2 °C as had been the generally accepted target prior to Paris – the implications bear directly on how we plan climate adaptation and mitigation policy for the Canadian…

Climate Summary Reports: Statistics for your community

    With the launch of the Prairie Climate Atlas last month came a new adaptation tool we called the ‘Climate Report Card.’ These reports detailed climate change statistics for major cities and towns across the three Prairie Provinces, and allow local leaders, researchers and members of the public to see how climate change will…

Science Update: the ‘wet gets wetter, dry gets drier’ trend

    A recent publication in Nature Climate Change (Donat et al, 2016) has significant implications for future water management on the Canadian Prairies.   The influence of a warming planet on precipitation patterns is a central question that climatologists must address to guide policies for climate adaptation. Over the ocean,  climatologists generally agree that regions of the…