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]….

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…

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…

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…

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….

Seeing is Believing: Temperature Records Prove Canada is Warming

A whole generation of Canadians has never experienced what was considered a “normal” Canadian climate for most of modern history. Historical records show that every year since 1998 – that’s 20 years ago now – has been warmer than the 20th century average. The images below illustrate historical Canadian climate data back to 1898 (Data…

New maps highlight changes coming to Canada’s climate

A new series of maps made by climatologists at the Prairie Climate Centre highlights just how vulnerable Canada is to continued climate changes. The maps illustrate how temperature and precipitation are likely to change in the future under two hypothetical warming scenarios: a ‘low carbon’ scenario that assumes the international community will get together very…

2017 a record year for smoke

Temperatures throughout Canada’s forests are rising fast because of human-caused global climate change, leaving researchers increasingly worried about the potential for longer, more deadly forest fire seasons in the near future.   One of the under-reported consequences of forest fires is their impact on air quality.  In many cases, communities several hundreds of kilometers downwind…

Carbon Tax: your questions, our answers

Q: “What is a carbon tax?” A carbon tax is a fee paid to the government upon the purchase of fossil fuels, which are major sources of the well-known, planet-warming gas: carbon dioxide. Most Canadians already pay some kind of extra carbon-based fee for fuels, either in the form of an explicit price per ton…

Research and Collaboration: Adapting our Forests to Climate Change

    For forest ecologist Dr. Andrew Park, getting Manitoba’s forests ready for climate change is of top concern. Park, an associate professor at the University of Winnipeg, is partnering with the Prairie Climate Centre to study how climate change will affect tree species in North America. Using climate model data provided by AdaptWest, the…