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Climate clues found in research

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

The Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences spent the past decade investigating changing weather and climate.

Research and tools can help predict devastating droughts (iStockphoto)
Research and tools can help predict devastating droughts (iStockphoto)

The Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS) works to provide support for university-based research on weather and climate. With predominant changing weather patterns, the research is critical to improve understanding of how these changes can impact a person's health and safety, economy and environment.

“The Earth's climate is changing in ways that few of us anticipated even a generation ago. Canada has not been spared,” said CFCAS Chair Gordon McBean and Executive Director Dawn Conway in an annual report.

Bryn Jones, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, says in Canada, the strongest example of the change is in the Arctic.

“Nunavut, especially the north and eastern areas comprising Baffin Island, Devon Island, Ellesmere Island and adjacent islands in the eastern Arctic Archipelago, have most consistently exhibited at least modest to pronounced warm summer and winter temperature anomalies.”

Changing weather patterns impact the environment  (iStockphoto)
Changing weather patterns impact the environment (iStockphoto)

Climate impacts require strategic decisions

The CFCAS says Canadian businesses and governments should have the scientific information they need in order to assist in successful decision making. Millions of farmers, fishermen, city-dwellers and governments depend on weather and climate research and analyses.

Over the past 10 years, the research conducted at universities across the country has helped change the way Canadians respond to weather- affected events including droughts, severe storms, air pollution and climate change.

Last November the CFCAS launched The Sky's the Limit, a book chronicling the past decade of ground breaking scientific achievement. It was also an opportunity to anticipate the future needs of Canada's changing weather and climate.

“Eventually, the earth-atmosphere-ocean system should reach a new semi-equilibrium which is warmer than that of today, explains Jones. “Consequently, with successive decades we should see the strong signals of warmer than average temperatures in the eastern and northern Arctic of Canada on almost a year to year basis become less pronounced and less frequent. By then, that region will likely look very different than it has historically.”

Tune into The Weather Network on TV, August 25-30 at :12 and :42 minutes past the hour for an exclusive series on our changing climate.

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