Yukon environment report highlights warming temperatures
Average winter temperature in Yukon has increased by 5.4 degrees since 1948
The Yukon government has released its latest report on the state of the territory's environment.
The Yukon State of the Environment Report comes out every three years. This latest report says in 2013 the average temperature of the Yukon was 1.6 degrees higher than the average annual temperature of the territory over the last 65 years.
Lewis Rifkind of the Yukon Conservation Society says even more dramatic is the change in winter temperatures.
"The average winter temperature in the Yukon has increased by 5.4 degrees centigrade since 1948," he says. "In climatic terms, that's huge."
He says it's a wake up call to start thinking about greenhouse gas emissions and also how the territory will adapt to a warming climate.
"Everybody who's in the field of climate change knows these figures but when it starts to make it into things like the Yukon Government's State of the Environment Report, you know that it's starting to get traction within a larger circle," he said.
Among other things, the government indicates increased temperatures are melting the territory's glaciers at a higher rate. The report also monitors the territory's water, fish and wildlife and air quality.