View all posts »

NL CLIMATE CHANGE PROJECTIONS


A new Climate Change Projection study was released by the Newfoundland & Labrador Government today and its the first of its kind for the Province.

The study was developed by Dr. Joel Finnis, who is a Climatologist & Professor of Geography at Memorial University. Dr. Finnis holds a PhD in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Colorado and is a leading expert in Canada on the downscaling of global climate projection models, for the application to smaller regions, such as Newfoundland and Labrador. 

• Used 7 regional simulations from 4 global climate models
• 4 global climate models used: 1 Canadian, 1 British, 2 American.
• Down-scaled from global climate projection models to 50 km by 50 km grid area.
• Study used 18 weather stations for temperature and precipitation
• Study used 19 weather stations for extreme precipitation events
• Projected 19 temperature and precipitation variables
• Projected extreme precipitation for 3 intervals for 6 return periods
 Measured change from the end of the 20th century (1968-2000) to the mid 21st century (2038-2070)

CLIMATE CHANGE ALREADY UNDER WAY

-Temperatures in NL are already rising and are at records levels. 
-Looking at the Provincial data, average temperatures in the past few years are about 2 degrees Celsius higher than they were the mid-1990's. 
-Over the longer term, temperatures in the Province are now about 1.5 degrees higher than the 1961-1990 average. 
-Here in NL, Warmest years on record have occurred in the past 15 years.
1-Temps.PNG
-An increasing number of hurricanes and tropical storms have been hitting the province.
-The Province has been experiencing an average of 11.5 Tropical Storms and Hurricane per 10 year period since 1990. Prior to 1990 the average was 6 storms per 10 year period. 
2-Hurricanes.PNG
CLIMATE PROJECTION HIGHLIGHTS

TEMPERATURES

-Newfoundland Temperatures are projected to rise by between 2º and 3º C by mid 21st century.
3-TempsNL.PNG
-Labrador Temperatures are projected to rise by between 3º and 4º C by mid 21st century.

4-Temps-Lab.PNG
-Temperature rise will result in fewer "heating degree days", meaning less demand for energy to heat buildings.
-Temperature rise will mean fewer days with frost, meaning a shorter winter.
-Temperature rise will result in more "growing degree days", meaning longer growing seasons.

PRECIPITATION

-There will be more days with high levels of precipitation (10 mm or more).
-Extreme precipitation events will increase for all locations.
-In most cases...
- 1-in-100 year storms are projected to become 1-in-50 or 1-in-25 year storms
- 1-in-50 year storms are projected to become 1-in-25 or 1-in-20 year storms
- 1-in-20 year storms are projected to become 1-in-5 or 1-in-2 year storms
-Newfoundland is expected to get more intense events than Labrador
-Precipitation events, on average, will be more intense particularly during fall and winter.
5-Precip-NFLD.PNGIMPLICATIONS FOR US

-Impacts on transportation infrastructure from higher levels of precipitation.
-Coastal erosion resulting from stronger storms.
-Agriculture and forestry productivity will improve, but also bring invasive species and pests.
-Reduced demand for energy in isolated communities.
-The winter tourism season may shorten.
-Warmer temperatures may increase aquaculture productivity but also bring risks to fish health.
-Warmer temperatures may increase the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species.

INTERVIEW WITH DR. JOEL FINNIS



 
To check out the full climate change presentation, the data used in the study and the full technical report, you can click right here.

Ryan

View all posts »