Climate Change in the Maritimes

Trends in surface air temperature from randomly selected stations in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are shown below. Data are from Environment Canada homogenized dataset (Adjusted and Homogenized Canadian Climate Data (AHCCD)). Data need to be adjusted to account for relocation of temperature instruments, instrument replacements, changes in time of day at which data are collected, etc. (see Surface Temperature Measurement Reliability).

The temperature data (blue dots) shown are the mean annual temperature for a given year. Probability values (in brackets after the station name) are the Pr values for linear regression analysis. Values less than 0.05 are generally considered to be statistically significant. Linear regressions do not necessarily provide the best fit to the data, but are a simple starting point. In most cases, the scatterplots of the data show the trend clearly enough. All but one station exhibit statistically significant warming over the time period measured.

 

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As you can see from the charts, there is considerable year-to-year variation in mean temperature. Despite that, significant trends can be observed, even with noisy data from a single station. When many stations are examined and data combined, the trends are even more obvious.

Warming trends are similar both for surface station and satellite data (Surface Stations).

The observed increase in global temperatures (Global warming continues) over the past few decades is considered by most climatologists to be due to rising levels of carbon dioxide (Variables contributing to climate change). With carbon dioxide levels increasing, we can expect more warming to occur. What will the impacts be on the Maritimes, including impacts on natural resource industries?

Further reading:

Global observed changes in daily climate extremes of temperature and precipitation. Alexander, L. V., X. Zhang, T. C. Peterson, J. Caesar, B. Gleason, A. M. G. Klein Tank, M. Haylock, D. Collins, B. Trewin, F. Rahimzadeh, A. Tagipour, K. Rupa Kumar, J. Revadekar, G. Griffiths, L. Vincent, D. B. Stephenson, J. Burn, E. Aguilar, M. Brunet, M. Taylor, M. New, P. Zhai, M. Rusticucci, and J. L. Vazquez-Aguirre (2006),J. Geophys. Res.,111,D05109,doi:10.1029/2005JD006290

Surface Temperature and Humidity Trends in Canada for 1953–2005.Vincent, Lucie A., William A. van Wijngaarden, Ron Hopkinson, 2007: J. Climate, 20, 5100–5113. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI4293.1

 

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