One impact of global warming is an increase in surface air temperatures. As these temperatures are drivers in plant and animal growth, temperature trends can help predict changes in plant and animal fauna. Temperature records from various parts of New Brunswick are available and allow us to look at trends over the past 100 years or more. One way of doing this is by examining decadal mean temperatures. These 10-year means can be derived from Environment Canada’s (EC) weather data sets; by averaging over a decade we can reduce some of the ‘noise’ resulting from annual fluctuations and determine if trends in one direction or another are apparent. The homogenized data sets provided by Environment Canada provide one way to look at these decadal annual and seasonal trends. This is an updated version of an older page, and now includes data from the most recent complete decade – 2010-2019. Locations were selected from a list of available weather stations in New Brunswick – several of these stations have only a few years of data and thus were not useful for observation of trends over long periods of time.
Seasons are defined as sets of months; with Spring being March, April, May; Summer as June, July, and August; Autumn (Fall) as September, October, and November; and Winter as December, January and February. Those definitions are important to remember as we in the Maritimes sometimes tend to think of March, for example, as a winter month. We also tend to speak of ‘short’ winters or ‘long’ autumns, or, if January and February are colder than usual, we might say we had a ‘cold’ winter and ignore the impact on the Winter average of a mild December. With the definitions used here, however, the seasons are always the same duration and the same months. Note that ‘Winter’ charts have the decade axis at the top – that’s because the mean values are negative (below 0 Celsius). For some locations, decadal means could not be calculated as some data (three or more years in the decade) are missing.
Of course, temperature is one thing, the ‘weather’ is another. A ‘mild’ winter, for example, might be warmer than average, but it also might be more miserable – if that added warmth brings more ice storms and freezing rain.
The decadal means were calculated by averaging each of the seasonal mean temperatures from the homogenized dataset. For example, for the ‘2000’ decade 2000 is year 1 and 2009 is year 10.
Browse to view all locations, or click on the links below to go directly to the location of interest.
Generally speaking, when averaged by decade, the seasonal trends show similar trends to the trends for the entire year. It’s interesting, however, that for different regions, some seasons have quite striking trends whereas others are less obvious. The autumn data are interesting, especially with respect to the jump in autumn temperatures in the last decade. Winters are definitely trending warmer in most locations. Note that Bathurst is unique in that there’s no obvious warming trend.