CR 05:1-13 (1995)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr005001

Climate change in the Mackenzie Mountains, N.W.T., Canada

Liang L, Kershaw GP

It has been asserted that climate change will be most expressed at high latitudes. To test whether recent climate records contain evidence of change several northern stations were analyzed in and adjacent to the Mackenzie Mountains, N.W.T., Canada. It was found that the mean annual air temperature increased by 3.6*C (1968 to 1992) at Ross River, 1.6*C (1974 to 1982) at Tsichu River, 1.8*C (1966 to 1990) at Tungsten and 0.9*C (1943 to 1992) at Norman Wells. The Norman Wells temperature rise was less than the other stations, however after 1980 the rise was of a greater magnitude. The magnitude of mean annual temperature rise increased from east to west over the 500 km between the most distant stations. Mean summer rainfall for Ross River, Tungsten, Tsichu River and Sheldon Lake increased by 6, 86, 51, and 50 mm, respectively. Norman Wells rainfall decreased by about 42 mm. Annual rainfall, snowfall and precipitation were relatively stable at Ross River, but decreased by about 36 mm (1962 to 1992) at Norman Wells. For Tungsten, over the period from 1960 to 1991, it increased by about 250 mm. Results from an Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average model suggest that the mean annual air temperatures at Norman Wells and Ross River over the next 5 to 8 yr will be consistent with the changing trends of temperatures since 1980; this will result in a shortening of the winter season. The predicted precipitation at these 2 stations has the same trend, initially a slight decrease followed by an increase. Predictions for rainfall indicate no change at Ross River, but at Norman Wells an initially large decrease will be followed by an increase. Snowfall is predicted to increase greatly at Norman Wells over the next 8 yr. At Ross River, snowfall is predicted to increase after 1993.


Climate change · Climate prediction · Mountain climate . Northern Canada


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