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CR 75:111-115 (2018)  -  DOI:

Empirical test of the ClimateWNA model for local accuracy in the Kluane Lake area of the southern Yukon, Canada

Charles J. Krebs1,*, J. David Henry2, Alice J. Kenney1, Elizabeth J. Hofer1

1Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, 6270 University Blvd., Vancouver BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
2Kluane National Park and Reserve, Parks Canada, Haines Junction YT Y0B 1L0, Canada
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Ecological studies related to climate typically require data on temperature and rainfall. If local climate data are not available, the only recourse is to rely on data from the closest meteorological station or interpolated data from regional models of climate. In the southwestern Yukon, we have for the past 25 yr gathered ecological information such as counts of cones on white spruce trees and attempted to relate these biological variables to weather variables, thus requiring accurate climate information. From 2001 to 2014, we measured local summer temperature and rainfall during the growing season at 7 local sites along 250 km of the Alaska Highway and tested the accuracy of the ClimateWNA model estimates for these 7 sites as well as for the Haines Junction Environment Canada meteorological station. Monthly summer temperatures were reasonably well correlated with the predicted ClimateWNA values (r = 0.90, n = 299 mo), but summer rainfall was not (r = 0.37, n = 218 mo). We repeated this analysis with the Daymet climate model and got similar results. We caution the use of ClimateWNA or Daymet rainfall estimates for local areas in this part of the southwestern Yukon for the prediction of ecological measurements.

KEY WORDS: ClimateWNA · Daymet · Temperature · Rainfall · Kluane · Yukon · Accuracy

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Cite this article as: Krebs CJ, Henry JD, Kenney AJ, Hofer EJ (2018) Empirical test of the ClimateWNA model for local accuracy in the Kluane Lake area of the southern Yukon, Canada. Clim Res 75:111-115.

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