Iqaluit’s average temperature increased by a degree between 1991 and 2020, researcher says

‘These small changes do have significant, significant impacts,’ says UPEI researcher Adam Fenech

Iqaluit’s one-degree average temperature increase over the last 30 years is the largest increase in the country compared to all other provincial and territorial capitals. (File photo)

By Dustin Patar

On average, Iqaluit is one degree warmer than it was 30 years ago, says Adam Fenech, director of the climate lab at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Between 1991 and 2020, the annual mean temperature — or climate normal — for Nunavut’s capital went from -9.3 C to -8.3 C.

While one degree may not seem like a significant difference, the increase is the largest among Canada’s capital cities.

Fenech, who analyzed the data for cities including Toronto, Yellowknife and Quebec City, says they have all warmed roughly half a degree over the same time period.

“These small changes do have significant, significant impacts,” he said, which can include changes to sea level, threatened ecosystems and extreme weather.

Although the official Canadian climate normals are compiled by Environment and Climate Change Canada and are expected to be updated in the summer of 2022, Fenech’s findings illustrate what other scientists have also found — that the Arctic is warming at least twice as fast as other regions.

While the climate is always changing, Fenech says these changes are different because of their magnitude and the period in which they’re happening.

“We’re seeing things, both in the climate record but also in nature, that we thought would take 100 years to occur,” he said.

These long-term trends may not always be obvious on any given day, Fenech said.

“Weather is what we’re experiencing now and weather tells us what clothes we’re going to wear today,” he said. “Climate tells us what are the types of clothes that we have in our closet.”

Changes in climate norms weren’t limited to increases in temperature.

Similar to findings in the United States, Fenech found that things were getting progressively drier in many parts of Canada, including Iqaluit, where his data showed a more than 20-per-cent drop in precipitation over the last three decades.

“The implications ecologically are pretty huge, no matter where you are in the country,” Fenech said.

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(12) Comments:

  1. Posted by S on

    A number like 1, whether for degrees or pieces of candy, means nothing in isolation.

    Dynamic systems like those that determine climate are very complex. Just incorporating the impacts of the solar system and inner Earth would require a billion page explanation.

    Oligarchy-funded human-made-climate doctrine has no place in the explanation

    • Posted by Karl Popper on

      There is a strong consensus among the scientific community regarding climate change and increases in global temperature. If you are truly interested this is a good information source:

      • Posted by Consensus on

        Consensus among scientists is not science. It only means that those who study certain very narrow aspects of a given subject believe in a certain leading theory. Only the accumulation of observable facts gathered over a very long period of time can confirm or infirm that theory. The accumulation of facts over time is Science, not the people who are busy accumulating these facts (scientists). I believe that climate is evolving but I do not believe any single scientists predictions more than any other about the consequences of thoses changes.

        I suggest everyone read the following book:
        The Knowledge Machine by Michael Strevens

        • Posted by Jay Arnakak on

          consensus may not be science but statistical climatology is. It is a tracking tool not a political stance.

          the covid pandemic has made us rather more conversant on such scientific notions as “running averages” and mitigation methods that are actually “flattening that ‘dastardly’ curve”.

          • Posted by Consensus on

            Statistical climatology is not Science, it is a tool used by scientists to help them develop theories. The predictions derived from it can vary wildly depending on what facts or assumptions the algorithms are fed. Again, it is a powerful tool but the predictions are only as good as the data it is being fed.

    • Posted by Oh for gods sake… on

      Its not a number in isolation. Its part of a nationwide set of data showing that average temperatures have increased everywherein Canada, and especially so in the Arctic.

      Just because you think it would take a billion pages to describe something you don’t understand doesn’t mean intelligent people (scientists and IQ researchers) haven’t documented these changes and the cause.

  2. Posted by Imagine on

    In the next century Nunavut could be the bread-basket of Canada.
    Imagine the tundra replaced by milions of square kilometers of wheat-fields, and Nunavut feeding the world.

    • Posted by It’s called Saskatchewan on

      Saskatchewan, you’re thinking of Saskatchewan. It has 36.7 million acres of crops, with canola and wheat being the two largest crops. It’s also, you know, connected to the rest of Canada and the United States by economical transportation means, which every community in Nunavut is not.

    • Posted by Johnny on

      For some reason , i can t see people here , getting up 4 in the morning to plow their feilds.

    • Posted by Just Can’t See It on

      I doubt the soil here has the mineral richness to grow wheat. Also, if by some chance the weather became warm enough for that, it would be attached to such ecological disaster elsewhere that it is questionable who the wheat would be grown for.

    • Posted by Topsoil Is the Name of the Game on

      Ummm, imagine how many tens of thousands of years it will take to actually develop topsoil – next century? Ha!

      It would go quicker in the rest of the north than in Nunavut as there are actual trees, but scrawny little conifers lead to very acidic soil that is maybe, on a good day, okay for potatoes – just ask parts of the east coast.

      Doesn’t really matter as we’ll all be looooonnnnnggggg dead.

  3. Posted by Umingmak on

    One degree in 30 years? Damn! That’s it! Let’s shut down the entire economy and impoverish everyone! Certainly that’s a great solution!


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