Climate Change Projections for the Columbia Basin

"Higher summer and winter temperatures, declining mountain snowpack, reduced snowfall, long, dry summers, sudden heavy rains – the residents of the Columbia River Basin in Canada are experiencing different weather conditions than in the past." ~ Starting the Dialogue

This section focuses on the climate changes that are expected to occur in the Columbia Basin over the next century. To develop these projections, scientists used global climate models to prepare scenarios of what the future climate might be like in the Basin. These models are computer simulations of the global climate system developed by leading research centres around the world.

Overview of Projections  From Dialogue to Action introduces readers to projected climate changes, environmental impacts and adaptation strategies relevant to communities in the Canadian Columbia Basin  

Climate model projections for the Columbia Basin indicate that temperatures and precipitation are changing.

- Annual temperatures are expected to rise by 1.6 to 3.2 C by 2050
- Annual average precipitation is expected to increase, with a net decrease in summer precipitation
- There will be increased variability of temperature and precipitation
- Winter precipitation is more likely to fall as rain at lower elevations
- The frequency of extreme precipitation events is expected to increase

 

The following icons show the overall projected trends in the Basin:

Helpful Starting Places


Dr Mel Reasoner presents at College of the Rockies in Cranbrook. Click image to play.

Video Presentation: Climate Change in the Columbia Basin by Dr. Mel Reasoner

Full Report: From Dialogue to Action: Climate Change, Impacts and Adaptation in the Canadian Columbia Basin

Summary Report: From Dialogue to Action: Climate Change, Impacts and Adaptation in the Canadian Columbia Basin

Five-Minute Summary Video: Climate Change Science 101 for the Columbia Basin 

Five-Minute Summary Video: From Dialogue to Action: Climate Change, Impacts and Adaptation in the Canadian Columbia Basin

 

Using Climate Projections

Climate science is complex. For more specific guidance on using the science for adaptation planning in your community, see the Learn about Climate Change step of the Communities Adapting to Climate Change Initiative six-step planning process or tap into the expertise of the Technical Support Team by contacting the CACCI Coordinator.


Click here for more detailed information on climate science and impacts for the Basin.