Canada was hot in 2015, but didn't match global records

OTTAWA -- Call it cold comfort, but Atlantic Canada was one of the only regions on the planet that had cooler-than-average temperatures last year, according to Environment Canada.

See Full Article

On a day when NASA officially announced the hottest average global temperature -- by a statistically significant margin -- ever recorded in 136 years of modern record-keeping, Canada as a whole experienced merely its 11th warmest year in 2015.

The data helps illustrate a wild weather year that was influenced by both a powerful El Nino in the Pacific Ocean and what NASA describes as global climate change "largely driven by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere."

According to both NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, which measures the Earth's surface temperature in a slightly different way, 2015 averaged 14.79 degrees C, the hottest since 1880 when records began. And it beat the previous 2014 record by roughly one quarter of a degree, the second largest year-over-year margin.

Canada, as a northern nation, generally experiences greater-than-global-average impacts from climate change, but 2015 was no normal year.

In fact, David Phillips, the senior climatologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada, says only a very hot autumn likely kept all of eastern Canada from experiencing an abnormally cool year.

Overall, Canada's average temperature from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 was up 1.3 degrees Celsius from the historic average measured over the last 68 years

However that national average hides some massive regional temperature swings, including record-breaking averages across British Columbia and Yukon, the third warmest year on record for the southern Prairies and the fifth warmest for the Mackenzie delta in the Northwest Territories.

Contrast that with Atlantic Canada, which Phillips says was one of the very few regions on the planet that experienced a colder-than-average 2015.

"There were only two areas in the world that were actually cooler than normal," in NOAA data sets late last fall, said the climatologist.

One was a tiny area in southern Argentina. The other was eastern Canada.

The Great Lakes region in central Canada was just 0.3 degrees C above average, recording its 28th warmest year of the last 68.

Chalk that up to a bitterly cold winter in the eastern half of the country.

"People were thinking it was a global warming hoax when the world announced the warmest winter on record -- because we were going through one of the coldest in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada," said Phillips.

That was followed by the warmest fall on record in much of central Canada, as it finally caught up with the western half of the country.

Phillips said Canada overall has been warmer than normal for 19 consecutive years, while globally 14 of the 15 warmest years ever recorded have occurred since 2000.

He also notes a "head-shaking" statistic: the last time the planet recorded a record average low temperature was 1916.

So while 2015 was "no screaming hell" in Canada, says Phillips, "we know that the world is warmer now."



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Agreement reached to end strike by video-game voice actors

    Tech & Science CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Video-game voice actors have agreed to end a nearly yearlong strike against several major gaming publishers. The actors union SAG-AFTRA and a representative for the publishers said Monday they reached a tentative agreement on Saturday to end the strike. Source
  • Personality study finds fish have hidden depths

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Fish have complex individual personalities, a British university study found in research published Monday. Scientists from Exeter University in southwest England studied how individual Trinidadian guppy fish behaved in various stressful situations and discovered wide differences in how they responded. Source
  • Global accounting firm Deloitte hacked

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Global accounting firm Deloitte said on Monday it was the victim of a cyberattack that affected the data of a small number of clients, providing few details on the breach. Deloitte said in a statement that attackers accessed data from the company's email platform, confirming some details in a report by the Guardian newspaper, which broke news of the hack on Monday. Source
  • London studying ways to reduce new fatberg under Chinatown

    Tech & Science CTV News
    LONDON -- British engineers are studying ways to dispose of yet another oversize "fatberg" threatening London's aged sewers. Stuart White of Thames Water says the latest fat blob is located in a busy area beneath Chinatown near London's famed Leicester Square. Source
  • Invasive grass carp threatening Lake Erie

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TOLEDO, Ohio -- Researchers have fresh evidence that invasive grass carp are swimming and spawning near the mouth of a river that flows into Lake Erie. Their next step is figuring out how to stop it from gaining a foothold and devouring wetland plants along the shoreline and underwater vegetation in the lake that shelters native fish. Source
  • Australia to create its own space agency

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia -- Australia announced on Monday it would create its own space agency to increase its share of the $330 billion space economy. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the agency would be part of Australia's development of an innovation and science economy. Source
  • 7 right whales entangled this summer, new data shows

    Tech & Science CBC News
    New figures show at least seven North Atlantic right whales got entangled in fishing gear in the Gulf of St. Lawrence this summer, and two died as a result. Two of the whales were freed by rescuers, including Joe Howlett, who was killed during one of the missions. Source
  • Astronomers discover an asteroid is actually two — and that it's also a comet

    Tech & Science CBC News
    When is an asteroid not just an asteroid? When it's a comet. Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have found that an asteroid discovered in 2006 is actually two — and that it sprouts a tail just like a comet. Source
  • The Long Dark is a fiercely Canadian video game. Why aren't there more like it?

    Tech & Science CBC News
    You've crashed your plane into the side of a mountain on a remote island in the Canadian north. Your partner is nowhere to be found. A geomagnetic disaster has rendered phones, radios and all other electronic equipment inoperable. Source
  • Something new under the sun: A binary asteroid that's also a comet

    Tech & Science CBC News
    When is an asteroid not just an asteroid? When it's a comet. Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have found that an asteroid discovered in 2006 is actually two — and that it sprouts a tail just like a comet. Source