Ecology North strives to raise awareness of the many environmental impacts associated with climate change in the north, and to drive research and innovation to meet the challenges of adaptation and mitigation. Here you can find information on all of our current and some of our past projects relating to climate change as well as a range of resources to boost your knowledge of climate change science, and measures you can take to reduce your carbon footprint.
Putting the brakes on climate change begins with mitigation – reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, you could drive a smaller vehicle, buy a four-stroke outboard, or increase the energy-efficiency of your home or business. These may seem like trivial solutions in the face of a global problem that could take generations to reverse. Besides, there are so few northerners. How could we make a difference?
It’s true, we can’t stop climate change by ourselves, since we release only a tiny fraction of the world’s greenhouse gases. We need the whole world to burn less fossil fuels too. But northerners depend heavily on fossil fuels because of our unusually high heating needs and energy-hungry industries like mining. We can set an example to the rest of the world by using these fuels wisely.
Northerners are in a unique position to speak on the effects of climate change and the need to take action to mitigate those effects. The Earth’s climate has been changing naturally for millions of years, but human activities that release heat-trapping gases are quickly warming the planet like never before through the greenhouse effect. Scientists predict that the North could heat up over the next fifty years by 5°C or more, with the most dramatic warming happening in winter. On top of that, average temperatures in the North are rising almost twice as fast as the rest of the world.
No one has ever seen change like this. The NWT is already one of the fastest-warming places on Earth. Northern climate change is a moving target, jumping ahead faster than anyone can predict.
Here’s how the climate is changing right out your back door:
- Rapidly rising temperatures
- Increased rain and snowfall in many regions
- Shorter, warmer winters
- More extreme fall and winter storms
- Less predictable weather
- Increased winds in some areas
- Thinner ice
- Melting glaciers
- Lower water levels in some lakes and rivers
- Changes to plants and animals
- More forest fires in some areas
- More willows on the tundra
Browse our recent Climate Solutions work: