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Climate Change Impacts in BC
Average temperatures in British Columbia increased 1.1°C in summer and 2.1°C in winter over the past century, with 24 fewer frost-free days. What’s ahead? Under a moderate GHG emissions scenario, BC is projected to warm an additional 2.4°C in summer and 2.9°C in winter on average by the year 2100.
What it Means
BC has already seen the face of a changing climate. In the central Interior, milder winters fostered a severe, widespread infestation of mountain pine beetle that devastated the forest industry. Over 18 million hectares of pine forest in the central Interior have been affected since the late 1990s, resulting in over 720 cubic metres of beetle-killed timber.
Projections are for BC winters that are warmer and wetter, summers that are wetter in the north and drier in the south, more frequent or extreme weather events, periods of low water supply in summer for some regions, and a rise in sea level that will impact coastal regions. There will be regional variations in climate change and related impacts. That is why research specific to a given region is important for planning.
BC’S CLIMATE FUTURE
Climate changes and risks for BC this century include:
Ready to go deeper? PCIC publishes climate research reports and is available to create climate profiles that support regional and community planning.
Can you imagine the impact of sea level rise on BC’s coast? The King Tide photo initiative harnessed the power of local photographers who captured high tide events to let others visualize the risk of flood. See the photos on Flickr.