Fraser Basin Council


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Climate Change Impacts in BC

Temperature’s Rising

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.



ReTooling_Design_Upgrade_2014_FINAL_FEATURE_BOX.pngClimate changes and risks for BC this century include:

  • wetter winters
  • reduced snowpack, earlier spring snow melt, increased winter flows
  • more frequent or intense storms, with risk of damage
  • risks of flood, erosion, landslides, or stormwater overload
  • sea level rise — up to one metre by 2100 — that, with storm surge, brings risks of coastal flooding, infrastructure damage or saltwater intrusion into groundwater
  • drier summers in south
  • risk of heat waves, drought, and wildfire
  • risk of insect infestations and invasive species
  • ecosystems shifts, with risks to habitat and biodiversity
  • lower summer flows
  • risk of water quality changes or shortages in some areas during peak periods that could affect community use, agriculture, power generation, ecosystems, fish and fisheries, and natural resource industries
  • higher demand for emergency response.

About ReTooling for Climate Change

The ReTooling for Climate Change website is a project of the Fraser Basin Council to support local governments and First Nations in BC in preparing for climate change adaptation. The site is funded through the BC Regional Adaptation Collaborative (BC RAC), a partnership program of the Fraser Basin Council and the BC Ministry of Environment – Climate Action Secretariat, with funding from Natural Resources Canada and other in-kind contributions.

Find out more about the Fraser Basin Council and the BC RAC at

We want to hear from you

Share your ideas and suggestions for new resource links to , Senior Program Manager, at the Fraser Basin Council.

Also worth a visit

On this site, you’ll find links to many helpful websites on climate change adaptation.

For steps communities can take to mitigate climate change, check out the Climate Action Toolkit website.