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TitleThe Tibbitt to Contwoyto winter road: past and future climate change
AuthorSwindles, G T; Mullan, D; Macumber, A L; Galloway, J M; Patterson, R T; Crann, C; Falck, H
Source 2016 p. 15-17
Year2016
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20130442
Meeting41st Annual Yellowknife Geoscience Forum; Yellowknife; CA; November 15-17, 2016
Documentbook
Lang.English
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNorthwest Territories
AreaTibbitt; Contwoyto
Subjectsclimate; precipitation; Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO); climate models; winter road
Programenvironmental impacts and adaptation in the northern environment, Environmental Geoscience
AbstractThe area around Yellowknife has experienced a significant warming trend in every season since the 1940s. However, the greatest warming occurred during the winter months with an average temperature of -26.0°C for 1943¿1976 and an average of -23.3°C for 1977¿2009. In addition, there has been a major increase in precipitation since the 1940s.

In this presentation we present an overview of new proxy data for Holocene climate change in this region and link these to the instrumental record to put the recent climatic changes into a long-term context. It is clear that recent warming in this region has been very rapid. The major increase in warming and precipitation occurs after the 1976 phase shift of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).

We use a series of global climate models to produce an ensemble of future climate scenarios for the Northwest Territories and develop site-specific future temperature and precipitation estimates based on an established statistical downscaling approach. Our results suggest that changes to the operation of the Tibbitt to Contwoyto winter road system will have to be developed for continuing viability.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The climate of Northern Canada has experienced significant warming in recent decades. The greatest warming has occurred during winter months, when cold and stable winter temperatures are required for the continued viability of overland winter roads that serve as the sole routes for transport of goods and services to mines in the mineral-rich Slave Geological Province of the Northwest Territories. In this presentation, an overview of new proxy data for Holocene climate change is provided and linked to the instrumental record to place recent changes in a geologic perspective. A series of global climate models are presented to provide future climate scenarios for the Northwest Territories and develop site-specific temperature and precipitations estimates using a statistical down-scaling approach.
GEOSCAN ID293585