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‘Climate change seems to be wreaking havoc’: P.E.I. likely to see above-average temperatures this winter

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — P.E.I. residents trying to sit back this winter is likely to be disenchanted. 

Temperatures throughout the province may keep above common all through December and into January, as P.E.I. experiences one other La Niña winter, in line with climate projections from the UPEI Local weather Lab in St. Peters Bay. 

“No person is saying it’s going to be colder this winter,” local weather lab director Adam Fenech instructed SaltWire Community on Dec. 6. “Not us, not Atmosphere Canada and never the almanacs.” 

Climate predictions comparable to this are often made by following historic data to watch tendencies and patterns. 

These predictions are sometimes correct about 50 per cent of the time however have turn out to be more and more extra correct lately, Fenech mentioned.  

“Local weather is sort of a carousel. It goes up and down, and there may be variability yearly,” he mentioned. 

This yr, it seems to be as if the pattern P.E.I. has seen for the final two winters will proceed, with much less snowfall and higher-than-normal temperatures. 

P.E.I.'s warming climate could have a serious effect on agriculture and wildlife if trends continue the way they have been going in recent years, says UPEI climate lab director Adam Fenech. - Contributed
P.E.I.’s warming local weather may have a severe impact on agriculture and wildlife if tendencies proceed the best way they’ve been going lately, says UPEI local weather lab director Adam Fenech. – Contributed

On common, the province sometimes will get about 303 millimetres of precipitation between December and February. The typical temperature is often about -6 C, however final yr, the common was three levels greater than regular, mentioned Fenech.

This might have a significantly unfavorable impact on winter crops like winter wheat or beets. It additionally offers invasive insect and plant species extra time to root and develop all through the province. 

“I’m nonetheless seeing flies exterior. Right now of yr, it’s unimaginable,” he mentioned. 

“You’ll be able to have warmer-than regular temperatures and nonetheless obtain a great deal of snow throughout the season. Heat temperatures can translate into extra combine climate occasions, resulting in extra snow.” – Allister Aalders

A lot of P.E.I.’s migratory birds haven’t flown south but as a result of excessive variety of bugs nonetheless current in lots of areas, he mentioned. 

“The birds stick round in the event that they see bugs, however what does that imply for subsequent spring? Possibly there aren’t going to be as many bugs.

“We’re beginning to actually acknowledge the unfavorable results which can be taking place, and it’s not trying good,” he mentioned. “Local weather change appears to be wreaking havoc.”  

Most of Canada is projected to see a colder winter, with the one exception being the Maritimes.

A diagram provided by the UPEI Climate Lab shows the different weather predictions made by climate organizations for the 2022-2023 winter season. Contributed
A diagram supplied by the UPEI Local weather Lab reveals the totally different climate predictions made by local weather organizations for the 2022-2023 winter season. Contributed

SaltWire Community’s climate specialist Allister Aalders mentioned throughout an interview on Dec. 7 there are a number of causes for this, together with that ocean temperatures within the North Atlantic proceed to be effectively above common.

“With sea floor temperatures hotter than regular, that often interprets to warmer-than-normal land-based temperatures,” mentioned Aalders.  

That is brought on by wind passing over heat floor water within the gulf, then passing by way of the province, making it tough for any storm methods carrying snow to kind.  

There’s additionally presently a blocking ridge of excessive stress close to Greenland, which generally holds stormier methods out. 

SaltWire Network weather specialist Allister Aalders. - File
SaltWire Community climate specialist Allister Aalders. – File

The province will nonetheless expertise chilly snaps and heavy snowfalls all through the winter, simply with much less frequency than in earlier years. 

“You’ll be able to have warmer-than-normal temperatures and nonetheless obtain a great deal of snow throughout the season. Heat temperatures can translate into extra combine climate occasions, resulting in extra snow,” mentioned Aalders. 

That mentioned, he added these hotter winters will doubtless turn out to be extra frequent within the years to come back. 

“As our local weather continues to vary, we’ll proceed to see hotter temperatures, together with throughout the winter months, particularly with the pattern that our sea temperatures (is) going,” he mentioned. 

“It’s the proper substances for sturdy storms to develop, so actually the warming of the Atlantic is a pattern that appears to be the results of local weather change.” 

Rafe Wright is a Native Journalism Initiative reporter, a place coated by the federal authorities. He writes about local weather change points for the SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island and may be reached by electronic mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @wright542. 

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