Climate Change

Photo: alder buds ©
Alder buds

Climate trends for Canada, 1950 to 20075


  • Average annual air temperature increased by 1.4ºC.
  • Strongest warming (>2ºC) was in the west and northwest.
  • No significant cooling trend occurred at any location in any season.
  • Largest temperature increases were in winter (>4ºC at 26 locations).
  • Warming was most prevalent in winter and spring, leading to widespread:
    • decrease in winter snowpack and earlier snowmelt;
    • earlier start to the growing season.
  • Summer warming trends were mainly over southwestern and southeastern Canada.
  • Smallest temperature change occurred in the fall.


  • Annual precipitation generally increased, most strongly in the northern half of Canada.
  • Precipitation increased over the Arctic in all seasons except summer.
  • Winter precipitation decreased in southwestern and southeastern Canada.
  • The fraction of precipitation falling as snow decreased in southern Canada.
Trends in mean annual temperature
Total change (ºC), 1950 to 2007
Map: trends in mean annual temperature. Click for graphic description (new window).
Source: Zhang et al., 20105