A vast amount of information is available online about climate change. This section provides a brief overview of the leading Canadian climate data portals that make climate data available for the Prairie region. Climate data can be observed historical data (collected observations from weather stations, satellites or radars) or modeled historical and modeled projected data (obtained from climate models that generate climate simulations). If you are unsure of what data portal will best suit your needs, please contact the ClimateWest Help Desk.
ClimateData.ca is a climate data portal produced collaboratively by the country’s leading climate organizations and supported, in part, by the Government of Canada. The data portal is designed to provide access to climate data to support decision making. The website provides access to high-resolution climate data through mapping, location-based summaries, and a variety of climate data variables. Indices are available for download. Training resources are also available to support data use.
Summary of Available Resources:
- Sector modules make connections between climate projection data and applications in various sectors.
- Training materials provide background information on climate science and the use of climate information.
- National downscaled climate projections are available for viewing or download.
- Graphs display climate projections from three RCPs, allowing for comparisons of projections under the different RCPs.
- Historical climate station data and Intensity-Duration-Frequency curves.
- Analysis tool allows for custom variable definition and analysis.
Climate Atlas of Canada
The Climate Atlas of Canada, created by the Prairie Climate Centre, is a national data portal and interactive tool which combines climate science, mapping, and storytelling. The Atlas features nationwide mapping of climate data, including coverage of the Prairies, which allows users to explore projected climate changes in multiple variables. Climate data can be explored through graphs and maps, downloaded, or used to generate location specific climate reports.
Summary of Available Resources:
- National, regional, and localized climate data is available for viewing through an interactive map or for download.
- Topic pages explore the impacts of climate change, adaptation strategies, and perspectives across Canada in a variety of sectors, including agriculture, cities, forests, and health.
- Documentary videos, articles, and reports use storytelling to convey the impacts of climate change and ways that people across Canada and across the Prairies are adapting.
PARC Data Applications
The Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative (PARC) provides a data gateway that offers insights into both past and future climate and hydrology (water) of the Canadian prairies. The climate data of the past reflects a 1,000-year record of annual and seasonal variation in prairie hydroclimate as assembled by PARC’s Tree Ring Lab. Moisture-sensitive tree-ring chronologies provide proxies of seasonal and annual hydroclimate and hydrology. PARC’s data on future climate reflects outputs from Regional Climate Models (RCM), which offer a finer resolution (i.e. a 10kmx10km or smaller gridded map) than outputs generated from Global Climate Models (GCM).
Summary of Available Resources
- Maps, diagrams, and plots are available to visualize data.
- Reconstructed measures of precipitation, drought, stream flow, and groundwater levels over the past several centuries.
- RCMs data with that accounts for more local topography (otherwise too small to be accounted for with GCMs).
- Highlighted real-world applications of PARC’s climate data in municipal planning, crop management and projection, flood preparedness, and more.