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Monitoring - Climate Change

Weather and Permafrost Monitoring

Rationale

Weather station at Polar Bear Cabin in Aulavik National Park
Weather station at Polar Bear Cabin in Aulavik National Park

In the past 100 years the average temperature of the earth has increased by 0.3 to 0.6°C. This increase is likely caused by human activities, especially burning fossil fuels and deforestation. It is widely accepted that the greatest increases in temperature will take place in polar regions such as the Canadian arctic. Long term monitoring of weather and permafrost temperature is required to track changes in the climate of national parks in the Western Arctic and to understand how these changes will affect the environment of the Western Arctic.

Objectives

  • To monitor weather, permafrost temperature and active layer temperature in Aulavik, Ivvavik and Tuktut Nogait national parks.

Methods and Information Collected

  • Aulavik, Ivvavik and Tuktut Nogait national parks each have two weather stations.
  • All of the weather stations record the following:
    • precipitation
    • wind speed and direction
    • air temperature
    • incoming short wave radiation
    • relative humidity
    • dew point
    • snowfall and snow depth
    • barometric and vapor pressure
  • UV-B radiometer is recorded at one station in each park.
  • Active layer temperature is measured with thermistors at 10 cm depth in the ground.
  • Permafrost probes which measure soil temperature at 2.5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 150 cm in the ground, have replaced the active layer probes in Aulavik National Park and at Sheep Creek in Ivvavik National Park.
  • All measurements, except for snow depth, barometric pressure, and permafrost and active layer temperature, are taken every 5 seconds. Snow depth, barometric pressure and permafrost and active layer temperature are measured every 5 seconds during the last 10 minutes of the hour.
  • Measurements are recorded on data loggers and are transmitted by satellite.

 

The location of weather stations in Aulavik, Ivvavik and Tuktut Nogait national parks Years of Data
Station Code Station Name Location Elev. in m ASL Date Installed Date Permafrost Probe Installed
Aulavik National Park        
WYF
Green Cabin
730 13' 49" N, 1190 32' 12" W
37.0
27/06/96
26/07/00
WSQ
Polar Bear Cabin
740 08' 30" N, 1190 59' 25" W
32.0
26/06/96
30/07/00
Ivvavik National Park        
WOI
Sheep Creek
690 10' N, 1400 09' W
301.8
11/06/95
30/07/01
WZR
Margaret Lake
680 48' N, 1400 51' W
524.5
09/06/97
Tuktut Nogait National Park        
XTN
Melville Hills
690 11' 34" N, 1220 21' 14" W
551.6
25/07/98
XQA
Qavvik Lake
680 13' 32" N, 1220 01' 14" W
530.0
07/07/99

 

Years of Data

  • The weather stations operated by the Western Arctic Field Unit were installed between 1995 and 1999.
  • Permafrost probes were installed in Aulavik National Park in 2000 and at Sheep Creek in Ivvavik National Park in 2001. Similar probes will be installed at the 3 remaining weather stations.

Partners

  • Environment Canada, Atmospheric Environment Service

Results

Mean January temperature at weather stations in Aulavik, Ivvavik and Tuktut Nogait national parks, 1996-2001.
Mean January temperature at weather stations in Aulavik, Ivvavik and Tuktut Nogait national parks, 1996-2001.
Mean July temperature at weather stations in Aulavik, Ivvavik and Tuktut Nogait national parks, 1995-2001.
Mean July temperature at weather stations in Aulavik, Ivvavik and Tuktut Nogait national parks, 1995-2001.