Monitoring - Climate Change

Weather and Permafrost Monitoring

Rationale

Weather station at Sheep Creek.
Weather station at Sheep Creek.
© Parks Canada

Information about climate change indicates that the temperature of the earth has increased over the past 100 years. 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 vapour pressure
  • UV-B radiation is recorded at one station in each park.
    Active layer temperature is measured at a depth of 10 cm in Tuktut Nogait National Park.
  • Permafrost probes, which measure soil temperature at 2.5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 150 cm below the ground, have replaced the active layer probes in Aulavik and Ivvavik national parks. Permafrost probes are not installed in Tuktut Nogait National Park due to the nature of the substrate (bedrock) at the weather stations.
  • All measurements, except for snow depth, barometric pressure, permafrost and active layer temperature, are taken every 5 seconds. Snow depth, barometric pressure, permafrost and active layer temperature are measured every 5 seconds during the last 10 minutes of the hour.

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 in Ivvavik National Park in 2001 and 2002. Permafrost probes will not be installed in Tuktut Nogait National Park due to the nature of the substrate (bedrock) at the weather stations.

Partners

  • Environment Canada, Atmospheric Environment Service

Funding

  • Parks Canada

Data Location

  • Parks Canada, Inuvik
  • Environment Canada, Yellowknife

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, 1995-2003.
Mean July temperature at weather stations in Aulavik, Ivvavik and Tuktut Nogait national parks, 1995-2003.
Mean July temperature at weather stations in Aulavik, Ivvavik and Tuktut Nogait national parks, 1995-2003.