Climate Change ‘Undeniably Having an Effect’ on Northern BC
Prince George, B.C. – Dozens of people turned out for a climate change discussion at The Exploration Place Monday night.
The talk was titled: “Changing Climate, Changing Landscapes in Northern B.C.: Perspectives from the Ground” and the discussion was lead by Dr. Stephen Dery, a professor in the Environmental and Engineering program at UNBC.
Specifically, he looked at how climate change is evolving in and around Prince George. One aspect of looking at that said Dery was through a network of weather stations that researchers have set up to track climate change in this region.
“We’ve seen some evidence and one of the features that we’ve seen is a retreat in glaciers across the Cariboo Mountains,” he said. “And that’s in response to essentially warmer climates, especially during the summer. And we’ve seen changes in snowpack accumulations as well.”
For example, from 1959 to 2007, he said the Castle Creek Glacier near McBride has receded 700 metres – an average of 14 metres per year.
In terms of temperature, he said from 1943-2008 scientists have measured a 1.5 degree increase at the Prince George Airport while the Nechako River Basin – a 50,000 square kilometre area (an area larger than Switzerland at 44,000 square kilometres) – has seen a temperature increase of 2.3 degrees from 1950 through to 2010.
He added the change in temperature has led to “an earlier spring freshet in many of the rivers, including the Fraser River.
He also addressed the so-called climate change skeptics.
“I guess sometimes people have very local or narrow perspectives on change but when you look at the region as a whole, certainly in terms of what data we’ve been collecting, changes in the landscape we’ve seen, I think it’s undeniable that climate change is having an effect.”