There are likely few more sobering images of the potential threats of climate change than the map above. Created recently by the climate research division of Environment Canada, it shows predicted winter temperatures (December to February) for late this century (2081 to 2100) assuming current global greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rates. As is clearly evident, it’s hot.
As part of Canadian Geographic’s recent June 2016 issue dedicated to climate change, I collected a series of recent maps (the above included) that show the impacts of, or potential impacts of, global warming regionally, nationally and globally. We presented a selection of the most-compelling maps in the magazine, but we couldn’t fit them all. Here are five more impactful maps charting our changing climate.
These two maps from Environment Canada show predicted increases in precipitation based on low-emission (left) and high-emission (right) targets. (Map: Environment Canada)
These two maps compare observed average February sea ice extents in the Arctic from 1966 to 2005 (left) with the same projected for 2081 to 2100 under a high-emission scenario. (Map: Environment Canada)
These two maps show the current distribution of aspen (top) compared with a projection of where the species’ current climate is expected to be late this century (2081 to 2100) based on high-emission targets. (Maps: Natural Resources Canada)
This map from the Geological Survey of Canada shows the difference in permafrost temperatures measured between 2012 and 2014 as compared to the same from about five years earlier. (Map: Geological Survey of Canada)