Canadian Biomass Magazine

Website highlights effects of climate change on Canada’s forests

October 23, 2018
By University of Winnipeg

Oct. 23, 2018 - The Prairie Climate Centre at the University of Winnipeg has launched a new section of their groundbreaking Climate Atlas of Canada that explains the effects of climate change on Canada’s forests:

The recent release of the IPCC Special Report Global Warming of 1.5 C underscores the fact that climate change threatens our irreplaceable forest ecosystems and economies, and that preserving Canada’s forests is an essential strategy to help fight climate change.

Canada’s forests are some of the largest in the world. They have enormous economic, cultural, environmental, and recreational value for Canadians of all walks of life. And they are already showing the impact of our changing climate. Invasive insect pests, record-breaking wildfires, and drought have already taken a toll on trees across the country.

Recent extreme events, including this year’s record-setting forest fire season in B.C., have many Canadians wondering: “is this the new normal?” The Climate Atlas helps answer this question, and the new Forests section highlights the risks climate change poses to Canada’s essential, iconic forests:

  • Climate change is a ‘triple threat’ for forest fires, leading to hotter temperatures, more frequent lightning strikes, and more dry, windy “fire weather” overall.
  • Canada’s warming climate is allowing invasive pests such as the mountain pine beetle and the emerald ash borer to spread farther and faster than ever before.
  • Climate models show that 2018’s record-breaking summer heat will become the ‘new normal’ by 2050 unless carbon emissions are drastically reduced.

The Climate Atlas presents compelling video interviews with expert voices along with plain-language articles explaining the connections between forests and climate change. It also discusses the actions we can take to adapt to the new climate reality and to reduce the severity of ongoing climate change.


The Climate Atlas of Canada is an interactive tool for citizens, researchers, businesses, and community and political leaders to learn about climate change in Canada. It combines climate science, mapping, and storytelling to inspire local, regional, and national action and solutions. The Atlas was produced by the Prairie Climate Centre (PCC), a team made up of climate scientists, social science researchers,filmmakers, and communication specialists at the University of Winnipeg. The funders of the Atlas include Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Province of Manitoba, Great West Life, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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