Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

you’ve probably heard the world is getting hotter according to environment and climate change canada alberta and saskatchewan

 have warmed by 1.9 degrees since the mid-20th century and that’s faster than the global rate so how will climate change affect life on the prairies one thing we’re already seeing is shorter warmer winters and hotter summers with more heat waves as we continue to warm we can expect that to continue also because warmer air can hold more moisture that means bigger storms with more rain which increases the risk of flooding but most of that extra precipitation won’t happen when we need it and with our warming winters expect less snow and more rain most of the water in our lakes and rivers and our groundwater it’s from melting snow so melting snow is a very efficient way of delivering our water because the snow that falls throughout the winter gets stored as snow and melts in the spring and as opposed to the rain in summer which isn’t nearly as effective because it it tends to evaporate with more of that evaporation scientists are predicting more droughts in the future especially across the southern prairies all that hot and dry weather could also lead to longer and more severe fire seasons over time those changes in precipitation and temperature will change what our landscape looks like and what lives here corial forests could transition to aspen park land and grassland island forest oasis in saskatchewan like cypress hills or moose mountain could also mostly disappear and all of those changes will affect animals too it’s really the generalists that are sticking around the ones that are able to adapt whereas the species that need more narrow environmental conditions and niches there’s they’re the ones that are losing well some animals and insects will disappear others will take their place we’ve seen trends in different species for example grassland species and aerial insectivores have declined by 60 percent across the prairies we’ve seen an increase in wetland birds up to 30 percent increase we could also see more invasive species or even species more common further south moving north think about winter ticks in saskatchewan or whitetail deer in alberta that can now live here because of our warmer winters so our climate is clearly changing and with that we will see changes to our landscape but just how much depends on the degree of warming .

By youne