Canadian Historical Climate Data: Results and Analysis from the Volunteer Historical Climate Data Rescue Project

Canadian Historical Climate Data: Results and Analysis from the Volunteer Historical Climate Data Rescue Project

Dr. Victoria Slonosky, Director of the Canadian Volunteer Data Rescue Program, ACRE

The Climate is History Workshop, UWO 2014

Abstract

Climatological and meteorological observations in Canada begin in the first half of the 18th century, with continuous daily observations of the weather and climate for the province of Quebec from the late 18th century onwards. Here, historical data are analyzed for quality and compared to modern temperature distributions.  The use regression to estimate daily minimum and maximum temperatures from historical fixed hour observations is briefly explained, and single series of daily minimum and maximum temperatures compiled which extends back to 1742, with nearly continuous observations from 1798.  The results suggest considerable variability in the climate over the past two centuries with a reduction in cold temperatures over past two hundred years, but considerable decadal scale variability in other temperature indicators.

Note: participants might also be interested in this Globe and Mail article on data rescue and history’s role in predicting future climate change.

Photo of Dr. Slonosky in Zinta Zommers’ article “Predicting future climate change may lie in the past” Globe and Mail March 21, 2013

 

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