Scientists Identify Climate Change Impact in Summer 2023

This summer has brought a series of unusual and extreme weather events to Canada, which scientists attribute to climate change. The country has witnessed floods, droughts, warm temperatures, and widespread wildfires, highlighting the impact of climate change on weather patterns.

Drought conditions have been particularly concerning. Agriculture Canada’s drought map shows large parts of the country experiencing abnormally dry conditions, with the Prairies facing moderate to extreme drought. 

Even typically wet regions like British Columbia have seen 28 out of 34 river basins at the province’s top two drought levels, affecting agriculture and threatening salmon runs.

Temperatures have also been higher than usual, especially in the west. Kelowna experienced 36 days of temperatures above 30°C between May and July, well above the normal count of 16 days. Unprecedented heat was recorded in places like Norman Wells in the Northwest Territories, which set a new record of 38°C.

Extreme weather events have caused significant damage. Halifax received three months’ worth of rain in just 24 hours, resulting in floods, evacuations, power cuts, and infrastructure damage. 

The wildfires, fueled by hot and dry conditions, have been the most extensive in North American history, affecting all provinces and territories, displacing thousands, destroying homes, and tragically claiming firefighter lives.

The impact of the wildfires has extended beyond Canada’s borders, with smoke reaching Europe and making international headlines. The situation highlights the interconnectedness of global weather patterns and the urgency of addressing climate change.

Experts emphasize that these events are consistent with the predictions of climate change models, and groups like World Weather Attribution are studying the role of climate change in these events. As the year progresses, it’s clear that climate change is amplifying extreme weather events and their impacts around the world.

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