1.2 Trends in average global temperature, snow cover and ocean levels, heat content, and acidity

Last Updated: 
June 2, 2015

 

This indicator reports on measured global changes in our oceans and terrestrial ecosystems.

This information is summarized from the Fifth Assessment  Report of the International Panel on Climate Change -  Climate Change 2013 - The Physical Science Basis published by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme. 

This indicator replaces 1.2 Trend in Average Global Temperature, Sea Levels and Snow Cover.

Measuring snow pack.

NWT focus

Increases in temperature, and changes in the oceans around the world are partly responsible for the noticeable changes in NWT’s climate during the past decades, and are having complex effects on the NWT environment. Temperature and snow cover are compared to similar indicators at the NWT level in the CLIMATE AND WEATHER focal point.

Current view: status and trend

Quote from the Fifth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change - Climate Change 2013 - The Physical Science Basis  - Summary for Policymakers:

"Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth's surface than any preceding decade since 1850. In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983 - 2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years.”

Observed changes to 2012

Multiple observed indicators of a changing global climate.
Multiple observed indicators of a changing global climate.

Quotes from the Fifth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change - Climate Change 2013 - The Physical Science Basis - Summary for Policymakers Global:

"Over the last two decades, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass, glaciers have continued to shrink almost worldwide, and Arctic sea ice and Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover have continued to decrease in extent (high confience)."

"Ocean acidification is quantified by decreases in pH13. The pH of ocean surface water has decreased by 0.1 since the beginning of the industrial era (high confidence), corresponding to a 26% increase in hydrogen ion concentration."

Looking forward

Quotes from the Fifth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change - Climate Change 2013 - The Physical Science Basis - Summary for Policymakers:

"It is very likely that the Arctic sea ice cover will continue to shrink and that Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover will decrease during the 21st century as global mean surface temperature rises. Global glacier volume will further decrease."

"Global mean sea level will continue to rise during the 21st century (see Figure SPM 9). Under all RCP scenarios, the rate of sea level rise will very likely exceed that observed during 1971 to 2010 due to increased ocean warming and increased loss of mass from glaciers and ice sheets."

"Climate change will affect carbon cycle processes in a way that will exacerbate the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (high confidence). Further uptake of caribon by the ocean will increase ocean acidification."

 

CMIPS multi-model simuilated time series, 1950-2100.
CMIPS multi-model simuilated time series, 1950-2100.

For more information 

Other focal points

Contact us

Found an error or have a question? Contact the team at NWTSOER@gov.nt.ca.