British Columbia Context

Drying Up the Okanagan

Award-wiinning science journalist Chris Wood has written a series of articles on how global warming will affect British Columbia and what we can do about it. In a story titled “Drying Up the Okanagan”, he explains why this thirsty region is the 'canary in the coal mine' for British Columbia and water.

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Climate change and the future of Okanagan water resources

Climate change is a topic occupying many people’s minds. Statisticians examine decades of climate data looking for trends; scientists pursue the development of temperature and precipitation models to predict future climatic fluctuations; politicians argue about reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and the world’s citizens look to an uncertain future for their children and grandchildren. Many studies have determined that global climate patterns are changing. But what does the future hold for us here in B.C.? A group of researchers set out to answer that question.

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Impact of Climate Change at a Provincial Scale

If warming trends continue, over the next 100 years we could get up to 20% more rain, an 88-centimetre jump in sea levels, rivers drying up, a big dent in salmon migration and a spreading of the mountain pine beetle. British Columbia's average temperature could also increase by 4-degrees Celsius. Northern BC's temperature has climbed 1.7-degrees Celsius over the past 100 years, three times the global average.

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