Climate Change Effect on Winter Temperature and Precipitation of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada from 1943 to 2011


The correlation of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Pacific North American Oscillation (PNA), Arctic Oscillation (AO), and Scandinavia (SCAND) indices with winter (DJF) temperature and precipitation for the period of 1943 to 2011 was analyzed to study climate change and variability of Yellowknife, NWT. SOI correlated negatively with both temperature (r = -0.14) and precipitation (r = -0.06) causing colder, drier conditions during La Nina and warmer, wetter conditions during El Nino. PDO was shown to have a strong positive correlation with both temperature (r = 0.60) and precipitation (r = 0.33) causing warmer, wetter weather in the positive phase and colder, drier weather in the negative phase. PNA showed the strongest positive correlation for both temperature (r = 0.69) and precipitation (r = 0.37) causing very warm and wet conditions in the positive phase and very cold and dry conditions during the negative phase. AO correlated negatively with temperature (r = -0.04) and positively with precipitation (r = 0.24) causing colder, wetter conditions in the positive phase and warmer, drier conditions in the negative phase. Finally SCAND was shown to have a weak negative correlation with both temperature (r = -0.10) and precipitation (r = -0.18). Sunspot area showed a strong negative correlation (r = -0.30) with temperature and a very weak positive correlation (r = 0.07) with total annual precipitation. Yellowknife’s average annual temperature and precipitation has increased by 2.5°C and 120 mm, respectively throughout the past 69 years.

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J. Laing and J. Binyamin, "Climate Change Effect on Winter Temperature and Precipitation of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada from 1943 to 2011," American Journal of Climate Change, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2013, pp. 275-283. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2013.24027.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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