Class Notes (811,225)
Canada (494,571)
Geography (880)
GEOG 2RC3 (90)
Lecture 2

Lecture 2 2RC3

6 Pages
Unlock Document

McMaster University
Walter Peace

Lecture 2- May 4 , 2011 Climate Regions of Canada  Introduction  Climate vs weather  Weatherday to day, location specific with respect to temperature and precipitation o Canada’s weather is variable so we cannot speak of it in a general way  Climatelong term average, seasonal and regional o Temperature and precipitation of long term averages in a larger geographic area o You would not ask someone what Hamilton’s climate is like today (not the correct term)  Hamilton’s Weather o May 7, 2009 o High temperature: 21 o Low temperature: 9 o Conditions: Rain o “Normal” temperatures (average all the temperatures since records have been kept) o High: 16.4 o Low: 5.1 o Record temperatures (you could have the same temperature 10 years in a rowthe whole idea of an average is what we can routinely expect over a long period of time; however it makes no sense because one years temperature does not affect another years) o High: 26.8 (2000) o Low: -3.3 (1966) Factors affecting climate  Latitude o The higher the latitude; the lower the temperatures; you are getting closer to the north pole  Elevation o The higher the elevation the lower the temperature on average (with all other things being constant) mountains retain snow even in higher temperatures  Proximity to large bodies of water (continentality) o How far in terms of the location is it from large bodies of water (oceans)? o The closer you are to oceans, the smaller the difference in the temperature between summer and winter o The further you are from oceans, the greater the difference between seasonal extremes o St. Johns vs. Vancouver, BC: compare the seasonal differences to Winnipeg o Find that the difference between summer and winter averages is much greater in Winnipeg then St. John’s because it does not have a moderating effect  Ocean currents o Effect locations closer to oceans o Cold water from the arctic meets the warm water from the gulf of Mexico and the result is more fog and precipitation the east coast due to the warm air and water meeting the cold air and water from the north  Prevailing winds o In the NHwinds blow from west to east; prevailing winds are from the west  Orientation of the earth’s surface relative to the sun o How much solar radiation reaches the surface of the area in a given location? o Applies at the global scale for seasons and at the micro scale for individual circumstances Net result: climatic conditions result from the combination of these factors in a given region; the relative importance of each factor will vary from region to region; climate regions (figure 2.6, pg.52compare to figure 2.1) based on long term combination of temperature and precipitation  Increase in altitude you go from subtropical, temperate, cool temperate, tundra and polar  Prevailing winds: north of the tropic of cancer you have prevailing westerlies  Seasonal temperatures map in July: Figure 2.4 (pg. 50) o Lines on the map are called isotherms (join similar average temperatures) o Winnipeg is the coldest place (its not) but coldest place with the most amount of people living there  Major storm tracks  Figure 2.6: climatic regions for Canada subarctic region overlapping with Canadian shield Climate regions of Canada 1. Pacific  Marine influence of pacific ocean  Moderate temperatures: warmer summers and cooler winters  Seasonal variation in precipitationwetter in winter  Orographic precipitation 2. Cordillera  Higher elevationlower temperature  Different climate regimes at different elevations  Amount of precipitation varies with windward and leeward locations 3. Arctic  Latitude: colder temperatures  Resolute: mean annual temperature = -16.4 degrees Celsius  Only 3 months with average temperature above 0 degrees Celsius  June, July and August 4. Subarctic  Colder winders (but average temperature above arctic regions)  5 months with average temperature above 0 (May to September)  High range in winter to summer temperature s  Figure 2.4 across the mainland of Canada the average July temperature is 7.5 degrees compared to the average winter temperature of -35 to -30 degrees 5. Prairies  Continental climatehot summers, cold winters (very far away from moderating effects of the oceans)  Area over which polar/tropical air masses meet; some parts very arid, e.g., Palliser’s Triangle  Higher risk of tornado activity  Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta (southern part is true prairies) 6. Great Lakes: St. Lawrence  Humid continental climate (large differences between summer and winter)  Restricted to southern Ontario/Quebec  Moderating effects of Great Lakes  Hot/humid summers; cold winters  8 months with average temperature above 0 degrees 7. Atlantic  Maritime climate- warm summers, cool winters; moist all year  Ocean currents: Gulf stream (warm); Labrador current (cold)fog  Greatest impact of ocean currents on the regional climate  See text Chapter 2., pg. 46-51, esp. Figure 2.3, 2.4, 2.5 and 2.6 Some climate regions overlap with the United States (international boundaries do not matter in these great physical processes) Climate change  Global warming: increase in global temperatures due to the greenhouse effect  Greenhouse effect: increase in carbon dioxide in earth’s atmosphere prevents heat and energy from escaping back into space, thereby causing temperatures to rise Global warming  See Bone: pg. 61-66  Possible effects of global warming on Canada o Permafrost limit moves northward (figure 2.9)  Ground will not stay frozen where it right now o Tree line moves north  More plant species established  Northern limit of boreal forest is called the tree line o Coastal flooding o Northwest passage free of ice o Increase in number of icebergs  Glaciers loose their ability to retain ice o Damage to roads/buildings currently built on permafrost  Nothing to keep roads or buildings in place o Ecological change-plants and animals  Polar bears: bears are smaller then they were 15 to 20 years ago because they are unable to stay out for long periods of time to hunt seals since the ice melts very quickly o None of these effects are definitive and thus we cannot be conclusive about it The revenge of Gaia  Gaia: planet Earth regulates itself chemically and atmospherically to keep itself fit for life for example, the earth as a super organism  Not a scientifically accepted fact, but it is widely accepted as a more or less valid viewpoint  Gaia: Greek for goddess of the earth  James Lovelock, 1970s  Hadley Centre fro Climate Research in Britain  Lovelock now believes that the sel
More Less

Related notes for GEOG 2RC3

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.