A Kootenay scientist says extreme heat seen in recent years will be nothing compared to what we could experience in 2050.
Climate Scientist Mel Reasoner says the average annual temperature has been gradually increasing yearly.
Reasoner expects temperatures will be on average 2.6 degrees hotter by the 2050s, topping the hottest years of the 20th century.
“It’ll be wise to prepare for more extreme and longer wildfire seasons and take steps to protect communities from that,” Reasoner says. “The other major impact that I think we need to be worried about in this part of the world is more intense precipitation events.”
He says the coming years will likely be hotter and dryer, increasing the risk of wildfires region wide.
“Model projections are suggesting that we will see summer temperatures hotter than the 1961 to 1990 base period, with a decrease in precipitation by 10 to 13 percent or so,” Reasoner says. “So every five, eight, ten years or so, we have a really extreme year and those extremes get worse and worse.”
Reasoner spoke on the findings at the Kootenay Wildfire and Climate Change Conference in Nelson last week.
He expects the data will be available online in the future.
– Climate Scientist, Mel Reasoner