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Technical Thematic Report No. 4. - Large-scale climate oscillations influencing Canada

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Large-scale climate oscillations influencing Canada, 1900-2008

Cover page of the publication: Large-scale climate oscillations influencing Canada, 1900-2008.

B. BonsalFootnote[1] and A. ShabbarFootnote[2]

Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010
Technical Thematic Report No.4
Published by the Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Large-scale climate oscillations influencing Canada, 1900-2008.

Issued also in French under title:
Oscillations climatiques à grande échelle ayant une incidence sur le Canada, de 1900 à2008.
Electronic monograph in PDF format.
ISBN978-1-100-18483-8
Cat. no.: En14-43/4-2011E-PDF

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This report should be cited as:
Bonsal, B. and Shabbar, A. 2011. Large-scale climate oscillations influencing Canada, 1900-2008. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010, Technical Thematic Report No. 4. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. iii + 15 p.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2011
Aussi disponible en français

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Aquatic Ecosystem Impacts Research Division, Water Science and Technology Directorate, Environment Canada

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Footnote 2

Climate Research Division, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada

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Preface

The Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers developed a Biodiversity Outcomes FrameworkFootnote1 in 2006 to focus conservation and restoration actions under the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy.Footnote2 Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010Footnote3 was a first report under this framework. It assesses progress towards the framework’s goal of “Healthy and Diverse Ecosystems” and the two desired conservation outcomes: i) productive, resilient, diverse ecosystems with the capacity to recover and adapt; and ii) damaged ecosystems restored.

The 22 recurring key findings that are presented in Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010 emerged from synthesis and analysis of technical reports prepared as part of this project. Over 500 experts participated in the writing and review of these foundation documents. This report, Large-scale climate oscillations influencing Canada, 1900-2008, is one of several reports prepared on the status and trends of national cross-cutting themes. It has been prepared and reviewed by experts in the field of study and reflects the views of its authors.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Heather Haywood and Ross Mackay of Environment Canada for assistance with the figures. We would also like to thank the two reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions toward an improved version of the report.

Ecological Classification System – Ecozones+

A slightly modified version of the Terrestrial Ecozones of Canada, described in the National Ecological Framework for CanadaFootnote4, provided the ecosystem-based units for all reports related to this project. Modifications from the original framework include: adjustments to terrestrial boundaries to reflect improvements from ground-truthing exercises; the combination of three Arctic ecozones into one; the use of two ecoprovinces – Western Interior Basin and Newfoundland Boreal; the addition of nine marine ecosystem-based units; and, the addition of the Great Lakes as a unit. This modified classification system is referred to as “ecozones+ throughout these reports to avoid confusion with the more familiar “ecozones” of the original frameworkFootnote5.

Ecological classification framework for the Ecosystem Status and Trends Report for Canada.

Long Description for Ecozones+ map of Canada

This map of Canada shows the ecological classification framework for the Ecosystem Status and Trends Report, named “ecozones+”. This map shows the distribution of 15 terrestrial ecozones+, two large lake ecozones+, and nine marine ecozones+.

Introduction

Observed trends and variability in Canadian climate are influenced by large-scale atmospheric and oceanic oscillations known as teleconnections. Although there are several identified teleconnection patterns used to describe various circulation features across the globe, the main oscillations impacting Canada include El Niño/Southern Oscillation (Rasmusson and Carpenter, 1982), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (Mantua et al., 1997), the Pacific North American pattern (Wallace and Gutzler, 1981), the North Atlantic Oscillation (e.g. Hurrell and VanLoon, 1997; Hurrell et al., 2003) -- which is closely related to the Arctic Oscillation (Thompson and Wallace, 1998), and the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (Mestas-Nuñez and Enfield, 1999). Relationships between these teleconnections and Canadian climate are strongest during the cold season (late autumn through spring) although some connections with summer conditions have been identified. In addition, they have strongest and more consistent impacts on temperature variables and to a lesser extent, on precipitation related factors.

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Footnotes

Footnote 1

Biodiversity outcomes framework for Canada. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. 8 p.

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Footnote 2

Federal-Provincial-Territorial Biodiversity Working Group. 1995. Canadian Biodiversity Strategy: Canada's response to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Environment Canada, Biodiversity Convention Office. Ottawa, ON. 86 p.

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Footnote 3

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments of Canada. 2010. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON. vi + 142 p.

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Footnote 4

Ecological Stratification Working Group. 1995. A national ecological framework for Canada. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Research Branch, Centre for Land and Biological Resources Research and Environment Canada, State of the Environment Directorate, Ecozone Analysis Branch. Ottawa/Hull, ON. 125 p. Report and national map at 1:7 500 000 scale.

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Footnote 5

Rankin, R., Austin, M. and Rice, J. 2011. Ecological classification system for the ecosystem status and trends report. Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010, Technical Thematic Report No. 1. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers. Ottawa, ON.

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Introduction