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Climate models predict that the effect of global warming will be felt earlier and be more pronounced in the Arctic than anywhere else in the world. Already, climate analyses have shown that air temperature, in some Arctic regions, has been steadily increasing over the last three decades. Climate models also predict that, over the course of the 21st century, summer temperatures in the Arctic could increase by as much as 4° to 8°C and that precipitation will likely increase by 10 to 20%.

Long term studies from different parts of the world have already started to detect ecological changes, such as alteration in breeding ranges, flowering dates, breeding dates and migration, all attributed to climate changes. However, in the Arctic, evidences of such ecological impacts are still scarce, mainly due to the fact that only few studies have enough long-term data sets to address these questions. Nevertheless, the simple ecological communities of the Arctic may suffer greatly from global warming, especially considering that the effects of climate change are expected to be particularly acute in this region.

We think that the data accumulated on Bylot Island over the past decade may help to elucidate some of the effects of climate changes on ecological variables, and are thus of utmost importance in predicting the consequences of future climate changes. The primary step that we took to investigate these questions was to identify temporal trends in the climate of the Bylot Island region.

Click on one region to know about its climate trends.