CGRG Bibliography of Canadian Geomorphology
Author : Luckman, B.H.
Date : 1998
Title : Landscape and climate change in the Central Canadian Rockies during the 20th Century.
Publication : The Canadian Geographer
Issue : 42(4):
Page(s) : 319-336.
This paper reviews selected evidence of environmental changes in the central Canadian Rockies during the 20th century. The instrumental climate record shows that mean annual temperatures have risen ca. 1.4 C over the last 100 years but seasonal patterns of change are complex. The greatest increases have been in winter temperatures (3.2 C/century). Precipitation data, though limited, show variable patterns of change on decadel scales with generally higher levels of precipitation in the mid-20th century . The longest streamflow record shows considerable variability, with highest flows in the 1950s. A tree-ring-based temperature reconstruction indicates summer and spring temperatures in the last half of the 20th century are higher than any equivalent period over the last 900 years. Although no accurate regional estimates exist, glaciers have probably lost ca. 25% of their area in the last 100 years and may be smaller now than they have been at any time in the last 3000 yeas. These two lines of evidence suggest that the climate of the late 20th century is exceptional in the context of the last 1000 to 3000 years. Small but significant vegetation changes are taking place at the upper treeline ecotone in response to climate changes over the 20th century (e.g., seedling establishment ). However, the most significant landscape changes in the last 100 years in the transformation of the character of the montane forest due to a reduction in forest fire frequency, largely due to an active policy of fire suppression.
Bibliography of Canadian Geomorphology