Climate Data and Tools
Information is key to making good decisions. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has been working to provide develop information products to help the province adapt to the effects of climate change.
Climate Data and Tools
Climate change is a global challenge that will bring diverse impacts throughout the world. The impacts of climate change are already being seen in Newfoundland and Labrador, where air temperatures have been between 1.0 - 1.5°C higher than the historical average in recent years. Examples of these impacts include more extreme weather, increased coastal erosion, and less winter sea ice, each of which presents a range of risks.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to ensuring that our province understands and prepares for these impacts, which is one of the key goals of the 2011 Climate Change Action Plan.
Improving Climate Data and Information
Having access to up-to-date and relevant climate data is important for decision-making processes in areas as diverse as infrastructure planning, economic development, business investment decisions and preparing for risks to public health. The Provincial Government has invested in developing and updating a variety of tools to assist in preparing for the impacts of climate change.
Climate Data Information Portal | See more
The Climate Information Portal is a section of the Provincial Government's Community Accounts database that includes historical climate data from over 70 Environment Canada weather stations throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, including temperature, wind and precipitation data from as early as 1909. Go to website
Intensity-Duration Frequency (IDF) Curves | See more
IDF curves identify the intensity of rainfall events (in millimeters per hour) over a specific duration (ranging from five minutes to 24 hours) and how frequent these rain events are expected to occur (ranging from a one-in-two to a one-in-100 year event). These tools inform the appropriate design standards and management practices for infrastructure. The Provincial Government has compiled and updated IDF curves for 19 locations in the province and developed projections of future extreme precipitation events.
Temperature Projections | See more
In 2018, the Provincial Government commissioned a Climate Projections Study that identifies how the province's climate is projected to change by mid- and late century. This study includes temperature projections for 28 locations in the province, as well as Schefferville (Quebec). Specifically, daily mean, minimum and maximum temperatures are available for all seasons, and projections are available for technical concepts, such as heating degree days, cooling degree days, growing degree days, frost days, frost free days, and maximum heat wave duration.
Precipitation Projections | See more
In 2018, the Provincial Government commissioned a Climate Projections Study that identifies how the province's climate is projected to change by mid- and late century. This study includes precipitation projections for 28 locations in the province, as well as Schefferville (Quebec). Specifically, data is available for daily mean precipitation; mean intensity of precipitation; 90th percentile of precipitation events; precipitation totals for three, five and ten-day periods are provided for all seasons; the number of days with 10mm or more of precipitation; as well as projections for dry spells including maximum number of consecutive dry days; average and median dry spell length; and standard deviation of dry spell length.
Flooding | See more
A flood alert system was launched by the Provincial Government to help communities prepare for storms, which can help them avoid future high-cost repairs and improve emergency response planning. This system provides daily alerts and forecasts for 45 areas from July to December each year, including projected daily rainfall, flood risk levels, and the time of estimated peak precipitation for that day. Go to website
Incorporating Climate Change into Public Infrastructure Planning and Design | See more
In spring, 2018, a two-day workshop was held in St. John’s, NL, on Incorporating Climate Change into Public Infrastructure Planning and Design. The workshop content has been developed into 10 online modules, which are available online, free of charge.
The modules aim to increase understanding of climate change in Newfoundland and Labrador and the potential implications for infrastructure planning and development. This includes enhance professionals understanding of the following:
- The legal, policy, scientific and ethical imperative and rationale for action to integrate climate considerations into design and construction of infrastructure and planning;
- The basics of climate change science, how the province is being impacted by climate change, and the implications for infrastructure;
- How climate change information is produced, and how to apply it to planning and design practices; and
- Existing tools and resources are available to support their work, including resources developed specifically for Newfoundland and Labrador.
The modules are delivered by leading professionals in their field, and include the following presentations:
- Introduction (David Lapp, P. Eng., Practice Lead, Engineers Canada)
- Legal framework for climate adaptation (Ryan Zizzo, P.Eng., Technical Director, Zizzo Strategy Inc.)
- Policy and planning landscape (Gerald Crane, Director of Research and Analysis, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Dr. Richard Harvey, P.Eng., Senior Hydrotechnical Engineer, Wood Group)
- Understanding the science of climate change and projections (Dr. Joel Finnis, Associate Professor and Climatologist, Memorial University)
- Uncertainty and application of climate projections in infrastructure design (Dr. Joe Daraio, P.Eng., Assostant Professor, Memorial University)
- Provincial data, tools and resources to improve decision making (Gerald Crane, Director of Research and Analysis, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)
- Climate projections and impacts (Coming Soon: Dr. Joel Finnis, Associate Professor and Climatologist, Memorial University)
- Coastal erosion and monitoring program (Melanie Irvine, Project Geologist, Geological Survey Newfoundland and Labrador)
- Climate change flood risk mapping (Dr. Ali Khan, P.Eng., Manager of Water Rights, Investigations and Modelling, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)
- Principles of asset management, risk assessment and the PIEVC protocol (David Lapp, P.Eng., Practice Lead, Engineers Canada)
- Case studies and examples of integrating climate change into infrastructure (Peter Nimmrichter, P.Eng., Lead for Canadian Climate, Resilience and Sustainability Services, Wood Group)
The modules, presenter biographies, and interactive knowledge tests are all available online. There is no fee to access the modules; however, you will be required to set up an account. This is a quick process and only requires providing an email address and creating a password.
Online modules are eligible for continuing professional development hours recognized by Professional Engineers and Geoscientists Newfoundland & Labrador (PEGNL) and potentially other professional bodies. Those interested, should check with their respective professional body to confirm this. This is part of a 3-year, collaborative projected on Building Climate Resilience, with Memorial University, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Professional Engineers and Geo-scientists Newfoundland and Labrador, Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador and Engineers Canada. This project is also supported by funding from Natural Resources Canada.
Additional Tools and Resources | See more
This study, which was completed in 2012, provided an inventory of climate monitoring capabilities in Newfoundland and Labrador, including which climate stations have been maintained or discontinued, and the type of data being collected.
In 2018, the Provincial Government commissioned a study to update the 2013 climate projections, using the latest global climate change scenarios. The update includes both mid- and late century projections (for 2041-2071 and 2071-2100) and data from 28 weather stations across the province for temperature and precipitation. The updated projections use smaller 25x25 kilometre grid sizes, where possible, to predict local changes, providing more detail on anticipated changes at a local level, than using the 50x50 kilometre grid sizes used in the previous study
In 2013, the Provincial Government commissioned a Climate Projections Study that identifies how the province's climate is projected to change by mid-century. As noted above, this study provides temperature and precipitation projections.
Since 2011, the Provincial Government has been monitoring coastal erosion rates throughout the province, with 112 sites currently being monitored. Reports of the findings of this work are released annually.
This climate change vulnerability assessment tool was adapted from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and was piloted in six Newfoundland and Labrador communities. The tool is designed for communities with limited resources and does not require any technical expertise to use. This tool can serve as a guide for community leaders and decision makers, providing a means for a quick analysis of local climate change impacts and possible adaptation options. Go to website
Municipalities NL and the Professional Municipal Administrators, with funding assistance from the Department of Environment and Conservation, developed a municipal infrastructure training tool. The tool, Managing Municipal Infrastructure in a Changing Climate, is used as a training tool to help municipal staff manage and prepare for the impacts of climate change. Managing Municipal Infrastructure in a Changing Climate
Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee Workshops - In 2014, the Provincial Government hosted a series of workshops attended by over 120 engineers, municipal staff and decision-makers to apply a vulnerability assessment tool to three infrastructure scenarios in Newfoundland and Labrador. The following case studies were produced:
For more information on these resources, please contact the Climate Change Branch at 709-729-1210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.