Modeling the climatic impact of lakes in Tsay Keh Dene Nation and Carcross /Tagish First Nation territories of northwestern Canada

Lakes and reservoirs affect regional weather but their influence on the average environmental conditions in the remote, sparsely monitored, northwest of Canada has seldom been investigated. This study examines the climatic influences of lakes and reservoir impoundment on two First Nations territories in southern Yukon and northern British Columbia, using an atmospheric model alongside a lake model. Two 10-year meteorological simulations, corresponding to pre- and post-impoundment conditions, and for landscape with and without the lakes, respectively, will be used. Their differences for surface fluxes including heat, will help determine what localized warming and cooling for various periods are induced by water bodies, the changes in precipitation, alongside the underlying physical processes. Lake properties for a warmer climate will also be analyzed. The examinations will improve knowledge of land-water-atmosphere interactions at high latitudes. Such understanding will guide environmental change adaptations of remote communities where hydropower projects are planned or underway.

Intern: 
Chibuike Onwukwe
Faculty Supervisor: 
Peter Jackson;Siraj Ul Islam;Stephen Dery;Brian Menounos
Province: 
British Columbia
Partner University: