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Global Warming In Alberta?

May 24, 2016

By Paul Homewood 




As I noted at the time, it did not take Jeff Masters long to link the Alberta wildfire to climate change, helped along by statements like

The hot weather struck at an uncommonly bad time for wildfire risk: after winter snows had disappeared, but before the summer green-up had taken hold. Normally the window between these would be quite narrow, but snowfall was light this winter across the region, and it disappeared quickly during record warmth in April


I have been waiting for GISS to publish the April data, and these are the numbers for Banff, the only long running station with current data in the area.




Although last month’s mean of 7.0C was well above normal, it was not as hot as April 1934, when it reached 7.4C. April 1915 was also nearly as warm with 6.8C.

It is also not immediately apparent that April temperatures in the last decade, other than this year, are in any way out of the ordinary.



We can also take a look at winter and spring temperature trends at Banff:





Although we obviously don’t have data for this spring yet, it is clearly preposterous to suggest that global warming is heating up Alberta.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2016 5:34 pm

    Nice work. Why am I not surprised? I guess I’m used to alarmists blaming anything and everything bad on “climate change” with the implication that it was caused by man-made CO2 emissions. It’s really getting absurd these days. I guess they are getting desperate.

    If we happen to get some overdue global cooling over the next few years maybe the bubble will finally burst. I has been blown so far out of proportion, it won’t take much and may soon burst on it’s own from over-inflation as people begin to ignore the obviously false claims (cry wolf syndrome). Also hopefully people are beginning to better understand the wide range of natural climate variability and that’s where blogs like this one can help out.

  2. Karen Walker permalink
    May 24, 2016 5:54 pm

    Surprisingly it was reported this morning that Alberta just experienced the coldest Victoria Day weekend in 40 years. Perhaps not warming as quickly as some would like to think. And wildfires were strictly a result of the build up of old growth caused by continued fire suppression over the previous 30 years in the Fort Mac area. A dire warning was issued by a study release in 2012 that extreme wild fire activity over a large area would be the ultimate result of continued fire suppression and lack of concentrated controlled burns. And guess what, that is exactly what happened.

  3. Bloke down the pub permalink
    May 24, 2016 6:09 pm

    Pity that Banff is missing data around the 1998 El Niño.

  4. lance permalink
    May 24, 2016 7:20 pm

    I’ll check out my temps/prec (only 27 years), in southern Alberta, but Ft. Mac has a weather station(I lived there in the 80’s) as does Edmonton although there are 2 locations (or more), however, the past 2 winters here in Alberta have been very warm and dry (read El Nino)…

  5. Broadlands permalink
    May 24, 2016 7:48 pm

    Temperatures at Fort McMurray are a bit warmer than they were in the 1930s (Clayton’s World Weather Records). But, the point overlooked(?) by Masters is that the evidence shows the fire was started by humans and not by lightning. That’s true for many wildfires (either accidentally or even deliberately) and makes sense when you consider that more and more people leave their urban heat to visit the forests.

  6. May 24, 2016 8:18 pm

    What happened to the data between 1991 and 2002?

  7. May 24, 2016 9:14 pm

    Fort Mac is 866 km from Banff. They are very different climates.

    It was a long weekend in Canada and it snowed for the 7th time in the last 16 near Calgary.

    • Mike Williams permalink
      May 25, 2016 12:04 pm

      Its also 1000m higher and in the mountains

  8. May 25, 2016 2:32 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  9. Les Johnson permalink
    May 26, 2016 4:09 pm

    I agree that using Banff is not a good choice. These are separated by nearly 1000 km, and have two very different climate regimes.

    Ft Mac temps show no changes over the last 25 years.

    This page takes Ft Mac temps back to 1920, and shows a DECLINE since 1980, though there does appear to an increase before, that seems to coincide with the Pacific Temperature Shift (circa 1977). (note these are the MEAN, and not anomalies)

    • May 26, 2016 6:20 pm

      Thanks Les

      One of the problems with long term comparisons at McMurray is that the town bears no resemblance now to 80 yrs ago, as far as UHI goes.

      I also understand that the temperature station is at the airport.

      I don’t know if there are any long term, rural sites in the region?

    • Broadlands permalink
      May 26, 2016 8:30 pm

      Lee for comparison… The average annual monthly means at Fort McMurray from 1931-1940 went from a max of 33.5°F in 1931 to a min of 25.4°F two years later. The decadal mean was 30°F. The 1981-2010 climate-normal annual mean (at the airport), is 33.8°F The differences are statistically significant. How much is UHI is difficult to evaluate.

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