Your graph should indicate a slight cooling trend in Alert, Nunavut over the last 56 years (see below). It is also true, however, that other regions of the Arctic have warmed during the same time period. This is an example of how localized conditions do not necessarily apply to wider geographical areas. It also emphasizes how 56 years of average temperature data are generally insufficient to determine if the climate is undergoing permanent change. The study of climate change is complex, and this is why longer-term evidence recovered from buried diatoms and ice cores is valuable to scientists.

Yearly Summer Mean Temperatures for Alert, Nunavut
(from online Environment Canada data, June 2007):

1950 3.6
1951 0.65
1952 1.8
1953 2.3
1954 4.3
1955 0.85
1956 3.6
1957 3.25
1958 3
1959 1.15
1960 2.8
1961 1.35
1962 3.7
1963 2.5
1964 2.1
1965 1.2
1966 3.15
1967 3.35
1968 1.1
1969 3.3
1970 1.1
1971 2.3
1972 1.25
1973 1.8
1974 2.65
1975 2.65
1976 1.7
1977 1.15
1978 3.5
1979 1.4
1980 2. Read More

Your graph should indicate a slight cooling trend in Alert, Nunavut over the last 56 years (see below). It is also true, however, that other regions of the Arctic have warmed during the same time period. This is an example of how localized conditions do not necessarily apply to wider geographical areas. It also emphasizes how 56 years of average temperature data are generally insufficient to determine if the climate is undergoing permanent change. The study of climate change is complex, and this is why longer-term evidence recovered from buried diatoms and ice cores is valuable to scientists.

Yearly Summer Mean Temperatures for Alert, Nunavut
(from online Environment Canada data, June 2007):

1950 3.6
1951 0.65
1952 1.8
1953 2.3
1954 4.3
1955 0.85
1956 3.6
1957 3.25
1958 3
1959 1.15
1960 2.8
1961 1.35
1962 3.7
1963 2.5
1964 2.1
1965 1.2
1966 3.15
1967 3.35
1968 1.1
1969 3.3
1970 1.1
1971 2.3
1972 1.25
1973 1.8
1974 2.65
1975 2.65
1976 1.7
1977 1.15
1978 3.5
1979 1.4
1980 2.4
1981 2.55
1982 2.3
1983 1.4
1984 2.55
1985 1.75
1986 2.9
1987 2.05
1988 2.45
1989 2.4
1990 1.5
1991 2.8
1992 1.25
1993 2.45
1994 2.8
1995 1.85
1996 1.3
1997 0.7
1998 3.05
1999 0.85
2000 0.3
2001 2.4
2002 4.5
2003 2.75
2004 1.8
2005 3.45
2006 4.5

Notes:

Data is missing for July 2000.

Some data may be incomplete e.g. July 2006

See Notes on Data Quality on the Environment Canada website.


© 2007, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

• Appreciate the role and contribution of science and technology in our understanding of the world
• Compile and display evidence and information, by hand or computer, in a variety of formats, including diagrams, flow charts, tables, graphs, and scatter plots
• Evaluate the relevance, reliability, and adequacy of data and data collection methods


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