Communities in Nunavut, Arctic Canada on track for warmer than normal summer

People fish on a sunny summer day in Iqaluit this year. The months of June, July and August have been warmer than normal for most Nunavut communities, says meteorologist David Phillips. (David Gunn/CBC News)
The summer isn’t over and so far people in many Nunavut communities have been feeling the heat.

“June, July and August for most of Nunavut has been warmer than normal, in some cases consistently warm,” said David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

He said that’s especially true in Pond Inlet, Clyde River and Resolute. Alert also made headlines last month when it hit 21 C — warmer than Victoria, B.C.

When meteorologists look at their models, they are seeing more of the same for the rest of August and September, with many Nunavut communities on track for a record-breaking summer.

Iqaluit was a bit of a different story in July, where despite some near record-breaking days with temperatures in the 20s, the city was cooler than average. It has to do with the ice in the inlet, Phillips said.

Nothing is normal anymore and that is no more clear than in the Arctic.

David Phillips, meteorologist

“Air and water currents push the ice into the shoreline and then all of a sudden that southerly, balmy air disappears because any warm air that moves over that ice is chilled, so it arrives refrigerated.”

Phillips said the warmer-than-usual weather is the new normal.

“What you are seeing this summer, I don’t think it’s a one-off, it’s not an outlier. It is clearly abnormal, but what we know in the future is to expect the unexpected,” he said.

“Nothing is normal anymore and that is no more clear than in the Arctic.”

Related stories from around the North:

Antarctica: Could snow cannons in Antarctica help avert catastrophic sea level rise?, Eye on the Arctic

Canada: Warming Arctic shrinking Canadian glaciers at alarming rate says study, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Reindeer struggling to stay cool as unusual heat hits northern Finland, Yle News

Greenland: Greenlanders stay chill as the world reacts to its heatwave, CBC News

Iceland: Iceland glacier lost to climate change to get memorial ceremony this month, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Arctic summer 2019: record heat, dramatic ice loss and raging wildfires, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Greenpeace Russia calls for more resources to fight Siberian wildfires, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Local councils in Sweden more interested in climate change preparedness, Radio Sweden

United States: Summer heat hastens Alaska peony harvest, Alaska Public Media

Angela Hill, CBC News

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