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The Climate Atlas of Canada is an interactive tool that combines climate science, mapping and storytelling to bring the global issue of climate change closer to home for Canadians.

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Climate Change
  • Less
  • More
Time Period
  • Recent Past
  • 2021-2050
  • 2051-2080

Climate Change Scenarios

The Climate Atlas displays projections for two possible climate futures. Each assumes a different level of future greenhouse gas emissions, which leads to more or less global warming.

More Climate Change / "High Carbon" Scenario

Emissions continue to increase at current rates.

This is the "business as usual" scenario, and assumes that world greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase at current rates through the end of the century. This large amount of greenhouse gas emissions results in more severe global warming. This is also called the "high carbon" future, and is based on the RCP 8.5 emissions scenario.

Less Climate Change / "Low Carbon" Scenario

Greenhouse gas emissions slow, peak mid-century, and then drop rapidly.

This scenario assumes that greenhouse gas emissions increase until about 2050 and then rapidly decline. This decline in emissions leads to less severe global warming than the alternative “business as usual” or high carbon scenario. This is also called the "low carbon" future, and is based on the RCP 4.5 emissions scenario.

Time Periods

The Recent Past (1976-2005)

The "baseline" maps and data describe climate conditions in the recent past. The values were generated by climate models and have been shown to accurately represent observed records (when averaged over time periods such as seasons or years). Importantly, the baseline period does not mean "before global warming": our climate had already warmed quite a bit by the 1970s.

The Immediate Future (2021-2050)

This period of time begins in just a couple of years, and we'll be in the middle of it in about 20 years. Most Canadians will see these changes come to pass.

The Near Future (2051-2080)

This period of time begins in about 30 years, and we'll be in the middle of it in about 45 years. Younger Canadians will likely experience all of these changes, and many older Canadians will at least see them begin.

How to use this map

1 Choose climate info

Select the type of information you want displayed using the icons below the map.

You can also choose between more and less extreme warming, and how far into the future you want to go.

2 Display a location

Once you've selected some climate info, you can choose a square region or a municipality to get more detailed information.

3 Watch videos

The icons on the map indicate there are videos available about that area. Hear more about climate change from people all over the country.

? More help

Follow the "tour" link below to get a quick overview of the map controls.


Map variables

You can choose what information you want to see on the map from these menu items. They divide the many possible choices into categories.

Some specialized categories are hidden by default, but can be revealed from the map settings menu.


Use this menu item to choose between different emissions scenarios and to choose the time period you want to see displayed on the map.


You can select metric or imperial units of measurement, and also whether or not to display additional specialized categories of climate variables.

Map Title Bar

As you change the various map variable options, the title bar keeps track of what you've chosen, so you always know what you're looking at.

Click on the icons to get more information about the aspect of climate change you're exploring.

Once you have a map loaded up, you can move around and zoom in and out. For detailed information, click on any grid square or city marker.

You can also watch videos from the markers.