Camping & RVs
Wilderness Travel & Land Use
- Into the Yukon Wilderness
- Leave No Trace
- Wilderness Tourism Operators
- Park Permits
- Dempster Hwy Development Permit
Conservation Area Planning
Hunting in Yukon
Fishing in Yukon
Trapping in Yukon
- Trapping Regulations
- Humane Trapping Standards
- Proposed Developments Within
- Yukon Trapper Profiles
Hunter & Trapper Education & Resources
- Wildlife Viewing Program
- Wildlife Viewing Strategy
- Wildlife Viewing Events
- Viewing Tips & Etiquette
- Best Viewing Sites
- Through the Seasons
- Bird Watching
- Swan Haven
- Celebration of Swans
- Southern Lakes Bear Study
- Winter Ticks
- Wildlife Diseases & Contaminants
- Wildlife Management Modelling
Animal Health and Protection
Fish & Wildlife Planning
- Climate Change and Yukon
- Climate Change Action Plan
- Impacts of Climate Change
- Climate Change Adaptation
- Reducing GHG Emissions
- Climate Change & Youth
- Yukon Government Initiatives
Air & Water
Waste & Chemicals
Clean Northern Living
- Household Hazardous Waste
- Spill Reporting
- Help Stop Invasive Species
- Turn in Poachers & Polluters (TIPP)
- Warming Up Your Vehicle
- ATV Use in Yukon
- Wood Burning Tips
- Human-Wildlife Conflict
- Orphaned or Injured Wildlife
- Homeowners & Urban Wildlife
- Bear Safety
- Cougar Safety
Environment Yukon eServices
- Canada's Parks Day
- Volunteer Opportunities in Yukon Parks
- How You Can Help Wildlife Studies
- Environmental Awareness Fund
- Joining Boards, Councils & Committees
- Pesticide Application Permit
- Spay-Neuter Program Evaluation
- Permitting System
- Developing Animal Health Act Regulations
- EnviroWild Resources for Educators
- Resource Guides
- Backyard Biodiversity
- BIGFOOT/littlefoot Game
- Environment Education Links
About the Department
Maps & GIS Data
Impacts of climate change
The North is uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are experiencing significant impacts on infrastructure, traditional ways of living and ecological systems.
In Yukon, scientific research, traditional knowledge, and personal experience all tell us that our climate is changing and Yukon's land, wildlife and people are directly affected in a number of ways:
- Average temperature in Yukon has increased by 2°C over the last 50 years and by four degrees in winter—twice the rate of southern Canada.
- It is projected to increase by another two degrees over the next 50 years.
Extreme, unprecedented or unexpected weather events
- Yukoners are experiencing more extreme weather events including lightning storms and flash floods.
- Warmer temperatures in the Dawson City area have led to ice-jam floods.
- Dawson City and Mayo are expected to see a 60 per cent increase in forest fires by 2035.
- Since 1958, Yukon glaciers have lost 22 per cent of their surface area.
- On average, Yukon's melting glaciers have contributed 1.13 mm to global sea level rise.
- Melting glaciers can also cause local or regional water shortages and localized flooding.
- More information on glaciers from the Yukon Geological Survey.
Melting sea ice
- Over half of summer sea ice volume in the Arctic Ocean has been lost in the last decade.
- When glacier and sea ice melt, the darker water and land revealed beneath absorbs the sun’s energy at a greater rate, causing further warming.
- Along the Alaska Highway (Whitehorse to Fort St. John), over half of the places where permafrost existed in 1964 no longer contain permafrost.
- For persisting permafrost sites, the active layer (where seasonal thaw occurs) is increasing in depth.
- Permafrost thaw causes expensive damage to Yukon's roads and buildings.
- Permafrost thawing has led to slumping and to more frequent landslides.
- More information on landslides from the Yukon Geological Survey.
Areas with distinctive plant and animal species (biomes) are shifting due to climate change. This can mean:
- Southern plants and animals are moving north.
- Caribou and salmon migration patterns are changing.
- Greater opportunity for the spread of invasive species such as mountain pine beetle.
- Impacts on availability and access to traditional food sources.
- Increase in agricultural opportunities.
Effects on fresh water sources
While we know climate change affects our water resources, we can’t say with certainty to what extent because many different factors affect the water cycle. We are, however, seeing changes in many areas, including:
- Rain and snow have increased in some regions of Yukon over the past 50 years. Most projections suggest this trend will continue, particularly in winter.
- Snowmelt is starting earlier in the year due to the sensitivity of snowpack to spring temperatures, which have risen for the past 25 years.
- How climate change will affect groundwater is not well understood, but permafrost thaw will likely result in more groundwater contributing to streamflow.
- Physical Impacts - Climate Change Fact Sheet 175 KB
- Ecological Impacts - Climate Change Fact Sheet 211 KB
- Impacts on People - Climate Change Fact Sheet 234 KB
- Yukon Water: An Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerabilities 7 MB
- Yukon Water: A Summary of Climate Change Vulnerabilities 3 MB
Contact the Climate Change Secretariat