Learning Zone

Explore this section to learn more about the science behind climate data, choose and access Canadian climate data, and download pre-made materials for your own training sessions.

Topic 1

Introduction to Climate Information for Decision Making

Introduction to emissions scenarios, climate models and how outputs can inform decision-making.

Adapting Transportation through Municipal Regulation

This podcast is about how we get from here to there, exploring climate adaptation in the transportation sector and the ways that climate data can make us more resilient as a society.

Climate Risk Assessments and Climate Data

This podcast is about how we get from here to there, exploring climate adaptation in the transportation sector and the ways that climate data can make us more resilient as a society.

Toronto’s Streets

This podcast is about how we get from here to there, exploring climate adaptation in the transportation sector and the ways that climate data can make us more resilient as a society.

Introduction to Decision Making Using Climate Scenarios

Learn about emissions scenarios to consider a range of possible futures and minimize risk.

Understanding Ranges in Climate Projections

Learn why looking at a set of climate models, rather than a single one, can lend confidence to decisions.

Why Use Climate Data for Planning?

What using emissions scenarios can look like in practice.

Topic 2

Understanding Historical Data

Learn about historical datasets and how to choose which one to use.

Historical Weather Station Observations

Learn about Canada’s weather station monitoring network and how long-term observations from these stations help build Canada’s climate record.

Gridded Historical Data

How are weather station observations used to create a country-wide view of Canada’s weather? Learn about ANUSPLIN, the interpolation tool used to create gridded historical datasets.

Modelled Historical Data

ClimateData.ca provides historical climate simulations from 24 climate models developed by scientists from around the world. Learn why climate models are run over the historical period and how you can access this data.

Which Historical Data Set Should I Use? 

Learn about four types of historical data: historical weather station data, adjusted and homogenized data, gridded historical data, and modelled historical data. Find out which ones could be most relevant to you.

Topic 3

Understanding Future Projections

Learn about future climate change data, including uncertainty and how it is managed on ClimateData.ca.

Understanding Fire Weather and Climate Change Basics 

Canadian wildfire activity is increasing in part because human-caused climate change is causing more hot and dry weather conditions conducive to wildfires, also referred to as “fire weather”.   Future patterns of fire weather will look different from the past – conditions have already changed and will continue to do …

Understanding Multi-Model Ensembles

Learn why ClimateData.ca uses an ensemble of 24 climate models to get a better grasp of what the future may look like.

Emissions Scenarios: RCPs

How do we plan for a future that is uncertain? Learn how to manage uncertainty related to greenhouse gas emissions by using ‘emissions scenarios’.

CMIP6 Frequently Asked Questions

Learn about the most current global climate model data, the 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). 

Understanding Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs)

Learn about the latest set of emissions scenarios, based on Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs). Understand how SSPs differ from RCP scenarios and learn about key considerations when using SSPs in climate risk assessments.

Uncertainty in Climate Projections

Adapting to a changing climate requires confronting and dealing effectively with a wide range of uncertainties. Learn about the three main sources of uncertainty in climate projections.

Topic 4

Climate Science 101

In this section, learn what climate change is, the interconnected nature of weather and climate, what causes the climate to fluctuate, and how to account for natural variability when using climate data.

Importance of Using 30 Years of Data

Learn why you need to consider 30 years of data when making decisions concerning future climate change or determining how the climate has changed at a specific location.

Weather vs. Climate

The difference between weather and climate, as well as how they are interconnected.

Natural Variability

Weather and climate in a region can vary for natural reasons. In this article, learn about drivers that cause natural variability in the climate system, and why scientists look at long-term trends when studying climate change.

Climate Change

Learn what climate change is, why it matters, and how society can respond to these changes.

Topic 5

How to use ClimateData.ca

New here? Explore these videos on how to access and download climate data from this portal.

How to Find Variables of Interest

How to Navigate Variable Maps

How to Download Data

How to Access Graphs for Station Based Data

How to Access Graphs of Gridded Data

How to Provide Feedback

Topic 6

Using Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) Rainfall Data

IDF data describe the intensity of short-duration rainfall events. In this section, learn how to read and interpret IDF curves, as well as how to account for extreme precipitation in a changing climate, and where to find climate change-scaled IDF data.

IDF Curves 101

Learn what an IDF curve is, including an interactive walk-through of how to read them, and learn how Environment and Climate Change Canada produces IDF curves.

IDF Data and Climate Change

It is not appropriate to use IDF data based on historical information alone for long-term planning. ECCC recommends the use of a scaling methodology for short-duration rainfall IDF data. Read this article for information about integrating climate change into IDF data, including a practical example.

Best Practices for Using IDF Curves

Based on technical guidance from ECCC and CSA 4013:2019, here are eight best practices and key challenges to consider when using IDF curves.

Primer on Climate Change and Extreme Precipitation

Learn what current research suggests regarding extreme precipitation in a changing climate, and why ECCC recommends temperature scaling to estimate future extreme precipitation intensities.

Topic 7

Designing Future-Ready Buildings

The design of buildings in Canada relies on climate data, typically derived from historical records. Because the climate is changing, relying on historical data is no longer adequate and information about future climate is required. In this section, learn about different kinds of future climate data specifically tailored to the planning and design of Canadian buildings.

Projected Building Climate Zones

A building’s thermal performance requirements are determined by the climate in which the building is situated. This climate can be described by Climate Zones. The projected shifts in Building Climate Zones due to climate change provide a high-level understanding of changing energy consumption patterns in buildings, highlighting that reliance on …

Guidance on Using Future Climate Data for Building Performance Simulation

Many designers rely on the output of building performance simulations to inform design decisions. These simulations use climatic data contained in weather files, which are normally based on historical climate from observations. To be future-ready, simulations using only historical climate data are no longer adequate and designers will need to …

An In-Depth Look at Weather Files

This article provides a high-level perspective on existing weather files for Canada developed from historical data, and on future weather files that offer information about building design conditions in a changing climate. The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) have each developed a …

Training Materials

Download training materials in PowerPoint presentation format to use in your own training sessions. This presentation introduces the concept of climate information and its importance in decision-making. The slides provide the basic framework for a presentation and include detailed speaker notes.

This presentation is intended:

  • For a beginner audience with little science or climate change background
  • To serve as a base for a webinar or workshop presentation
  • To be tailored to the audience’s knowledge level, sector, region or profession
  • To be supported by case studies, more climate information or exercises

After viewing the presentation, the audience should:

  • Understand the importance of considering climate change in decision-making
  • Be more familiar with key concepts regarding historical climate trends and future climate
  • Understand the basics of climate projections and emissions scenarios
  • Understand there is a range of possible climate futures
  • Be aware of possible applications of climate information
  • Know where to find climate information

Produced by the Canadian Centre for Climate Services (CCCS), Ouranos and the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC).

Download presentation (29 Mbs)