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.

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.

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.

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’.

Topic 4

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 5

Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) Curves

IDF curves are graphical tools that describe the likelihood of a range of extreme rainfall events. In this section, learn how to use, read and interpret IDF curves, as well as how to account for extreme precipitation in a changing climate.

IDF Curves and Climate Change

IDF curves based on historical information alone are inappropriate for long-term decision-making. To account for climate change impacts to extreme rainfall, ECCC recommends use of a scaling methodology to adjust IDF curves. Read this article for additional information about integrating climate change into IDF curves, including a practical example.

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.

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 6 [Coming Soon]

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.

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)