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Significant hydrological events of 2021
The unusual hydrological events of 2021 throughout the territory caught Yukoners attention. Our Climate Change Research hydrologist, Dr. Benoit Turcotte, summarized the significance of this activity on his blog.
The rate at which climate change is occurring in Northern regions is directly influencing bodies of water within these areas. The Southern Lakes reached a record high elevation since 1950, due to a significant winter snowpack that was exposed to an intense warming at the end of June. This snowmelt caused streams, rivers and lakes to overflow at several locations: Deisleen Kwáan" (Teslin) watershed, Carmacks area, ʼAt’aayaat Chù’ (White River), and Aalseix̱' (Alsek River in Tlingit) or Àłsêxh (Alsek River in Southern Tutchone). On the other hand, the Ch'oodeenjìk (Porcupine River) watershed experienced very dry conditions for a large portion of the summer.
Hydrological data obtained from the Federal Government reveals that climate change has a real impact on maximum, average, and minimum flows in the Territory. Research efforts are on-going to extract the most accurate information from historical records in order to support adaptation.