Climate Change Overview

Country Summary

This page presents high-level information for Canada's climate zones and its seasonal cycle for mean temperature and precipitation for the latest climatology, 1991-2020. Climate zone classifications are derived from the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system, which divides climates into five main climate groups divided based on seasonal precipitation and temperature patterns. The five main groups are A (tropical), B (dry), C (temperate), D (continental), and E (polar). All climates except for those in the E group are assigned a seasonal precipitation sub-group (second letter).  Climate classifications are identified by hovering your mouse over the legend. A narrative overview of Canada's country context and climate is provided following the visualizations.

Canada has a large landmass, with a low population density - a country of physical extremes and contrasts, spanning 41 degrees of latitude and 88 degrees of longitude. Its surface area is 9,984,670 km², with land accounting for 9,093,507 km² and freshwater accounting for 891,163 km². The country extends 5,300 kilometers east to west and is the second largest country in the world and encompasses six times zones. Canada’s population is 36.3 million, up from 27.7 million in 1990, maintaining the fastest growth amongst G7 countries with an average annual population growth rate at 1% from 2011 to 2016. Canada also has the longest coastline of any country, spanning 243,042 kilometers. Canada’s economy is primarily driven by the services sector, comprising 70% of GDP in 2016. Goods-producing industries, led by manufacturing, mining and oil and gas, and construction, comprise the remaining 30%. Canada also has a resource-based economy and has seen sustained economic growth relative to other OECD countries. Canada is net exporter of energy and has an energy intensive industrial sector.

As part of its efforts to implement its NDC (2017), Canada adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change on December 9, 2016. The Framework is a comprehensive plan to reduce emissions across all sectors of the economy, accelerate clean economic growth, and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Canada will also pursue measures to build resilience through infrastructure, including climate-resilient standards and the development of a fund for built and natural, large-scale infrastructure projects to improve resilience to natural disasters, extreme weather events and climate resilience. The country will also develop a national plan respond to the range of health risks caused by climate change, including extreme heat and infectious diseases.