In a comprehensive report published in 2016 (Sale et al., 2016) the potential impacts of a changing climate on the terrestrial and aquatic resources as well as the people of Muskoka have been documented and projected into the mid-century. This work has spawned several summaries, fact sheets and workshop reports in 2017 and 2018 (OCCIAR and OMNRF, 2017; MWC, 2018a; MWC, 2018b and MWC, 2018c). The 2016 study as well as summary documents have been attached as PDFs in this section and are cited below as recommended reading for anyone who wants to better understand how the changes in our climate that have already started have now and will continue to impact our properties and our treasured lakes in future years.
Very briefly, the projected changes in the climate of the Muskoka area by 2050 include:
The impacts of these changes in temperature and precipitation are projected to include:
While many of these changes will have limited impacts on the scenic, recreational or economic value of our lakes and waterfront properties, some may be of major concern more generally throughout Muskoka and locally at specific locations.
While it is difficult to draw statistically significant and irrefutable conclusions regarding climate change impacts on Kahshe and Bass Lakes due to the limited sampling and analysis history and the small sample size, the findings to date have been discussed in the report that is attached.
Palmer. M.E., Yan, N.D. & Somers, K.N. 2014. Climate change drives coherent trends in physics and oxygen content in North American lakes. Springer Science+Business Media, Dordrecht. 2014, 16 pages.
Peter Sale, Richard Lammers, Norman Yan, Neil Hutchinson, Kevin Trimble, Paul Dinner, Piret Hurrell, Jan McDonnell, and Scott Young. 2016. Planning for Climate Change in Muskoka. A Report from the Muskoka Watershed Council. Muskoka Watershed Council, Muskoka, Canada, 52 pages.
Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources (OCCIAR) and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF). 2017. Workshop Report – A Workshop on Extreme Weather and Waterfront Property. 2017. 38 pages.
Muskoka Watershed Council. 2018a. Report Card on Climate Change in Muskoka. 10 pages. Web-based HTML document converted to Word and saved as PDF.
Muskoka Watershed Council. 2018b. Brochure 1. The New Muskoka Climate. Muskoka, Canada. 1 page.
Muskoka Watershed Council. 2018c. Factsheet 1 – Planning for Climate Change in Muskoka. The New Muskoka Climate. Muskoka, Canada. 2 pages.