Understanding and Assessing Impacts
Current climate trends appear to have a neutral to beneficial affect on mining in the Klondike. There is some anecdotal evidence that the region’s permafrost may be becoming degraded and that spring hydrological patterns are changing. Recent modelling conducted by the Pacific Climate Consortium indicates a warming trend, greater variability in the weather and more extreme events. However base data are so limited, the terrain so complex and the meteorological record so sparse it is difficult to make confident predictions. Over the past few years there have been fluctuations in the onset of spring and fall, with the latter tending to occur later, providing a longer operating season. Warmer summers are perceived to be beneficial for the industry. Permafrost in the Klondike is relatively warm (-0.5 to 1.0c) and thaws relatively quickly when over-burden is stripped away to access gold bearing gravel, and increased summer temperatures would augment this process.