What is IceWatch?

a person looking at ice on a water body


As citizen scientists, IceWatch volunteers contribute to a scientific understanding of climate change. By analyzing citizen records, scientists have found that the freeze-thaw cycles of Northern water bodies are changing. However, since climate change is not consistent across the country and there are large gaps in the current monitoring network, scientists require critical data from many more regions. A citizen network of IceWatchers spread throughout Canada can help to supply that information.

Ice events – the freeze and thaw dates of lakes and rivers – are easily recorded yearly changes that, with your assistance, can help us to monitor the effects of climate change on Canadian ecosystems. All observations provide essential information that can be used in the analysis of climate records. However, long-term ice data sets and records, from areas where we have little geographic coverage, are particularly valuable.

Why Monitor Ice?

IceWatch is part of the NatureWatch suite of national volunteer monitoring programs designed to help identify ecological changes that may be affecting our environment. IceWatch allows Canadians of all ages to participate in discovering how – and more importantly, why – our natural environment is changing.