Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Canada needs to adapt to climate change

Bryn Weese And Laura Payton in the Toronto Sun: Climate change is real, it’s here, and Canada needs to brace itself for and adapt to the inevitable consequences of a warmer world, according to a report released Tuesday. The joint report from the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society outlines changes Canada will see — and in some cases is already experiencing — with a 2 C increase in global temperatures.

A list of some 60 changes — some good, mostly bad — are detailed in the report, which was published in this month’s Canadian Geographic magazine. Among them, while Canada’s ski industry will suffer, golf courses will likely be open longer. Likewise, while shipping cargo through the Great Lakes could be more expensive because of lower water levels, the forestry sector should benefit from higher yields because of faster growing trees.

A 2 C warmer Canada could also mean greater access to northern oil, gas and mineral resources, and a comeback of the Atlantic cod north of the 60th parallel. But the Arctic Sea ice will be halved, and the South Saskatchewan River could all but dry up, which will drastically alter the water infrastructure of communities throughout the prairies.

Gov. Gen. David Johnston was NRTEE’s founding chairperson 20 years ago and spoke at an event Tuesday night to mark the organization’s work with the geographical society. “Climate change is no longer a matter for academic debate alone — it is a matter for public discussion and public policy,” Johnston said….

Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta, shot by Guenter Wieschendahl

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