Climate change: Is this what the future will look like?
Adam McDowell October 6, 2010 – 9:23 am
Canadians got a look at one vision of how climate change could affect regions across the country, as the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy yesterday released its Degrees of Change diagram. Intended for use in 12,000 Canadian schools, it may mostly depress tomorrow’s leaders with its (often vague and speculative) predictions. However, its call for adaptation for “climate prosperity” also includes some bright sides, including longer crop seasons and better golf weather. Some of the scenarios are based on a warm-up of as much as five degrees:
On the negative side Citing studies from 2005 and 2009, the Degrees of Change report predicts that in a world a little more than two degrees hotter than today’s, summer western wildfires will engulf areas of two to four times current blazes.
On the positive side “Climate change could … contribute to an increase in global timber output as forests become more productive.” The scenario imagines northern spruce forests taking the place of southern forests that burn, get eaten by beetles or die in other ways. However, it’s not certain that the Canadian lumber industry would benefit overall. “This scenario would ultimately drive down prices and reduce Canada’s share of the timber trade, while consumers would enjoy lower prices for wood products.”
TORONTO & MONTREAL
On the negative side Residents of Canada’s two biggest cities are probably already familiar with the urban heat island effect, in which asphalt, concrete and tar roofs absorb heat during hot days, radiating that energy back into the air at night, causing discomfort and worse for city dwellers. The effect was cited as a major cause of the nearly 5,000 deaths in Paris during the 2003 European heat waves. The National Round Table estimates that by 2100, summer heat waves could be “expected to kill 15,330 to 27,150 Montrealers and cost up to $124-billion nationally in added health expenditures and lost productivity” (the Round Table says the figures are “preliminary and still being reviewed,” a slight acknowlegement of the difficulty of estimating the cost of events up to 90 years away).
On the positive side In winter, higher overall temperatures would result in a reduction in the amount of energy (and thus money) used for heating in central Canada and elsewhere. A Canadian Geographic article waxes admiringly of a future of “the wind-turbine plants of Windsor and Oshawa [and] Bixi’s mammoth bike factory in Montreal” (as well as “pictures of prosperous Atlantic Canadian aquaculture and fruit orchards in the Peace Country of northern Alberta”).
On the negative side Farmers and ranchers of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan are warned 50% more area could face risk of desertification in a climate just two degrees warmer than the pre-industrial average (the present global average temperature is 0.78 degrees warmer). Canadian Geographic magazine — which was a joint effort supplementing the Degrees of Change diagram — includes a long report on the South Saskatchewan River, which is not nearly as stressed as the rivers originating in Colorado or the Himalayas; nevertheless, its water resources are “all spoken for and then some,” according to the article.
On the positive side Should Prairie farmers be able to avoid predicted floods and droughts, longer growing seasons and greater crop yields could await. Many studies have been undertaken, but none has conclusively declared whether a hotter, drier Prairie would be good for farmers or not. A 2002 report of the U.S. Global Change Research Program suggested Canadian wheat production could rise by 4.5% to 20%, even as it drops in other countries.
On the negative side Haligonians are warned that if the sea level keeps rising due to climate change, Halifax could be flooded nearly to Hollis Street should a once-in-50-years storm hit — at the predicted sea levels of 90 years from now, at any rate.
On the positive side The cod fishery could bounce back if Atlantic waters get two or three degrees warmer. As well, according to a 2008 computer modelling scenario by a team led by Guelph University researchers, regions of every province east of Manitoba have the potential to become a second breadbasket, as the growing season lengthens and wheat yields increase from anywhere from 40% to 170% by the 2080s (the Round Table says these “high-end estimates should be viewed with caution”).
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Save Canada Now
8:31 AM on October 6, 2010
Lots of “if’s”, based on “maybe’s” and “we don’t know’s”.
All the top scientists with their top of the line equipment cannot tell us with any reasonable degree of certainty what the weather will be like in 7 days time. Why should we then accept their long-term prognostications?
So far, these folks have been 100% WRONG. In the 1970’s they warned us of an impending ice age due to pollution – well, I don’t know about where you are but I don’t see any glaciers advancing on my office building. At the same time, other sicentists were warning us that the world would be a desert by now – nope, no camel-riding Bedouins lined up in traffic either.Score: 20
8:44 AM on October 6, 2010
This article is good for science fiction. Nothing else. There is no evidence in any way, shape, or form that these scenarios are even remotely likely given what we know. Typical fear mongering.Score: 18
8:56 AM on October 6, 2010
As usual absolute and utter hogwash. Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Disruption. The scam is over. Shame on Global TV for promulgating this B.S. last night on the news. That’s the end of watching that broadcast. The only thing missing was Al GoreScore: -16
9:29 AM on October 6, 2010
Well, I’m so glad you career NP commenters swooped in to tell me that this comprehensive study undertaken by serious researchers and scientists, is just BS. Otherwise, I was thinking that maybe there might be something to this.
But I’ll definitely believe your knee-jerk reactions based on wishful thinkful and, well, no evidence at all, over the scientists careful study, long-term, peer-reviewed research, and , well, evidence.
Thanks so much for making this so easy.Score: 16
9:30 AM on October 6, 2010
I guess by posting positives and negatives the author is hoping to appear balanced. This is shameless global warming propaganda. Both the BBC and the New York Times have recently conceded there has been neglible warming in the last 15 years.
For a cool word look up the meaning of “aeromancy”.
For more info check out www.ecofascism.comScore: 14
TREES NEED CO2
9:33 AM on October 6, 2010
Where did the Ozone hole go? Oh yeah we stopped it by eliminating CFC’s in Developed Countries….what a crock. The pattern of Brainwashing by Eco-Nuts seems to follow the same pattern as the unpredictable climate we live in….Yes unpredictable, there are soo many variables even trying to put together a computer model seems very childish…just check how often the “Weatherman” is right, and they are only looking to see 5-7 days into the future!!!
Time to let the Weather become autonomous from Humans…yes we can burn less fuel, live in smaller homes, be green, but in the end……we do not know what our actions result in…negative or positive!Score: -11
9:47 AM on October 6, 2010
This article may lean toward creating fear but as a person who lives just a few metres above sea level, I’d just as soon err on the side of caution. Remember the naysayers back in the 1980s when it came to CFCs and the growing evidence that the ozone hole in the Antarctic? As it turned out, the hole was there, it grew and had we kept on using CFCs, the hole could have created issues that we’d be facing today.
Let’s not be stupid about climate change in arguing for or against its existence; let’s be pragmatic and balance the obvious scientific biases to find a middle of the road solution should one be required.Score: 17
9:54 AM on October 6, 2010
This comment has violated our Terms and Conditions, and has been removed.Score: 15
9:59 AM on October 6, 2010
Facts, studies, satellite readings of ice cover and global high atmosphere temperatures, ocean temperature sensors all mean absolutely nothing to the cloud dwellers on the left. Even when their own IPCC admits to blatant lies like the Himalayan glaciers disappearing by 2035 and Hansen and his ilk state there has been no temperature increase since 1985 and no increase in ocean levels it still makes no impact on their chanting and fear mongering.
Ian Plimer in his book Heaven and Earth wrote the ozone hole in the Antarctic is a natural occurring phenomena and would close again, which of course it has with nothing to do with banning CFCs.
Programs like Discovery and National Geographic still go on about global warming/climate change/Climate Disruption like Climategate never happened. These companies along with Greenpeace and those honestly trying to clean up the real problem of pollution like just happened in Hungary have been hijacked by radical leftist like Suzuki.
Its all about money through taxes like idiotic Carbon Taxes and Cap and Trade and control of us through attacks against anyone who dares to challenge the lies of these thugs. That video by 10/10 showing those that do question these leftists being blown up is exactly what they would love to do.Score: 13
10:01 AM on October 6, 2010
This article is not about “Climate Change”, that would include the possibility of climate cooling. This is sheer fantasy, an enviromentalists wet dream scenario. Like SCN says, too much wishy washy language, the language of pure guess-work.Score: 15
10:03 AM on October 6, 2010
I would really love to see the date for this. I would love to see where this organization got its raw data. Don’t give me this “oh, we lost it” or “this is a rough estimate from data from outside groups so we can’t give it to you”. I want raw data that shows WITHOUT A DOUBT that this is what will happen before it gets anywhere near a classroom.
Let’s not forget that these environmentalists have been force feeding this nonsense to children for over a decade now, and I will not have my children being indoctrinated by those pushing this nonsense… Pathetic…
10:17 AM on October 6, 2010
Was this article supposed to be a joke? I tell ya I gotta hand it to the pr folks at the UN climate scare office…every time there’s a conference coming up we see more articles like this one with all the doom and gloom nonsense.
First is starting with the first pic of forest fires.
Funny thing when you’ve been on the planet for a few yrs you get to know some folks…like those in the forest industry. Why are we getting so many forest fires…some of its natural obvious but they’re worse because we prevented many of them for so long. I won’t get into all the details but basically we’re making things worse in an attempt to make things better.
Humans have long history of this… It’s arrogance on high.Score: 15
10:23 AM on October 6, 2010
Treat this study for what it is. Computer modelling based, in part, on speculation and theory not hard science. Better it should be warmer than colder. Warmer offers far more positives and human ingenuity will over come rising seas with things the Dutch have used for generations. They are called sea walls or dikes. In fact we may see portable devices invented and deployed where needed to handle 50 or 100 year events.
Landfill has also been used for generations in many cities to add more land to waterfronts. Somehow i think folks will adapt nicely. I want my Palm tree!Score: 14
10:25 AM on October 6, 2010
These people are never going to give up. They will harangue us with this warming nonsense until they get their cap and tax way, lower our standard of living to that of the third world. All the while the rich will get richer because they’ll be selling us the “credits” with which we’ll be “allowed” to heat our homes and perhaps keep the lights on some of the time. It is a conspiracy such as not seen before.Score: 12
10:32 AM on October 6, 2010
Now that communism has been invalidated, “Climatism” is the new “ism” adopted by the extremists as their vehicle to increase taxes and transfer wealth just as Trudeau’s National Energy Program was intended. The inconvenient truth is that the job slaughtering “Cap, Tax & Transfer” scheme that left-plunging Harper and Prentice are about to inflict us is a stealth strategy for enormous, disingenuous long-term, structural tax increases. “Cap, Tax & Transfer” will evolve around an economic Ponzi scheme that includes an enormous new source of tax revenue to the Canadian government to allow it to continue its current expansion into the private sector, will transfer billions of our tax dollars to undeserving often corrupt countries, will demolish tens of thousands of high paying manufacturing and service jobs, will result in the transfer of political power to the emerging global governance and bureaucracy, and will be a devastating disasters for our children’s standard of living.Score: 12
10:32 AM on October 6, 2010
More madcap musings from madcap climate fear mongers – all designed to keep those research funds flowing their way. What fools our governments be to suck up the clouds of this hallucinatory smoke belched by these rent seekers.Score: -7
Already Been Taken
10:36 AM on October 6, 2010
Well gosh I just let my Hummer idol for an hour and no iceburges came down the street.
That proves climate change is a hoax. Stupid scientists are probably in a union.Score: 12
10:37 AM on October 6, 2010
It’s as if Climategate never happened. Until the eco-fanatics give up using climate change as an excuse for a social and political revolution and power grab, more of the same can be expected. The IPCC admission that the world has been cooling for 15 years has been swept under the rug. There are still the exaggerated claims of Arctic ice melting, but no mention at all that ice in the Antarcic (95% of the world’s total) is increasing. The list goes on and on. The Suzuki’s know full well that their power, wealth and influence are at stake. So sad that only an economic recession may save us from the worst excesses.
The tragic aspect that that climate alarmism is likely to obscure what really needs to be done. It doesn’t help that schools are swallowing all this without question.Score: 11
10:45 AM on October 6, 2010
This is mostly opinion based on assumptions and presuppositions. I’m more concerned that this will be introduced into schools. Granted, school children will probably see right through this.Score: 11
10:59 AM on October 6, 2010
Any such “study” that has tried to predict this far into the future invariably turns out to be laughably off-base, and there is absolutely no reason to suspect that this one will be any different. The earth’s climate has always had substantial oscillations in its climate, and that will continue to be the case, but it has nothing to do with us. We’re along for the ride. No need to beat ourselves up over a misguided egocentric fear that every change in weather is our fault.
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