A Socialist In Canada, April 7, 2018
A new, imaginative environmental project in Canada has been launched by the Prairie Climate Centre at the University of Winnipeg. The Climate Atlas of Canada provides an interactive map allowing Canadians to see directly how global warming will change their immediate communities. The atlas website is packed with related news and analysis, including videos.
Three broad categories are listed on the Climate Atlas of Canada website home page: Cities, Climate science, and Take action. Here is the website home page introduction:
Earth is now warmer than it has been for over 10,000 years
Human activity is causing greenhouse gases to accumulate in the atmosphere, and the resulting “greenhouse effect” is trapping more and more heat in the air and oceans. Temperatures are rising, and weather extremes risk becoming the “new normal.”
The climate threat is real, but so are exciting possibilities to find new and creative approaches to living together with health and prosperity within the limits of the natural world.
In order to take meaningful action, we need to understand how climate change works. Learn more about the basic science of climate change, including how we know that it’s happening because of us.
To take an example from the Climate Atlas website, the city of Toronto can expect the number of days per year of daily temperature maximums of more than 30 degrees Celcius to rise significantly. The average from 1976 to 2005 was 13.5 days per year. Using 12 different climate models, none of which assume reductions in greenhouse gas emmissions, the median average number of such days the city can expect during the years 2050 to 2080 rises to 55 per year. For Calgary, Alberta, the corresponding figures are four and 27.
Dramatic warming is projected for the city of Vancouver, though at lower average temperatures compared to Toronto. The mean average number of days of more than 25 degrees C rises from 16 to 69. (The Atlas does not account for typical ten degree differences in summer temperatures between the Vancouver city coastline and suburban Vancouver located inland in the Fraser River Valley.) As for ocean levels in the Vancouver region, the Climate Atlas projection reads:
Climate Change and Oceans Sea level rise threatens to overtake low-lying areas, increase coastal erosion, worsen storm surges, and pollute freshwater resources. Ocean acidification caused by rising carbon dioxide levels threatens marine life. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions can help to mitigate these impacts, but adapting to change will be essential for coastal communities.
An interview with one of the founders of the Climate Atlas of Canada, Professor Ian Mauro, was broadcast on CBC Radio One‘s ‘As It Happens’ evening newsmagazine program on April 5, 2018. The seven-minute interview begins here at the two-minute mark.
Dr. Mauro is an environmental scientist, filmmaker and co-director of the University of Winnipeg’s Prairie Climate Centre. The interview audio and transcript can be accessed here. A CBC News report on the map project published on April 4 can be read here.
 Dike protection from rising ocean levels in the Vancouver region is expected to cost as much as ten billion dollars in the years to come. This begs the question, can society afford to pay such astronomical sums, and who will bear the brunt of paying for it? A columnist at the Vancouver Sun daily examines these questions here in an April 7, 2018 column. (The newspaper was a fervent global warming denier until only a few years ago.) Meanwhile, preventing rising salt water ingress into the Fraser River Valley, causing pollution of underground freshwater supplies and salination of important farmland, is already a lost cause.
New poll shows that nearly one third of Canadians don’t believe humans and industry ‘mostly’ cause climate change, CBC News, April 4, 2018
Poll also shows that most Canadians do not understand the ‘carbon tax’ which the federal government says it is intent on introducing