Canada’s Arctic sea ice might be halved, runoff in the Saskatchewan River basin would be reduced, and shipping through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway could cost more, according to a report on climate change released in Ottawa.
Described as the first ever comprehensive illustration of expected climate change in Canada, the report is a joint project of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
The research is covered in depth on the website of the roundtable, as well as in the October issue of Canadian Geographic, which features a wide range of articles on climate change’s effect on Canadian resources, Halifax’s rising harbour, and the impact on global warming on health care.
Also available is a detailed poster/map that looks at what would happen to Canada if the temperature increases between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius.
Other changes facing Canada if temperature increase could include: Western mountain glaciers losing 50 per cent of their volume; exposure to vector borne diseases, more deaths from heat waves; loss of boreal forest and tundra; compromised water quality; more deaths from poor air quality; polar bear subpopulations at risk of extinction; and more water-borne disease outbreaks.
Average world temperatures are now up 0.78 degrees C compared to before the industrial revolution over a century ago.
The United Nations climate-change summit in Copenhagen last December ended with a non-binding document that limited world temperature increases to no more than 2 degrees C.