The federal government is scheduled to release a report tomorrow that concludes our Great White North is warming at twice the global rate. Don't worry, we've got a carbon tax to fix that. Only it won't fix anything.
Entitled Canada's Changing Climate Report (CCCR), the study was commissioned by the Environment and Climate Change Department, and is slated to be officially released on Tuesday.
The leaked copy of the report says that since 1948, Canada's annual average temperature over land has warmed 1.7 C, with higher rates seen in the North, the Prairies and northern British Columbia. In Northern Canada, the annual average temperature has increased by 2.3 C.
According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), since 1948, global average temperatures have increased by about 0.8 C.
Along with these temperature increases, the CCCR says Canada is experiencing increases in precipitation, particularly in winter, "extreme fire weather" and water supply shortages in summer and a heightened risk of coastal flooding.Huffington Post interviewed one of the federal government's very own climate scientists, Environment Canada climate science advisor, Elizabeth Bush, who, one might hope has her minister's ear (although there's precious little sign of that).
"We are already seeing the effects of widespread warming in Canada,'' said Bush. "It's clear, the science supports the fact that adapting to climate change is an imperative. Urgent action is needed to reduce emissions.''
The report makes clear that the climate impacts we're already seeing are going to stay with us for "centuries to millennia'' even if we hit the emissions cuts believed necessary to slow warming to a more manageable pace.
Bush said, however, there are two vastly different pictures for Canada depending on whether the world makes significant progress towards cutting net greenhouse-gas emissions to zero by 2050.
The report shows if the world can do that, the average temperature increases in Canada by the end of the century will be less than 3 C even in the hardest-hit parts of the country.
But if the world keeps emitting at the same rate, most parts of Canada will see increases of between 7 C and 9 C, with the far reaches of the Arctic seeing temperature changes in excess of 11 C.
"We are kind of at this fork in the road,'' said Chris Derksen, an Environment Canada research scientist specializing in ice cover.
In the worse scenario, Canada will see 10 times as many deadly heat waves and twice as many extreme rainstorms, the report says.
What to do, what to do, what to do?
Wait, I know - let's take 11 or 12 billion dollars that we might otherwise dedicate to climate change adaptation and use it to build a massive pipeline to deliver high-carbon Athabasca tar sludge to "tidewater" in Burnaby from where we can flood world markets with that climate destroying crap. We might even destroy the west coast's rich but fragile marine ecosystem while we're at it. There's an idea, one that Justin Trudeau's government has warmly embraced. And you Liberals defend that prime minister.