Canada is warming 2x Faster than the Rest of the World - Report

A friend of mine, who lives in Northern BC, posted a photograph to her Instagram account yesterday. It was of an emaciated female moose, showing the signs of being eaten alive by ticks. During cold winters, ticks die off but this past winter wasn’t cold for long enough and the ticks didn’t die.

Scientists say that black-legged ticks have crossed the border from the United States and into Canada, creeping hundreds of kilometers northward during the last three decades. The same scientists predict 80 percent of Canadians will live in areas colonized by ticks.

It’s a frightening prospect as ticks are notorious carriers of Lyme disease, a debilitating disease that’s difficult to diagnose.

It’s not the most uplifting of topics. We realize that. However, it’s important to come together as a community and sound the alarm bells. Burying our heads in sand is not going to help.

Canada is warming up twice as fast as the rest of the world, according to a new scientific report from Environment and Climate Change Canada. The report is the first in a series of scientific assessments the department is producing with a focus on the changes we, as a country, will deal with as a result of global warming.

This isn’t some grassroots fringe study, either. The report is based on the work of 43 federal and university-based scientists. They reviewed published scientific literature during the last two years and have scads of proof we are in trouble.

Elizabeth Bush, a climate-change science adviser at Environment Canada, told Canadian Press that something needs to be done, and fast.

“We are already seeing the effects of widespread warming in Canada,” she said. “It’s clear, the science supports the fact that adapting to climate change is imperative.”

The report, according to CP, includes the following facts:

  • The average temperature in Canada is 1.7 Celsius higher than it was 70 years ago.

  • The average global temperature is up 0.8 C.

  • Warming is happening even faster in winter with a 3.3 C average temperature increase between December and February.

  • Warmer winters mean certain species that can’t survive our winters will now start to do so, bringing pests and diseases to Canada we aren’t used to seeing.

  • The Canadian Arctic has been hit hard with a 2.3 C increase. There is a risk that by the middle of this century – which is only 20-30 years away – the Canadian North will be ice-free for at least a month at a time. This means disaster for marine mammals as well as rising seas.

The United Nations suggests Canada needs to cut emissions to prevent even worse from happening due to climate change. While we are aiming to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by about 200 million tonnes by 2030 (thanks to carbon tax, phasing out coal power, investing in public transit, and green energy) it still isn’t enough according to the UN.

It’s easy to feel helpless, but there are things we all can do to help improve the situation.

According to the David Suzuki Foundation we can:

  • Push our government for renewable energy.

  • Green our commute by taking public transit, ride a bike, or car-share.

  • Use energy wisely by changing to energy-efficient bulbs, unplug computers and other electronics when not using them. Hang clothes to dry or use dryer balls when you have to use the dryer. By appliance with the Energy Star rating. Winterize your home.

  • Dial down the meat consumption. Buy local whenever possible. Grow your own food.

  • Consume less, waste less.

In a world of more than seven billion people, each of us is a drop in the bucket. But with enough drops, we can fill any bucket – David Suzuki