Scientist says Canadians should get used to wild weather
Nick Wells, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, March 21, 2017 8:56PM EDT
The extreme weather seen in Canada this past year -- such as massive snowstorms on both coasts and incredibly warm January weather in Toronto -- is set to become the new norm, a scientist says.
The verdict comes on the back of a report issued by the World Meteorological Organization which says the world is in "truly uncharted territory" when it comes to the rate of increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.
"2016 was an extraordinary year in Canada, from ice storms to hail storms to flooding,” said Dan Kraus, a scientist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. “We can expect to see more of it in the future."
Kraus says the wild weather Canadians experienced in 2016 has gone beyond acting as a warning.
"It’s not just an alarm bell we’re hearing, it's real effects we're seeing in our environment," he said in an interview with CTV News Channel. "It's affecting how we live."
In the summer, the Prairies saw two times the number of summer hail storms it usually experiences as well as extreme rainstorms which led to an increased risk in rot and disease in crops.
By contrast, farms in Eastern Canada suffered through droughts.
From April to July, weather stations in Vineland and Welland, Ont., measured just 34 per cent and 43 per cent the average amount of precipitation, respectively, putting it and much of southern Ontario in a severe drought situation. Southern Quebec was also abnormally dry.
In the winter, Canada was hit with a polar vortex which led to freezing rain in the Atlantic provinces, extreme snowstorms in Ontario and Quebec, high winds in the prairies and an unusually large dump of snow on B.C.'s coast.
"The weather our grandparents had is not what our kids will have. And it’s going to affect us unless we start to move towards an economy that uses less carbon," Kraus said.
With files from the Canadian Press