Climate Change to Bring More Droughts Pests and Floods to
September 17, 2002)
By News Canada
(NC) - Against
a backdrop of two decades of the warmest temperatures
on record, Environment Canada scientists have been looking
ahead at what might be in store as a result of climate
change and air pollution.
Here are some of the possibilities:
Southern Ontario will see shorter winters but an increase
in hot, humid days in summer with more smog. Toronto could
have 50 days a year with temperatures above 30 degrees
compared with 10 now. Water levels in the Great Lakes
are projected to be lower and reduced water availability
could affect hydro-electricity generation. Farmers would
have longer growing seasons but it is expected that there
will be more droughts, pests and floods.
More severe weather-related events such as heat waves,
floods and winter storms are expected in Quebec. Water
levels in the St. Lawrence may drop 1.25 metres, affecting
shipping along the waterway.
Sea levels on the northern coast of British Columbia could
rise by 30 centimetres by 2050. The Fraser River delta
is expected to experience flooding. Warmer ocean temperatures
will send salmon north in search of colder water. Inland,
melting permafrost and glaciers will increase the risk
Overall crop yields are expected to fall as drought offsets
a longer growing season. Agriculture may expand northward.
Drier weather could make crops more vulnerable to pests
and disease. Forest zones would shift north and drier
weather could lead to more forest fires.
Rising sea levels - as much as 70 centimetres on the Atlantic
coast of Nova Scotia by 2100 - and more intense, frequent
storms could lead to flooding, coastal erosion, and harm
to animal and plant life.
Gases in the environment - water vapour, carbon dioxide,
methane and nitrous oxide - act as a greenhouse to keep
the sunís heat in and help make the planet liveable. Human
activity has disrupted the balance of the gases, contributing
to climate change as well as to air pollution. Individual
actions account for 28 percent of greenhouse gas emissions,
playing a significant role in both climate change and
For information about climate change visit the Web site