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Great Lakes Article:

Canada: Climate Change to Bring More Droughts Pests and Floods to Great Lakes
(Posted 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:


Ontario

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.

Quebec

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.

West Coast



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 of landslides.

Prairies


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.


Atlantic Provinces


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 air quality.

For information about climate change visit the Web site at Climate Change.

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