When it comes to substantial action on Climate Change in Canada or even any place
in the world, there seems to be a reluctance to let go of the tried and true formula
of capitalism, unless faced with the undeniable proof that our climate is changing.
Our climate is changing and there is overwhelming scientific evidence that accelerated
climate change is happening and being caused by human activities. Simple everyday human
activities such as our use of fossil fuels to run our vehicles, heat our homes, and power
our industries, fuels that all produce greenhouse gases that are accumulating in the
atmosphere like a blanket, trapping heat and raising global temperatures.
Part of the climate change challenge is that even if significant reductions in emissions
were put in place tomorrow, past emissions would continue to affect the climate for several
decades to come. Adapting to climate change is therefore an essential part of ensuring our
communities remain safe and sustainable.
Affecting change in our everyday living will be a measure of our success in adapting to the
issues of Climate Change and our only hope for success can only be accomplished by taking the
first step into this "New Frontier". The following is an example of actions taken by the Government
of Prince Edward Island because of Climate Change.
Our Changing Climate
Source: Government of Prince Edward Island
What is the climate of Prince Edward Island?
Prince Edward Island has a mild maritime climate, strongly influenced by the warm
waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Each year, the Island gets about 890 mm of rain
and 290 cm of snow. The average temperature is -7 °C (19 °F) in January and 19 °C
(67 °F) in July.
Is our climate changing?
Yes, temperatures are about 0.5 °C warmer than they were 100 years ago. Most of
this increase is happening in the winter. Prince Edward Island has also been drier
in recent years, with less rain and snow falling. Sea level has risen by 30 cm since
What will our climate be in the future?
We can't say for certain what PEI's future climate will look like, but some reasonable
descriptions or models have been developed. These are called climate scenarios.
Using the scenarios, we can plan to maximize any benefits, and minimize any negative
impacts, that climate change may bring.
Based on the latest climate scenarios (from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change Assessment and the UPEI Climate Lab), over the next 40 years we can expect:
Warmer Temperatures: Warmer weather is on the way. Temperatures are expected to
be, on average, 1.6 °C warmer by the 2050s.
More Rain and Less Snow: It is likely that this rain and snow will fall less often
than it does now. This means that on those days when it does come—we may experience
heavy rainfall or snow rather than smaller accumulations over many days. Annual
total precipitation (rain, snow, sleet) is expected to decrease, on average, by
6% by the 2020s, making it drier and more susceptible to drought conditions. Models
show precipitation returning to today's normal by the 2080s.
Rising Seas: Sea level will continue to rise. A recent hazard assessment for the
Charlottetown waterfront suggested a sea level rise scenario of 73 cm by 2090. Storm
surges are expected to reach farther inland, resulting in more frequent coastal
Less Sea Ice: The Gulf of St. Lawrence is expected to be almost completely ice free
by 2100. As sea ice levels decrease over the coming years, and as sea level continues
to rise, PEI is expected to experience increased rates of coastal erosion. The video
"PEI: Life on a sinking island" is provided to show the crude reality that people
face along the Canada's' coastal shores.
The following links offer further evidence that our climate is changing!
NASA Global Climate Change - Vital Signs of the Planet
PEI: Life on
a sinking island
Toronto and Climate Change
Wind Power on the Prairies
Renewables in the heart of the Tar Sands
Vancouver - Greenest City in the World
Climate change challenges sinking city of Venice
The reality of climate change | David Puttnam | TEDxDublin
Causes and Effects of Climate Change | National Geographic
Climate change: what to expect and are there really two sides? | Ask Bob