July Cruel Month For North

(August 5, 2016)

July was not kind to the North.

A heat wave made the north coast of Alaska as hot as Key West, Fla. Barry Prentice lost his airships when that savage windstorm hit St. Andrews Airport. Omnitrax, with a stroke of a pen, became Nullitrax, as it cancelled grain shipments to Churchill and put the skids under both the port facility and the town.

All three reactions to these events really need to be viewed from a perspective where we can see what’s left of the forest, not just the side of one tree — and considered in a time frame that goes beyond next Tuesday.

Of course, weather fluctuates — but the July heat wave in the North follows a year of record-breaking temperatures across North America and around the world. (However hot it was here, it cracked 54 C in Iraq.) Ice in the Arctic is vanishing, and Greenland’s glaciers are receding at a rate far beyond projections. All this means rapidly rising sea levels and extremes in local weather — such as the 85 millimetres of rain in two hours that flooded out parts of fire-ravaged Fort McMurray at the end of the month.

Climate change is real. The trends we are seeing are not going to reverse themselves — things will only get worse. We need to adapt to changing climatic conditions and to do whatever we can to mitigate the causes of global warming — at the very least to buy ourselves more time.Arctic

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