Northern Canada’s Winter Heat Wave

Canada’s average temperature for 2010 was 3.0°C above normal — the warmest year on record (source: Environment Canada)

Although cooler in the south where every one lives, Canada’s north has been breaking records for warmth in the middle of winter in a region where there is no sun until spring! I’ve covered this a couple of weeks ago and the reasons why Arctic Hothouse Turns Europe into an Icebox

This is a more recent report from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder by Bob Henson. — Stephen

“Just how mild has it been? The map at right shows departures from average surface temperatures for the period from 17 December 2010 to 15 January 2011, as calculated by NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory.

The blue blip along the southeast U.S. coast indicates readings between 3°C and 6°C (5.4–10.8°F) below average for the 30-day period as a whole…

What really jumps out, though, is a blob of green, yellow, orange, and red covering a major swath of northern and eastern Canada. The largest anomalies here exceed 21°C (37.8°F) above average, which are very large values to be sustained for an entire month.

To put this picture into even sharper focus, let’s take a look at Coral Harbour, located at the northwest corner of Hudson Bay in the province of Nunavut. On a typical mid-January day, the town drops to a low of –34°C (–29.2°F) and reaches a high of just -26°C (–14.8°F). Compare that to what Coral Harbour actually experienced:

  • On the 6th of the month, the low temperature was –3.7°C (25.3°F). That’s a remarkable 30°C (54°F) above average.
  • On both the 5th and 6th, Coral Harbor inched above the freezing mark. Before this year, temperatures above 0°C (32°F) had never been recorded in the entire three months of January, February, and March.

Related articles/posts:

Climate Change Could Be Worsening Effects of El Niño -La Niña

Ice-cold Atlanta (and eastern US) Is Likely Connected to Arctic Hothouse

The Yin and Yang of Climate Extremes We Will See More of

    Sir Nicholas Stern: On Our Way to Calamitous +5

    Hundreds of Millions of Climate Refugees

    ‘Governments Fail to Understand Gravity of the Situation’ – Stern

    By Stephen Leahy

    COPENHAGEN (IPS/TerraViva)

    [I wrote this piece 16 December 2009 and it remains fully relevant today and is posted here for 1st time. And please note that the +5C cited here is the global average which means the warming could easily be 10 C warmer where you live. All of this is well beyond anything humanity has ever faced — Stephen]

    On its current carbon emissions path, humanity faces a 50-percent chance of warming the planet a whopping 5.0 degrees C by the end of this century, warned Nicholas Stern, an economist who is chair of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.

    “Hundreds of millions of people will be forced to move. It will be the most severe global conflict in human history. That is what the science is telling us,” said Stern, author of the well-known Stern Review, the 2006 report that documented the effect of global warming on the world economy.

    Humanity’s other option is to embrace a new energy revolution unlike anything ever seen.
    And cities will be on the leading edge of this revolution, he said.

    Cities use 80 percent of all energy and are responsible for the bulk of emissions. The good news is that cities are also the easiest places to get major emissions reductions because energy services are centralised and collaboration is easier.

    This independent environmental journalism depends on public support. Click here learn more.

    “Local mayors and councils can more easily agree on policies and direct their administration to take action,” he said.

    “Cities are already doing the work of national governments on climate,” said David Cadman, president of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, an international association of local governments that is hosting a mayors’ conference featuring mayors from more than 100 cities as part of the climate negotiations here.

    Copenhagen to be carbon-neutral by 2025

    Continue reading