This article was written by Alex Cooke for the The Globe and Mail.
This summer is on track to become one of the hottest on record in Atlantic Canada, as stifling heat and humidity levels persist from coast-to-coast.
“It has just been relentless,” said David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada, who added the heat wave is expected to last until the end of August throughout much of Canada.
While it may take some getting used to, this surge of heat could become more common within the next few decades, according to Blair Feltmate, head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo.
In an email, he said temperatures across southern Canada are expected to increase by three to four degrees by 2040, with disproportionately higher increases in northern regions. This estimate is relative to the average temperature increase between 1975 and 2000.
“My concern with Atlantic Canada is that historically residents have not been subjected to extreme heat,” wrote Feltmate, who recently chaired a federal advisory panel on climate change.
“We must convince people to prepare for heat waves that have not occurred historically, but that are for sure coming due to climate change.”
He said people should consider building houses with air conditioning, building more cooling centres in communities, and implementing emergency systems to check on vulnerable populations during heat waves.
As forest fires burn in Ontario, experts warn of long-term environmental impact
This article was written by Gabriele Roy for the The Globe and Mail.
Forest fires like the ones currently burning in Ontario can have long-term impacts on the environment, experts say, noting that increasingly warmer and drier weather conditions are making such blazes more common.
As of Sunday, there were 127 fires burning in the province, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. One of the fires, dubbed Parry Sound 33, is more than 110 square kilometres in size and has prompted evacuations in some communities.
“We are seeing the manifestation of climate change happening in real form right now,” said Blair Feltmate, head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo. “It is bad now and it is only going to get worse.”