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Old Posted May 14, 2019, 4:25 PM
Chadillaccc's Avatar
Chadillaccc Chadillaccc is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
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The Climate Change Discussion Thread

I was shocked to find we didn't have a climate change discussion thread in the Canada section yet. As anthropogenic global climate change is beginning to affect Canadian urban areas, I feel like it is a topic of concern for most of us here.

Some disturbing new information about climate change in Southwestern Alberta and Calgary's abilities to keep the region adequately... moist? in the future was released today. While Calgary appears (temperature-wise) to be one of the cities least affected by climate change over the next 50 years, we are to be severely impacted by the disappearance of glaciers and extreme weather events as the primary clash zone between Pacific and Arctic systems.

Calgary could reach daily water licence limit by 2036
Calgary could reach the provincial limit on daily water withdrawals from the Bow and Elbow rivers within less than 20 years, thanks to population growth and climate change, the city said Monday.

The warning was issued during a day-long strategic council meeting devoted to watershed management issues in the Calgary region.

“Not to put too fine a point on it, but by about 2036, we’re going to hit the limit of our water licence particularly on hot days in the summer and the water shortages will only increase from there,” Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Monday.

“It’s important now that we start making the decisions we have to make around development (and) growth throughout the region (to) make sure that we can accommodate the growth that we expect here over the next decades.”

The City of Calgary currently provides water to nearly one in three Albertans as a provincial water licence holder.

City staff warned that on high-demand days, typically during the summer months, it could become increasingly difficult to provide sufficient supply to meet peak demand in future decades.

Independent municipal and scientific experts who presented in council chambers Monday also painted a stark portrait of the effect of climate change on water supplies for the region which are fed primarily through snow melt and glacier ice in the Rocky Mountains.

Dr. David Sauchyn, director of the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative, pointed to data suggesting average annual flow rates on the Bow River are in decline, despite a significant amount of variability from year to year.

“The reason the river is declining slowly is the loss of the glacier ice and snow pack at high elevation,” Sauchyn said. “Calgary actually has been able to deal with this gradually declining water supply (but) it’s not going to last forever — fairly soon the glaciers won’t exist anymore.”

While the long-term picture is one of declining water supply, the interim impact of climate change in Calgary will likely involve intermittent periods of severe flooding, Sauchyn said.

He said recent reports on a new federal study suggesting Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world didn’t drill down enough into regional differences in warming and he pointed to data that suggests the Prairies could be in far worse shape than other parts of the country.

“The fastest rate of warming is in (the) Arctic and the Canadian Prairies, so our part of the world is actually warming at three to four times the global rate,” he said.

“We have lots of science to indicate that we can expect severe flooding and severe drought in the near future in Calgary.”

Nenshi called the presentation “terrifying and harrowing.”

Full story: https://calgaryherald.com/news/local...-limit-by-2036
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