Climate Change

Posted on July 04, 2016

Tree Cross-section showing annual ringsTree Rings & Droughts

Posted on January 05, 2016

Paris COP21 2015

Posted on January 01, 2016

On the shuttle bus to the third day of COP21, the global climate summit held in Paris last month, I struck up a conversation with a German-French couple in their early 20s. We had one of those nice traveler connections, and by the time we got to the huge convention center, we took photos of each other in front of the sign announcing the Conférence sur les Changements Climatiques 2015.

Posted on November 04, 2015

This December, the world will gather in Paris for COP 21, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change. This is a historic gathering, and the last chance for perhaps another decade for the nations of the world to truly and meaningfully come to an agreement to seriously reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Expectations are high.

Posted on June 10, 2015

Dara Entekhabi, a hydrologist and faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reminds us that “Earth is a unique place.” It is the only planet (that we are aware of) where “water exists in all three phases: liquid, solid and vapor.” This lucky position is maintained because of the cozy distance of the Earth’s orbit to the sun, as well as the protective blanket of our atmosphere.

Posted on October 17, 2012

Ice streams are moving huge amounts of ice into the oceans from the centre of Antarctica-a continent three-quarters as large as North America.

by Bruce Torrie

The possibility of a substantial sea level change was made all too clear in a recent article in Climate Alert, the newsletter of the prestigious Climate Institute of Washington, DC. In that publication, researchers examined the potential for a breakup of the already two-thirds-collapsed west side of Antarctica, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), and the chance of a six-metre increase in the global sea level.

Posted on October 09, 2012

"There isn't one solution to Global Climate Change ... there are 101 solutions,"
according to authors Guy Dauncey and Patrick Mazza

Reading Stormy Weather is an inspiring and invigorating experience that we wanted to share with our readers in the excerpts that follow. In dozens of short segments, the authors outline practical and do-able steps for changing from a fossil fuel economy to new technologies -- solutions for citizens organizations, governments from town to federal, businesses and organisations, energy and automobile companies, and, of course, for individuals.

Posted on October 08, 2012

So far the climate change models omit the effects of trees and plankton.

by Bruce Torrie

As we enter 2002, let's examine our understanding of the science and politics of climate change. In November 1989, Dr. Gordon McBean, then a UBC geography professor and a lead author of the first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was giving a speech at the Vancouver Court House just prior to the release of the 1st IPCC Scientific Assessment.

Posted on October 08, 2012

Extracted from Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Climate Change
by Guy Dauncey and Patrick Mazza
New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, 2001, ISBN 0-86571-421-5

The greenhouse effect is not a static process. It only seems that way because the past 10,000 years have been so stable. But this is not the way the world's climate works. If you think the enhanced greenhouse effect is troublesome, wait until the runaway greenhouse effect kicks in. As the saying goes, "You ain't seen nothin' yet."

Posted on September 26, 2012

Both the Pacific Coast and the South BC Mountain regions received more than 30% less moisture than normal. And when it did rain in those regions, in some cases higher than average amounts, it came all at one time which is hardly the type of precipitation beneficial to growing crops. As the climate changes so should your plans in the garden.

by Len Fraser

Once winter is upon us it can be difficult to make good, conscious plans to change our gardens for next year's growing season. Even if we winter garden, we must plan carefully now, not just where to plant our crops, but also which varieties will do best in increasing summer heat and longer growing seasons.

Posted on September 21, 2012

by Pablo Salon

Diplomacy is traditionally a game of alliance and compromise. Yet, in the early hours of Saturday, 11 Decem­ber, Bolivia found itself alone against the world, the only nation to oppose the outcome of the United Nations cli­mate change summit in Cancun. We were accused of being obstructionist, obstinate and unrealistic. Yet, in truth we did not feel alone, nor are we of­fended by the attacks. Instead, we feel an enormous obligation to set aside diplomacy and tell the truth.

Posted on September 15, 2012

by G.E. Mortimore

Mainstream climate scientists agree (with some exceptions and quibbles) that Earth's climate is changing, that humans are helping turn up the heat, and that the changes may cause serious damage.

In view of this often-repeated consensus, which has become a boring truism, why do political/economic leaders of industrial countries fall short of effective action to reduce the danger? The authors of Ice Chronicles do not frame the question in such stark terms; they lean over backwards to be cautious and

Posted on September 14, 2012

by Colin Graham

Five years ago a group of leading biologists met at Willach in Austria to discuss how much global warming plants and animals could stand. One degree Celsius per century was their estimated maximum.

Posted on August 29, 2012

by Peter Dixon

What is the extent of our understanding how climate change will impact water supplies in British Columbia? The Canadian Water Resources Association stated that the “incidence of extreme hydrological events and new and unforeseen climatic records is on the increase…” A few communities are

Posted on August 28, 2012

Predictions are coming true. This year’s devastating fire season appears to be part of an escalating deterioration of the planet’s life-support system. BC's dangerous drought seems to be part of an intensifying global warming, which has also produced unprecedented heat waves and fires in Europe, the US, Australia, Africa, Russia and Asia this year.

Posted on August 24, 2012

by Peter Dixon

Recent information should jolt us out of our dream-time state that climate change is only a slow process and that its impact is probably not within our lifetime or even within our children or grandchildren’s lifetime. New evidence by credible scientific institutions reveal that periods of gradual change in earth’s past were punctuated by episodes of abrupt climate change.

The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee’s Abrupt Climate Change, Inevitable Surprises

Posted on August 22, 2012

An international team of 300 scientists, other experts, and elders have prepared “Impacts of a Warming Arctic,” a comprehensive analysis of the impacts and consequences of climate variability and changes across the Arctic, including the impacts from increases in UV radiation due to depletion of the ozone layer in the north. 

Posted on August 17, 2012

A workshop report by Jim Cooperman

Climate change is quickly moving from theory to reality, with impacts ranging from warming oceans killing off the salmon, glaciers melting, and ski hills closing, to even the many hurricanes cutting paths of destruction across the Atlantic coast. In April of this year, the impacts that global warming are having on southern BC forests were the topic of a 2-day workshop held in Revelstoke. Sponsored by the Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology, the event featured talks

Posted on August 16, 2012

by Jim Cooperman

Early in December, the Ministry organized a oneday symposium and a follow-up workshop in Prince George called “The Future Forest Ecosystems of BC – Exploring the Opportunities.” In a note to the invited workshop participants, Snetsinger noted, “…. we are facing a number of challenges in managing our forest ecosystems into the future. Factors such as climate change, the increasing impact of fire and biotic disturbance agents pose significant concerns.

Posted on August 15, 2012

by Colin Graham

As a species we have been pretty slow to grasp the full meaning of the fact that the whole natural world organizes itself through ecosystems. During the last ten thousand or so years in which we have been living in settled farming communities, we have barged into, dragooned, and manipulated ecosystems as though they were structures of minor importance which we could more or less ignore. Only in recent decades have ecologists marshaled enough data to show that such systems can be primary structures whose health we abuse at our peril. 

Posted on July 17, 2012

by Norm Reynolds

Bright Green, Viridian Green, Lite Green, Leaf Green, Dark Green? The immense social and technological im­plications of global warming have highlighted much more than just shades of meaning within the environmental movement.

Indeed, Bruce Sterling, sci-fi author, cyber guru, and founder/spokesperson for the Bright Green environmental movement, suggests that recognition of the significance and urgency of global warming may be

Posted on July 17, 2012

The discussion in Bali acknowledged that “deep cuts in global emissions will be required to achieve the ultimate objective” of avoiding dangerous climate change.

by Stephen Leahy

(IPS) – A tiny step was taken in December to meet the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. But it was nearly a step backward as the crucial climate talks in Bali almost collapsed when the United States refused to join the global consensus.

Posted on July 16, 2012

Excerpted by Barry Saxifrage from Clearing the Air, by European Federation for Transport and Environment

In Europe, much progress has been made on climate policy and reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions, except in the area of flying. 

Myth: Aviation makes only a minor contribution to climate change: 2 to 3%. 

Posted on July 14, 2012

by Barry Saxifrage

Air travel is the one major industry without an available technological solu­tion to climate change.

When I read in George Monbiot’s book, Heat, that there is no climate-compatible solution for high-speed air travel, I didn’t believe it. I couldn’t accept that the world must stop nearly all of its flying.

Posted on June 23, 2012

by Stephen Leahy

The prospect of a four-degree Celsius rise in global average tem­peratures in 50 years is alarming – but not alarmist, climate scientists now believe. Eighteen months ago, no one dared imagine humanity pushing

Posted on May 17, 2012

by Joyce Nelson

In 2007, billionaire Sir Richard Branson (chairman of Virgin Group) and Al Gore (former US vice-president) spearheaded a competition called the Virgin Earth Challenge - a contest offering $25 million "to find commercially viable designs to permanently remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere." As Branson put it, "If we could come up with a geoengineering