Canada is warming faster than the rest of the world

A city showing the effect of Climate Change

Canada is warming up twice as fast as the rest of the world and it’s “effectively irreversible,” a new scientific report from Environment and Climate Change Canada says.

At stake is just how bad that warming gets, said several scientists presenting the Canada‘s Changing Climate Report in Ottawa Monday.

The report is the first in a series of scientific assessments the department is producing and the first that zeros in on the changes Canada is seeing as a result of global warming.

Based on the work of 43 federal and university-based scientists who reviewed published scientific literature over the last two years, the report is stark in its findings, says Elizabeth Bush, a climate-science adviser at Environment Canada.

“We are already seeing the effects of widespread warming in Canada,” said Bush. “It’s clear, the science supports the fact that adapting to climate change is an imperative. Urgent action is needed to reduce emissions.”

The report says the average temperature in Canada is 1.7 C higher today than it was 70 years ago, while the average global temperature is up 0.8 C.

The Canadian Arctic has been hit even harder, with a 2.3 C increase, creating a risk that by the middle of this century most marine regions in the Canadian North will be ice-free for at least a month at a time.

Warming is happening even faster in winter, with a 3.3 C average temperature increase between December and February, leaving southern Canadians with more winter rain and northern Canadians with melting permafrost and less sea ice. More rain and less snow could have a significant impact on the availability of fresh water in parts of the country, particularly in the summer, the report notes. Snow that accumulates but doesn’t melt until later in the year is effectively banked water.

Warmer winters also mean certain species that can’t survive our winters now will start to do so, bringing pests and diseases to Canada we aren’t used to seeing.

The report was conceived of four years ago, when the department’s in-house scientists wanted the information to go along with Canada‘s annual reporting on its climate-changing emissions. But it is coming out the week the federal Liberals are rolling out the signature piece of their climate-change plan: a carbon tax in four provinces that have no equivalent policies of their own. It applies in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick.

Canada is aiming to cut its carbon-dioxide emissions by about 200 million tonnes by 2030 with policies like the carbon tax, phasing out coal power, and investing in public transit, green energy and building energy efficiencies. But the United Nations suggests Canada needs to cut emissions even more to prevent the worst climate-change impacts.

The scientists briefing journalists on the new report acknowledged the emissions cuts need to be global but also said cuts anywhere can have an impact on climate everywhere.

The report makes clear that the climate impacts we’re already seeing are going to stay with us for “centuries to millennia” even if we hit the emissions cuts believed necessary to slow warming to a more manageable pace.

Bush said, however, there are two vastly different pictures for Canada depending on whether the world makes significant progress towards cutting net greenhouse-gas emissions to zero by 2050.

The report shows if the world can do that, the average temperature increases in Canada by the end of the century will be less than 3 C even in the hardest-hit parts of the country.

But if the world keeps emitting at the same rate, most parts of Canada will see increases of between 7 C and 9 C, with the far reaches of the Arctic seeing temperature changes in excess of 11 C.

“We are kind of at this fork in the road,” said Chris Derksen, an Environment Canada research scientist specializing in ice cover.

In the worse scenario, Canada will see 10 times as many deadly heat waves and twice as many extreme rainstorms, the report says.

Electric vehicle’s in Canada

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk, right, stands next to the Model Y at Tesla’s design studio Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Hawthorne, Calif. The Model Y may be Tesla’s most important product yet as it attempts to expand into the mainstream and generate enough cash to repay massive debts that threaten to topple the Palo Alto, Calif., company. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The electric vehicle road trip is becoming a practical reality as an increasing number of players work to close gaps in Canada’s fast-charger networks and ease fears of getting stranded along the way.

New entrants like Petro-Canada and Electrify Canada are working to add dozens of fast-chargers across the country this year, building on efforts already underway by provincial utilities and other early adopters to help ease concerns of skeptical buyers.

Volkswagen’s Electrify Canada expects to have the first of its 32-station rollout done this quarter as it builds along the Quebec City-Windsor and Calgary-Vancouver corridors.

“We really felt the need to build a purpose-built network that can allow people to drive more than just in and around the city,” Electrify’s chief operating officer Rob Barrosa said.

Meanwhile Petro-Canada said last month that it would add 50 fast-charging stations across the Trans-Canada Highway, including in the sparsely served stretches of northern Ontario and the Prairies that the federal government is also working to cover.

The additions come as part of a steady growth in the fast-charging network, including Alberta-based utility Atco announcing in February it will build 20 sites by the end of the year across southern Alberta, and the first fast-chargers now live in Glacier and Yoho National Parks.

The growth of fast (or level three) chargers means dramatically reduced waits to get back on the road. The chargers, generally with a capacity of 50 kilowatts, can recharge upwards of 320 kilometres of a car’s range in an hour, far faster than the overnight charging of 6.6 kilowatt level two chargers that owners can install in their homes.

5.) 2018 Tesla Model X
Canadian Price: $125,000 (CAD)

However, most EV drivers will find they won’t need fast chargers very much, said Cara Clairman, founder and CEO of EV-focused non-profit Plug’n Drive.

“It helps non-EV drivers get on board, because they imagine a scenario where they need it like they need a gas station. But the reality is quite different.”

With EV ranges starting at about 200 kilometres and half a dozen models offering 350 kilometres or more, drivers will find charging overnight at home or at work to more than suit most needs, she said.

“The infrastructure is not the big barrier in my mind. The barrier is more psychological.”

She said that boosting the number of chargers in condos and apartments, a process that can be complicated and expensive, would go much further in boosting adoption.

“That is really important. That will make a bigger difference than any amount of public charging.”

Canada already has more than 500 fast chargers as part of a network of over 4,000 level two and three charging sites tucked away in garages, parking lots and behind buildings.

The effort on the multi-unit residential front received a boost in the latest federal budget, as the Liberals committed $130 million over five years to build new charging infrastructure in under served areas.

But drivers do tend to shop for vehicles with that once-a-year trip to a far flung city in mind, so fast-charging infrastructure is still important, just not as much of a priority, Clairman said.

Reliability of those extensive networks is also key, said Louis Tremblay, CEO of AddEnergie, parent company of the Flo charging network.

“There’s a lot of players that fail and are failing right now, in not being able to consider the whole equipment as mission critical, whether you’re at home, at work, or on the go.”

He said fast-charging hubs will likely move more towards rest stops and places with amenities, both because gas stations often don’t have the space for expansion to the number of outlets that will be needed, and because people need something to do while waiting for a charge.

Work is underway to cut those wait times down further.

Electrify Canada is installing chargers capable of up to 350 kilowatts, which can add 200 kilometres of range in eight minutes. There aren’t yet vehicles available that can take that much power, which requires liquid-cooled cables to handle the energy, but they’re coming.

Tesla, which has been building out its own extensive network in Canada with stations planned across the Trans-Canada, is also starting to roll out 350 kilowatt chargers and vehicles.

The faster charges pose challenges including potentially higher prices, increased strains on remote grids, and reduced battery life if they overheat, said Olivier Trescases, director of the University of Toronto’s Electric Vehicle Research Centre.

Companies are struggling to find the balance between power density, which creates fast charges and acceleration, and energy density, which adds distance, he said.

“You can kind of tweak the chemistry to go one way or the other, and today’s EVs are kind of making a trade-off there.”

Trescases said the up front cost of electric cars is still a barrier, but people should understand that the higher EV cost comes with a lifetime discount on refuelling and maintenance. Plus, he says there are other benefits.

“If we’re serious about climate change and meeting our objectives, it shouldn’t be a straight one to one comparison. This is something we need to do.”

Global Forecast Fahrenheit (Global Warming/Climate Change Results) April 4th 2019

City/Town, Country;Thursday’s Weather Condition;Thursday’s High Temp (F);Thursday’s Low Temp (F);Friday’s Weather Condition;Friday’s High Temp (F);Friday’s Low Temp (F);Friday’s Wind Direction;Friday’s Wind Speed (MPH);Friday’s Humidity (;Friday’s UV Index

Global Forecast as of 12:00 GMT Thursday, April 4, 2019

Abidjan, Ivory Coast;A t-storm around;92;79;A t-storm around;90;79;W;11;76%;65%;8

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates;Unseasonably hot;99;79;Partly sunny and hot;99;78;NE;6;30%;1%;10

Aleppo, Syria;Clouds and sun;64;49;A little

Algiers, Algeria;Not as warm;66;47;Partly

Amsterdam, Netherlands;Cloudy;50;36;Sun and

Anchorage, United States;Mostly cloudy;42;29;Partly sunny;47;33;NNE;7;55%;28%;3

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan;Not as warm;70;53;A t-storm or two;71;57;ESE;7;68%;78%;4

Astana, Kazakhstan;A p.m. shower or

Asuncion, Paraguay;Rain, a thunderstorm;84;67;Rain, a thunderstorm;69;61;SSW;14;78%;67%;5

Athens, Greece;Partly sunny;65;47;Cloudy;60;54;SE;6;66%;74%;2

Auckland, New Zealand;Clouds and sun;67;56;Increasing clouds;69;56;SSE;6;57%;44%;5

Baghdad, Iraq;Increasing clouds;82;61;Decreasing

Banda Aceh, Indonesia;Downpours;91;75;A p.m.

Bangalore, India;Sunny and very warm;94;67;Hazy

Bangkok, Thailand;Turning cloudy;96;81;Sun and

Barcelona, Spain;Partly sunny;56;47;Spotty

Beijing, China;Hazy, blowing dust;82;48;Some

Belgrade, Serbia;Partly sunny;68;48;Spotty

Berlin, Germany;Clouds and sun, warm;68;50;Spotty showers;68;49;E;9;56%;62%;2

Bogota, Colombia;Occasional rain;65;52;Showers

Brasilia, Brazil;Inc. clouds;82;67;A t-storm or

Bratislava, Slovakia;Clouds and sunshine;67;46;A little rain;64;43;SE;15;54%;85%;2

Brussels, Belgium;Overcast, a shower;51;34;Periods of sun;56;42;E;5;58%;25%;4

Bucharest, Romania;Mostly sunny;60;35;Partly sunny, nice;64;40;E;12;57%;4%;5

Budapest, Hungary;Partly sunny;66;47;A little p.m. rain;63;43;ESE;10;37%;85%;2

Buenos Aires, Argentina;A t-storm in spots;77;57;Sunlit and pleasant;71;53;ESE;9;53%;0%;5

Bujumbura, Burundi;A t-storm around;88;66;A morning t-storm;88;66;WSW;4;45%;73%;11

Busan, South Korea;Mostly sunny;65;47;Partly sunny, nice;69;43;WNW;13;51%;0%;8

Cairo, Egypt;Nice with some sun;77;56;Partly

Cape Town, South Africa;Not as warm;65;56;Mostly

Caracas, Venezuela;Partly sunny;77;66;Partly

Chennai, India;Partly sunny, warm;97;80;Mostly sunny, warm;97;80;SSE;10;62%;0%;12

Chicago, United States;A little rain;44;40;Clearing and milder;54;44;ESE;6;76%;11%;2

Colombo, Sri Lanka;Sunny and less humid;92;76;Sun and some clouds;90;75;SE;6;61%;44%;13

Copenhagen, Denmark;Mostly

Dakar, Senegal;Clouds and sun;72;65;Mostly sunny, breezy;73;66;NNE;16;78%;1%;12

Dallas, United States;Warmer with clearing;84;60;Clouds and sun;82;65;ESE;6;53%;32%;8

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;Decreasing clouds;86;76;A stray thunderstorm;87;76;S;6;87%;54%;7

Delhi, India;Mostly sunny and hot;102;76;Hazy sun, summerlike;107;79;N;4;32%;0%;9

Denver, United States;Partly sunny;67;43;Nice with some sun;68;42;WNW;7;35%;30%;7

Dhaka, Bangladesh;A p.m. thunderstorm;91;74;A heavy thunderstorm;93;77;SSE;9;64%;83%;6

Dili, East Timor;A shower in the p.m.;92;74;A stray p.m. t-storm;84;77;W;7;78%;67%;5

Dublin, Ireland;Spotty

Dushanbe, Tajikistan;Mostly cloudy, warm;75;57;A stray p.m. t-storm;68;53;NNE;6;55%;86%;3

First-ever live interaction on Canada's Arctic threats
Ice floats in Slidre Fjord outside the Eureka Weather Station on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Monday, July 24, 2006. New research finds that hundreds of glaciers in Canada’s High Arctic are shrinking and that many are likely fated to disappear. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Gibraltar, Gibraltar;Not as warm;65;53;Showers and t-storms;59;50;W;18;74%;86%;4

Hanoi, Vietnam;A shower or t-storm;79;69;A shower in the a.m.;77;70;E;8;82%;83%;2

Harare, Zimbabwe;Sunny and nice;80;54;Sunny and

Havana, Cuba;A p.m. shower or two;86;69;Partly

Helsinki, Finland;Mostly sunny;53;33;Mostly

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam;A t-storm in spots;91;80;Partly sunny, nice;92;79;SE;6;59%;30%;12

Hong Kong, China;Clouds and sun, nice;79;68;Nice with sunshine;81;70;SW;4;71%;27%;11

Honolulu, United States;Sunny and nice;85;69;Plenty of sunshine;86;67;WNW;7;59%;18%;11

Hyderabad, India;Clouds and sun;101;71;Hazy

Islamabad, Pakistan;Turning cloudy, hot;95;67;Clouds and sun, warm;92;67;NNE;7;39%;0%;7

Istanbul, Turkey;Cloudy;52;41;Partly sunny;62;48;ENE;7;73%;4%;6

Jakarta, Indonesia;Partly sunny;91;76;A p.m.

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia;Mostly sunny;92;75;Partly

Johannesburg, South Africa;A p.m. t-storm;77;57;A t-storm in spots;68;55;ENE;6;79%;73%;4

Kabul, Afghanistan;Clouds breaking;74;50;Mostly sunny, nice;71;49;W;5;30%;0%;9

Karachi, Pakistan;Sunny and very warm;98;76;Hazy

Kathmandu, Nepal;A shower;73;56;A t-storm in

Khartoum, Sudan;Plenty of sunshine;101;68;Plenty of sunshine;101;71;N;12;8%;0%;12

Kyiv, Ukraine;Mostly sunny;54;30;Partly

Kingston, Jamaica;A p.m. shower or two;84;76;A few showers;86;77;E;11;64%;81%;10

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo;A stray p.m. t-storm;92;75;A t-storm in spots;90;75;SW;6;70%;55%;5

Kolkata, India;Partial sunshine;93;78;A p.m.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;A p.m. thunderstorm;93;77;A stray p.m. t-storm;92;77;NNW;4;75%;79%;9

La Paz, Bolivia;A p.m. t-storm;59;29;Showers and

Lagos, Nigeria;A stray p.m. t-storm;94;80;A stray thunderstorm;93;80;SW;8;70%;54%;8

Lima, Peru;Partial sunshine;75;67;Nice with some

Lisbon, Portugal;Becoming cloudy;59;48;Showers and t-storms;57;50;WNW;11;64%;84%;5

London, United Kingdom;Spotty showers;49;42;Periods of sun;54;42;E;12;56%;32%;3

Los Angeles, United States;Decreasing clouds;66;52;Mainly cloudy;66;53;WSW;7;68%;44%;2

Luanda, Angola;Inc. clouds;91;80;A stray p.m.

Madrid, Spain;Mostly sunny;59;43;Showers and

Male, Maldives;Sunshine, pleasant;90;82;Mostly

Manaus, Brazil;A t-storm or two;85;78;A stray a.m. t-storm;88;78;E;6;78%;61%;10

Manila, Philippines;Partly sunny;91;79;Mostly

Melbourne, Australia;Clouds and sun, nice;72;55;High clouds, windy;81;63;N;16;51%;44%;2

Mexico City, Mexico;Partly sunny, nice;80;53;Partly sunny;79;55;S;6;29%;27%;13

Miami, United States;A shower or two;80;73;A shower in the p.m.;82;74;E;11;73%;62%;5

Minsk, Belarus;Mostly sunny;52;31;Partly

Mogadishu, Somalia;Not as warm;90;81;Sunshine and nice;90;81;ESE;12;60%;2%;12

Montevideo, Uruguay;A t-storm in spots;78;62;Mostly sunny;68;54;SE;13;54%;0%;5

Montreal, Canada;Colder with sunshine;36;21;An afternoon shower;40;35;S;3;40%;80%;2

Moscow, Russia;Cloudy and mild;50;30;Cloudy and

Mumbai, India;Sunny and humid;88;79;Hazy and

Nairobi, Kenya;A t-storm in spots;84;59;A stray

New York, United States;Cooler;58;38;Rain,

Nicosia, Cyprus;Some sun;67;51;A shower in the

Novosibirsk, Russia;A little a.m. snow;42;29;Remaining cloudy;39;28;NE;13;77%;46%;1

Osaka-shi, Japan;Sunny;60;45;Mostly cloudy;63;48;WSW;10;53%;2%;3

Oslo, Norway;Not as cool;53;36;Cloudy and

Ottawa, Canada;Partly sunny, colder;37;21;Rain and drizzle;39;32;SW;10;47%;83%;2

Pago Pago, American Samoa;A t-storm around;87;78;A p.m. shower or two;87;79;E;9;77%;98%;10

Panama City, Panama;Partly sunny;92;76;Sun and some clouds;89;75;NW;8;64%;33%;12

Paramaribo, Suriname;Mostly cloudy;88;74;Some sun, a shower;87;74;ENE;9;71%;66%;13

Paris, France;Variable clouds;54;37;Partly

Perth, Australia;Not as warm;75;54;Sunshine and

Phnom Penh, Cambodia;A t-storm in spots;90;77;A t-storm in spots;91;78;SW;6;68%;71%;12

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea;A p.m. t-storm;88;75;A p.m. t-storm;88;75;NE;8;80%;93%;5

Port-au-prince, Haiti;Partly sunny;91;71;An afternoon shower;91;71;SE;7;43%;64%;10

Prague, Czech Republic;Partly sunny, mild;68;45;Spotty showers;65;46;ESE;9;50%;84%;2

Pyongyang, North Korea;Mostly sunny, warmer;71;42;Mostly sunny, cooler;55;32;W;12;31%;40%;7

Quito, Ecuador;Heavy showers;67;56;Overcast,

Rabat, Morocco;Cooler;60;50;Afternoon

Recife, Brazil;A shower in the a.m.;88;75;A shower or two;87;75;ENE;6;75%;86%;10

Reykjavik, Iceland;Brief a.m. showers;40;34;Mostly sunny;43;32;E;6;55%;13%;3

Riga, Latvia;Partly sunny;54;34;Plenty of

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;Mostly sunny;89;75;Partly sunny and hot;94;79;NNW;5;62%;19%;8

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia;Mostly sunny;88;68;Becoming

Rome, Italy;Severe thunderstorms;60;43;Mostly

Saint Petersburg, Russia;Sunny and mild;57;34;Sunshine and mild;52;33;ENE;6;53%;0%;3

San Francisco, United States;A shower in the p.m.;61;55;Periods of rain;61;54;SSW;11;81%;76%;2

San Jose, Costa Rica;Partly sunny;83;61;Partly

San Juan, Puerto Rico;Variable clouds;83;73;A stray shower;83;73;E;12;67%;75%;11

San Salvador, El Salvador;Partly sunny;79;66;Partial sunshine;76;65;NW;5;78%;44%;13

Sana’a, Yemen;A shower in the p.m.;78;53;Partly

Santiago, Chile;Mostly sunny, nice;77;49;Sunny and pleasant;83;50;SW;4;36%;0%;5

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic;A p.m. shower or two;84;69;An afternoon shower;84;70;NNE;7;66%;69%;11

Sao Paulo, Brazil;Becoming cloudy;59;42;Showers and t-storms;52;43;W;9;78%;86%;5

Seattle, United States;Cloudy;62;50;Cooler with

Seoul, South Korea;Plenty of sun;64;46;Mostly

Shanghai, China;Rain and drizzle;61;55;Partly

Singapore, Singapore;A p.m. t-storm;94;79;A p.m.

Sofia, Bulgaria;Partly sunny;63;34;Partly sunny,

St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda;Partly sunny;85;73;A stray shower;84;71;ENE;15;65%;64%;11

Stockholm, Sweden;Sun and

Sydney, Australia;Spotty showers;74;66;Showers

Taipei City, Taiwan;Nice with some sun;81;68;Nice with some sun;79;66;E;6;72%;32%;9

Tallinn, Estonia;Mostly sunny;56;35;Plenty of

Tashkent, Uzbekistan;Warmer;76;55;Brief a.m.

Tbilisi, Georgia;Cloudy;54;43;Pleasant and

Tehran, Iran;Partly sunny;68;51;Turning

Tel Aviv, Israel;Clouding up;70;54;Mainly

Tirana, Albania;A p.m. t-storm;72;53;Spotty

Tokyo, Japan;Sunny;64;46;Mostly cloudy;70;50;SSW;15;42%;1%;7

Toronto, Canada;Variable cloudiness;40;31;Spotty

Tripoli, Libya;Partly sunny, warmer;82;63;Not as

Tunis, Tunisia;A little p.m. rain;68;52;Clouds and sunshine;62;48;WNW;9;55%;0%;7

Ulan Bator, Mongolia;Cooler;43;25;Clearing;41;10;N;9;42%;15%;5

Vancouver, Canada;Sunny

Vienna, Austria;Partly sunny, breezy;68;48;Occasional rain;60;42;SE;11;57%;85%;2

Vientiane, Laos;A t-storm around;94;75;A t-storm

Vilnius, Lithuania;Abundant sunshine;56;34;Mostly sunny;56;34;ESE;9;41%;1%;4

Warsaw, Poland;Some sun and mild;62;41;Sunny and

Wellington, New Zealand;Mostly sunny;63;54;Windy with rain;59;50;S;26;81%;90%;2

Yangon, Myanmar;Mostly sunny, warm;101;73;Sunny and very warm;102;72;WSW;5;43%;0%;11

Yerevan, Armenia;Afternoon showers;61;35;Sunny