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Climate Change & Toronto

Admiral Beez

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Ah yes - the GRAND Canal proposal. I'm not exactly sure how, by pumping water into the Great Lakes which are a shared resource by treaty, we could prevent the US from siphoning it off.

Some observers speculated that damming off James Bay to create a fresh water reservoir would have impacts as far away as the Grand Banks.

I would think we have learned by now that massively and blindly screwing around with nature cannot be solved by massively screwing around with nature.
Not to the Great Lakes, we divert water to the interior of MB and SK, plus FN in ON and QC.
 

lenaitch

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Not to the Great Lakes, we divert water to the interior of MB and SK, plus FN in ON and QC.

Mine, and other's, concerns of ecological damage to solve ecological damage remain. Besides that, I'd love to see the engineering on that, if for no other reason that it would be uphill all the way. Water issues in FNTs in northern Ontario aren't for the lack of water; they are for the lack of distribution systems. I'm not familiar with the situation in Quebec, but the FNs there did get a few gazillion from Hydro Quebec. Besides, the terrain in northern Quebec verges on mountainous.
 

afransen

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Ontario has no shortage of water! Like, one of the least water stressed areas on earth, I'd say.
 

Admiral Beez

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Mine, and other's, concerns of ecological damage to solve ecological damage remain. Besides that, I'd love to see the engineering on that....
If we can pump oil across the country, we can pump water. Provided the issue of freezing can be addressed - the water is mostly needed in the spring and summer growing season. The water is needed mostly in AB, MB and SK and getting it there would be mostly flat or low hills. I appreciate this may trigger some folks inner contrarian, but if we don't get rain in the west and have a surplus of water in the east, it makes sense to try to balance it out with tech.
 

W. K. Lis

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Rain fell at the normally snowy summit of Greenland for the first time on record

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(CNN)For the first time on record, precipitation on Saturday at the summit of Greenland — roughly two miles above sea level — fell as rain and not snow.

Temperatures at the Greenland summit over the weekend rose above freezing for the third time in less than a decade. The warm air fueled an extreme rain event that dumped 7 billion tons of water on the ice sheet, enough to fill the Reflecting Pool at the National Mall in Washington, DC, nearly 250,000 times.

It was the heaviest rainfall on the ice sheet since record keeping began in 1950, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, and the amount of ice mass lost on Sunday was seven times higher than the daily average for this time of year.

Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, said this is evidence Greenland is warming rapidly.

"What is going on is not simply a warm decade or two in a wandering climate pattern," Scambos told CNN. "This is unprecedented."
The National Science Foundation's Summit Station is located at the highest point on the Greenland ice sheet, where scientists can observe Arctic weather and changes in the ice. The station has been staffed year-round to observe extreme changes since 1989. The majority of the weekend's rain fell from the southeast coast of Greenland up to the Summit Station.

Jennifer Mercer, program officer for the Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation, said because of the significant rain event, operations at the Summit Station would need to change: "It means that we need to consider weather events that we have not had to deal with before in the history of our operations there," she told CNN.

"Increasing weather events including melting, high winds, and now rain, over the last 10 years have occurred outside the range of what is considered normal," Mercer said. "And these seem to be occurring more and more."
"We are crossing thresholds not seen in millennia, and frankly this is not going to change until we adjust what we're doing to the air," said Scambos.
Other unusual events have become more frequent, too, Mercer said.

Two years ago, a polar bear made it to the Summit Station, which was unusual since polar bears live in coastal regions where they can easily find food. The bear had trekked several hundred miles inland across the ice sheet. In the last five years, Mercer said three polar bears have been sighted high on Greenland's ice sheet.

According to Mercer, the rain will have a lasting effect on the properties of the snow, leaving a crust of ice behind that will absorb more energy from the sun, until it gets buried by snow. Scambos said this crusty layer will also be a barrier that prevents the downward draining of melt water, which will then flood the surface of the ice sheet and initiate run off at higher elevations.

Because of the layer of ice it created, the weekend's rainfall event "will be visible in ice core records in the future," Mercer said.
 

W. K. Lis

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New Zealand forecasted for warm spring after hottest winter on record

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The country has just had its warmest winter on record - beating the record set just last year.

Official climate data from Niwa shows June to August was 1.32C above average.

Meteorologist Nava Fedaeff said in a statement that the last time a consecutive year beat its previous winter temperature record was in 1971.

She said there were 76 locations across the country that experienced a record or near-record warm winter.

Fedaeff said record-breaking temperatures 50 years ago are now considered near average, as seven of the 10 warmest winters have been since 2000.

Fedaeff delved into historic weather records and found that the last time New Zealand experienced a similar sequence of events was 50 years ago.
The winter of 1970 was at the time New Zealand's warmest winter on record only to be beaten by the winter of 1971.

"What was considered to be unusually warm at the time is no longer considered unusual. The winter of 1971 now stands in 13th place of the temperature rankings while the winter of 1970 is 18th."

Fedaeff said what may have been considered record-breaking in 1970 is now considered near average.

"For instance, the once record-breaking winter 1971 is 0.75C cooler than the winter we have just experienced," he says.

The years 1970 and 1971, as well as the winters of 2020 and 2021 were influenced by La Niña featuring warm coastal waters, frequent high pressure and more northerly and north-easterly winds than normal.

"These similar winters, decades apart, show us that there are key natural ingredients to getting a warm winter but adding climate change to the mix is like taking the same recipe and swapping plain flour for self-raising," Fedaeff said.

Warmer spring than usual forecast

A warmer than usual spring is being forecast by Niwa.

Niwa predicts that unseasonably warm conditions at times this spring, particularly in the east of both islands.

It said despite this, cold spells and frosts may still occur occasionally, especially early in the season.

Niwa says spring rainfall is most likely to be below normal in the east of the North Island, near normal in the west of the South Island, and about equally likely to be near normal or below normal in all remaining regions across Aotearoa New Zealand.
 

W. K. Lis

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26527e4d1d2fc646762b6cb9226ef64e9130bcb0c394b42e4fd6400feb3a0c98_1.jpg-3429573263.jpg
From link.
 

TheTigerMaster

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If we can pump oil across the country, we can pump water. Provided the issue of freezing can be addressed - the water is mostly needed in the spring and summer growing season. The water is needed mostly in AB, MB and SK and getting it there would be mostly flat or low hills. I appreciate this may trigger some folks inner contrarian, but if we don't get rain in the west and have a surplus of water in the east, it makes sense to try to balance it out with tech.
Are there any current examples of water being pipes across such a large distance in substantial quantities?
 

W. K. Lis

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Big Yellow Taxi — Joni Mitchell’s environmental anthem has been recycled many times

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There was something in the air in 1970 — and songwriters did not like it. The year produced a stream of environmental protest songs, all of which have proved sustainable. “Apeman” by The Kinks, Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush” and Cat Stevens’ “Where Do the Children Play?” all captured the mood of ecological concern.

The most renewable of all, however, has been Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”, which has become the indisputable environmental anthem. According to Mitchell’s own website, at least 456 artists have recorded the song, and since 1990 someone has recorded it virtually every year. She herself has recorded it three times, the second, live version in 1974 proving a bigger hit than the original.

There were specific reasons for environmental angst at the time. A massive oil spill off Santa Barbara, California, in 1969, then the worst in American history, caused widespread shock and outrage. The oil platform explosion, which released some 3m gallons of crude in a 35-mile slick along the Pacific coast, proved formative in the birth of the modern environmental movement.

The year also included the sight of the heavily polluted Cuyahoga River in Ohio catching fire, with the flames soaring five storeys high as oil and chemical waste slicks were ignited by sparks from a passing train. This prompted the US Congress to pass the The National Environmental Policy Act in 1970.
Mitchell’s inspiration for her song came from a 1969 trip to Hawaii. “I walked over to the [hotel room] balcony and there was the picture-book scenery, palm trees swaying in the breeze and all,” she told New Musical Express. “When I looked down… there below my view was this ugly, concrete car park on the hotel grounds.”

This gave her an unforgettable chorus, which has been a nagging reminder to humanity ever since. “Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone / They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”
She was also struck by Honolulu’s “tree museum”, which “charged the people a dollar and a half just to see ’em”, as the second verse relates. This was a reference to the island’s Foster Botanical Garden and its tree collection.

The song’s genius lies in the joyful, jaunty rhythm of Mitchell’s acoustic guitar and delightful melody being at odds with the sombre lyrics. This contrast is compounded by her brief, playful bass vocal and giggle at the end.

The last verse poignantly presses the message of taking precious things for granted, as it switches from the political to the personal. “Late last night I heard the screen door slam / And a big yellow taxi took away my old man.”

The myriad cover versions have included a variety of musical styles from artists on all rungs of the celebrity ladder. Bob Dylan produced a laboured, word-mangling effort in 1973 on the album Dylan. In fairness, the record comprised several outtakes released by Columbia without his authorisation after he had left the record company.

California band Pinhead Gunpowder provided a high-speed punk rendition in 1992, and Big Country’s rock version four years later infused it with eastern-sounding violin and percussion. Counting Crows had an international hit with the song after first recording it in 2002, and re-recorded it for the soundtrack of the 2006 film Two Weeks.

Inflation made artists tinker with the lyrics over the years. Amy Grant swapped “a dollar and a half” for “25 bucks just to see ’em” in 1994, and Mitchell herself made it “an arm and a leg” on her 2007 version on the album Shine. This was a jazzier, more reflective interpretation that also suited her ageing, deeper voice.

Over the decades “Big Yellow Taxi” has remained a “go to” tune for environmental radio and television programmes. With climate change now the planet’s existential challenge, the song looks set to keep ringing out for teenage campaigner Greta Thunberg’s generation and beyond.
 

W. K. Lis

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2021 was the world's fifth hottest year on record: European Union report

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Last year was the world’s fifth hottest year on record as CO2 levels rose, according to a European Union report.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (CS3) released their findings on Monday, reporting that “the last seven years globally were the seven warmest on record by a clear margin.”

The annual average global temperature was 0.3°C above the temperature between 1991 to 2020, and 1.1°C to 1.2°C above 1850 to 1900 levels.
worlds-hottest-year-3.jpg

Early analysis of satellite measurements show that atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continued to climb, the report found.

With a rise in CO2 levels, Canada is included in the regions with the most above-average temperatures. The CS3 reports that the northeastern part of Canada’s average monthly temperatures were unusually warm at the start of the year and in the fall.
worlds-hottest-year-2.jpg

This checks out as Toronto was under a heat warning that lasted for 10 days back in August.

Last summer, BC was also devastated by hundreds of wildfires. According to the report, this was a result of regional hot and dry conditions throughout July and August in western North America.
“Carbon emissions from wildfires worldwide amounted overall to 1850 megatonnes,” the report stated.

The effects of the rise in global temperatures are seen in the natural disasters we’re seeing more and more of each year. Wildfires and extreme floods that affected BC are just a couple of examples.
 

Northern Light

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W. K. Lis

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Say Goodbye to Incandescent Light Bulbs

A phase out of the incandescent light bulb begins today. (USA)​

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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that the incandescent light bulb is officially dead, and producers and sellers must begin phasing them out before a widespread ban in July 2023.

The new standards say a lightbulb can only have a minimum energy efficiency of 45 lumens per watt. For reference, an average incandescent bulb has an efficiency of 15 lumens per watt while a halogen bulb has an efficiency of 25 lumens per watt. Light bulbs that do not meet this standard have 75 days to be phased out of production as part of the “enforcement leniency period,” as described in the Department of Energy’s Enforcement Policy Statement, before widespread enforcement begins in July of next year. The policy, released today, reads:
DOE intends to pursue violations by distributors and retailers using the same enforcement transition stages along with its discretion. However, the timeline for these entities is more gradual to allow first for the transition of existing inventory, while manufacturers, including importers, transition their production and shipments in 2022
This new ban will encourage consumers to rely on LED bulbs as opposed to incandescent and comes as a part of President Biden’s efforts to curb the climate crisis. These rules aim to cut carbon emissions by 222 million electric tons. The Department of Energy estimates that the average family will save $100 per year, for a total of $3 billion.
“By raising energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs, we’re putting $3 billion back in the pockets of American consumers every year and substantially reducing domestic carbon emissions,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

The ruling also reverse a Trump Administration hiccup in a decades-long attempt to phase out incandescent light bulbs. In December 2019, Axios reported that Trump blocked Bush-era legislation that would have encouraged U.S. consumers to purchase LED light bulbs. That move would have gone into effect in 2020.
 

afransen

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Are there any current examples of water being pipes across such a large distance in substantial quantities?
Not usually in pipes. Usually water is diverted long distances using canals or channels.

I suspect it would make more sense to do a better job retaining run-off in the west in reservoirs than to try to pump water uphill. Lake Superior is 183m above sea level. Calgary is at 1045. Saskatoon is 482. Lifting water almost a kilometer is a lot of energy. Lifting a cubic m/1000 KG of water by 860m to Calgary is 8.4 MJ of potential energy, or 2.3 kwh.
 

W. K. Lis

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Not usually in pipes. Usually water is diverted long distances using canals or channels.

I suspect it would make more sense to do a better job retaining run-off in the west in reservoirs than to try to pump water uphill. Lake Superior is 183m above sea level. Calgary is at 1045. Saskatoon is 482. Lifting water almost a kilometer is a lot of energy. Lifting a cubic m/1000 KG of water by 860m to Calgary is 8.4 MJ of potential energy, or 2.3 kwh.
More likely Calgary or Saskatoon would siphon water from the Rockies. Like how the Romans did...
 

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