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Climate Change & Toronto

BurlOak

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Maybe History too. Upper Canada and Lower Canada always messed me up until it was explained how they got those names.
OK, I think I finally figured out where these ignorant comments are coming from. The EPA graphs show the change in Great Lakes water levels since 1860 - that it 1860 is the datum or the zero value. It appears some think the zero means sea level.
 

SunriseChampion

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OK, I think I finally figured out where these ignorant comments are coming from. The EPA graphs show the change in Great Lakes water levels since 1860 - that it 1860 is the datum or the zero value. It appears some think the zero means sea level.
Wow, did you even read the legend provided with the graphs that you posted a link to?
The baseline is the average of water levels for the years 1981-2010.

Speaking of ignorance, do you suppose that historically stable water levels in the Great Lakes is proof of the benign nature of global warming?
 

Northern Light

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So I just popped into this re-born thread.......

Wow! (facepalm)

So can we split a few different ideas up; because some folks are talking at cross purposes.

First, 'climate change'.

There are a range of projections, of impacts on temperature and sea level, which are all fairly legit in so far as there are a multitude of variables involved in calculating a range of impact.

The most conservative projection by any reputed scientist of which I am aware, put low-end macro-impacts (the unavoidable) at around 20 cm or .6 ft rise in sea level by 2100, and temperature rise globally in the range of 1.5 degrees C, much higher near the poles, lower near the equator, Toronto around the median number.

The (realistic), evidence-based, worst-case, would peg sea level numbers in the range of 2.5M (or about 7.5ft) w/temperature near 5 degrees C higher.

It should be added, at this juncture, that while few of us are likely to see 2100, if you have kids or grand kids, that's not where the modelling stops, absent intervention this could get considerably worse, even if temperatures stabilized by 2100.

High-end ranges show Sea Level rise at upwards of 16M by 2400. (that's over 40ft)

****

Now let's move away from the macro to Canada (Toronto).

Do we benefit?

Assuming one ignores the plight of the rest of the world; and that we would not face impacts from said plight?

Well, that depends.

Ecology being one of my areas of knowledge......

You could expect that wildlife and plants native to regions further south would migrate.

That may or may not be a good thing, in so far as it will displace existing species, including non-native agricultural ones that grow in our zone.

Yes, we can then grow other things; but whole industries are built around the way things are, and would have to migrate or otherwise face displacement.

Simple notion, raise average temperatures by 5 degrees C and you will kill the entire maple syrup industry.

Sugar Maples barely survive at the southern limit of their range (southern PA)

Could those trees then grow further north?

Probably, though not necessarily (different Ph levels in soil, different mineral content, its not a given by a long shot)

That's one, relatively small sector, there are many others.

At a 5 degree heat increase, deaths from heat-stroke would become much more common, and we would likely face the requirement for landlords including TCHC to install A/C.

That is a multi-billion dollar expense, a few times over.

To be sure, there would be advantages, at least in so far as other areas would be worse off.

But one should be careful in assuming there is anything resembling a net gain locally.

In a broader Canadian context, would the tree line go further north? Yes.

Would the agricultural season become longer? Yes.

Would we gain net farm land? Ummm.....that's a good deal more complex, in the nearer-north, you have a lot of Canadian shield w/rock close to surface.

In the far north, there's a lot of perma-frost to go through first........but thereafter.... a good chunk of what's underneath is actually peat bog.

I'm not sure how successfully that could be farmed.

Model discussion here:

http://o.canada.com/news/toronto-will-feel-like-north-miami-by-2100-climate-change-report

****

Now back to that whole Geo-Political thing.

Exactly what kind of displacement is possible or likely?

If you imagine you only need to move the folks who end up under water......that's a few hundred million in the next century or so, if you use high-end sea level models.

A fraction of that, but still well into the millions at the low end.

But what if Texas sees average temps rise by 5 degrees?

How many areas become unlivably hot or arid?

Current models suggest we're likely to relocate 10's of millions in the very best case scenario over the next century.

More thereafter.

But you don't want to contemplate worst cases........the displacement is measured with a B in the front.

Think Toronto struggles to keep up with adding 100,000 per year to the region?

How about 1,000,000?

****

Climate change is not without some opportunities, most of which should be explored as adaptive mitigation.

But describing those opportunities as net benefit is optimistic, at best.

At worst, its delusional.

That requires no empathy for anyone else, anywhere else (much as that may be desirable).

It merely requires enlightened self-interest.

*****

Finally a word about 'uncertainty'.

Scientists really don't have a good handle on what all this would do to key ocean and atmospheric currents.

ie. Jet Stream and Gulf Stream.

Should these migrate from current paths, all-bets are off.

Change could be more extreme, not only the warm side, but to the cold.

http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2017/06/06/could-climate-change-shut-down-the-gulf-stream/
 
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Johnny Au

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But we are adding it back in farther north through Lake Nipigon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogoki_River
Good thing the Great Lakes is replenished by the Ogoki River more than drained by the Chicago River.

Because of that, Ontario is unconcerned about Illinois draining the Great Lakes.

However, Ontario prohibits Illinois from draining more water from the Great Lakes through the Chicago River than replenished from the Ogoki River.
 

SunriseChampion

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Never mind Chicago draining anything. Chicago is a bit of a minnow in comparison to, say, California. How dry is California becoming? How many people live there?
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Interesting article from the Globe that illustrates the twin hazard of isostatic rebound and climate change in Halifax:

Halifax's battle of the rising sea: Will the city be ready for future floods and storms?

And another on the flood past summer:

What did we learn from 2017's floods in Quebec and Ontario? Inside the politics of water

Never mind Chicago draining anything. Chicago is a bit of a minnow in comparison to, say, California. How dry is California becoming? How many people live there?
Beyond the matter of population is the matter of what is the driver of water use - most of the water in CA is used up for agriculture.

AoD
 
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SunriseChampion

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Beyond the matter of population is the matter of what is the driver of water use - most of the water in CA is used up for agriculture.

AoD
I didn't bring up California only because of water use. I brought up California because the increasing dryness may make it a rather inhospitable place. Those wildfires aren't getting any tamer, for example. Then again, maybe androids dream of electric sheep.
 

Johnny Au

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I didn't bring up California only because of water use. I brought up California because the increasing dryness may make it a rather inhospitable place. Those wildfires aren't getting any tamer, for example. Then again, maybe androids dream of electric sheep.
California has the technology to desalinize the Salton Sea, but that would be too expensive to do.
 

SunriseChampion

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California has the technology to desalinize the Salton Sea, but that would be too expensive to do.
Yeah, but they can't water the whole place with that. California's on fire.
 

W. K. Lis

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Doug Ford's PC Ontario government will ignore this, of course.

See how hot Canadian cities are becoming

From link.

'Bar code charts' created by British scientist illustrate worldwide warming

A researcher has found a new way to chart Earth's warming temperatures, one that he believes paints a clearer picture of a changing climate.

Ed Hawkins, a climate professor at the University of Reading in the U.K., created "bar code charts" that show rising temperatures as colours. The result is a snapshot of how much warmer, on average, the world has been getting, particularly in the last decade.

He made this one showing average global temperatures since 1850.


Each line in this chart of global average temperatures represents a year from 1850 to 2017. The difference between the darkest blue and deepest red is 1.35 C. (Ed Hawkins)


Inspired by this, CBC News made similar charts for several Canadian cities using data from Environment and Climate Change Canada. Each stripe represents the average temperature for a year. The deeper the blue, the colder is was that year. Reds indicate warmer temperatures.







 

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