Northwest Territories a daily witness to climate change impact: premier

OTTAWA - The premier of the Northwest Territories doesn't see climate change as a ticking time bomb - in his part of the country, it's already gone off.

See Full Article

Canada's North is at the forefront of climate change and its effects can be seen with the naked eye on a daily basis, Bob McLeod said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Warmer temperatures have led to a host of changes, including a shifting tree line, problems with the territory's winter road network and significant impacts on the caribou population, McLeod said.

"I could go on and on," he said. "We have permafrost ... that's melting. It is affecting our buildings and our housing so we have to change our building techniques."

Climate change has also contributed to the disappearance of certain fish species, McLeod noted. "We are seeing wildlife species foreign to this area ... moving further north from the south like cougar and whitetail deer."

He also suggested the territory is at the mercy of outside efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"We are doing our part, but I mean, in the larger scheme of things, we are very small emitters of CO2 (carbon dioxide) gases," McLeod said.

"Obviously we are dependent on national and international actions to reduce the overall emissions of greenhouses gases."

McLeod said he looks forward to participating in upcoming discussions with the federal government as it prepares to hammer out a national climate change strategy along with the provinces and other territories.

"From all accounts, the prime minister has indicated that the government of Canada is going to take a much more active leadership role working ... closely with the provinces and territories, so I was heartened by that," he said.

"I was also heartened by the fact that Canada contributed significantly to help developing countries to deal with climate change. We are hopeful he will take the same approach with developing territories to help us deal with the effects of greenhouse gases that are largely not our own doing."

The annual average temperature has increased 1.6 degrees C, or twice the global average, since 1948, according to briefing documents prepared for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Canada's North has warmed by about three times the global average - a boost of 2.2 C, the documents note.

"I remember 20 years ago, I had the opportunity to make a presentation to a Senate committee on climate change," McLeod said. "I look back to some of things I talked about. Most of it has come true."

McLeod recalled a senator asking if he would be happy to see warmer temperatures in the North.

"I said 'No, the reason we live up here is because we like the cold weather and we like our four seasons," he said.

"So it is unnerving to ... have temperatures in the single digits in January ... you wonder what the world is coming to."



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Scientists use AI to discover an 8th planet orbiting a distant star

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Our solar system may not be that unique after all. Researchers have discovered a star that lies 2,500 light years away with at least eight planets orbiting it, just like our sun. The Kepler-90 system was discovered back in 2013, and was initially thought to have just seven planets. Source
  • NASA and Google AI find star that ties ours with 8 planets

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NASA’s Kepler telescope and a Google neural network have identified a distant star system orbited by eight planets, tying it with our own solar system for the most known planets orbiting a star. The discovery was made with help from a machine learning neural network at Google AI. Source
  • Eighth planet found in faraway solar system

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A record-tying eighth planet has been found in a faraway solar system, matching our own in numbers. Even more amazing, machines and not humans made the discovery. NASA joined with Google on Thursday to announce the finding. Source
  • New bird species named for Harvard 'father of biodiversity'

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Here's something to tweet about: A new species of bird has been named for a retired Harvard biologist known as "the father of biodiversity." The Rainforest Trust said Wednesday that the antbird discovered last year in northern Peru has been given the name Myrmoderus eowilsoni in honour of E.O. Source
  • Scientists solve speed surprise in stratospheric stunt

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BERLIN -- Scientists say they've figured out why an Austrian who became the first skydiver to break the speed of sound fell faster than the drag of his body should have allowed. Felix Baumgartner jumped from the stratosphere 39 kilometres (24 miles) above Earth on Oct. Source
  • See the Geminid meteor shower without braving the cold

    Tech & Science CTV News
    The Geminid meteor shower lit up the heavens overnight, delighting the few brave (or foolhardy) Canadians who endured the bitter December cold to catch a glimpse. The meteor shower typically occurs in mid-December each year, when the Earth passes through a cloud of cosmic dust left behind by an asteroid collision. Source
  • Space capsule with 3 astronauts returns to Earth

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MOSCOW -- Three astronauts on Thursday landed back on Earth after nearly six months aboard the International Space Station. A Russian Soyuz capsule with NASA's Randy Bresnik, Russia's Sergey Ryazanskiy and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency descended under a red-and-white parachute and landed on schedule at 2:37 p.m. Source
  • Why Canada's net neutrality fight hasn't been as fierce as the one in the U.S.

    Tech & Science CBC News
    On Thursday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to reverse rules that regulated internet providers like utilities, freeing providers to block or slow access to content and services online. U.S. policy-makers have spent the past 15 years fighting over the distinction. Source
  • National clean fuels strategy will affect all forms of fuels in Canada

    Tech & Science CTV News
    OTTAWA - Canada's national clean fuels strategy will apply to every kind of fuel - be it liquid, solid or gas, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Wednesday. McKenna released the broad brushstrokes of the standard, which aims to eliminate at least 30 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually by 2030. Source
  • Ship lost in storm 136 years ago found in Georgian Bay

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Divers have discovered the site of a sunken ship near Colpoy’s Bay, Ont., an inlet off Georgian Bay, at least 136 years after the steamer sank during a winter storm. Great Lakes shipwreck diver and Minnesota resident Ken Merryman, along with his crew, set out to find the vessel, known as the Jane Miller, on a warm day in July. Source