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

  • NASA scientists will chase solar eclipse in fighter jets

    Tech & Science CBC News
    For armchair astronomers and nearly everyone else watching the skies during the total solar eclipse Aug. 21, it will all be over in 2½ minutes. But a team of NASA-funded scientists chasing the moon's shadow in retrofitted WB-57F jet planes will experience the rare phenomenon for more than seven extraordinary minutes. Source
  • Apple confirms it has killed the iPod Shuffle and Nano

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Tech giant Apple has confirmed the death of two of its legacy iPod models today - the iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano. Both models have been officially discontinued and were removed from the Apple store on Thursday, eliminating the two last versions of its music players not capable of running iOS apps. Source
  • Apple kills iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle as music moves to phones

    Tech & Science CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- The iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle have played their final notes for Apple.Scroll down or click here to vote in our poll of the day The company discontinued sales of the two music players Thursday in a move reflecting the waning popularity of the devices in an era when most people store or stream their tunes on smartphones. Source
  • Take a look at the pollution-fighting forest city being built in smog-choked China

    Tech & Science CTV News
    A smog-fighting forest city designed to scrub the air of pollutants with its one million plants and trees is currently under development in southern China. At first glance, artist renderings for Liuzhou Forest City evoke images of a futuristic city invaded by jungle overgrowth. Source
  • First editing of human embryos carried out in United States

    Tech & Science CBC News
    U.S. scientists have for the first time altered the genes of human embryos — a controversial step toward someday helping babies avoid inherited diseases. Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland believe they have broken new ground both in the number of embryos experimented upon and by demonstrating it is possible to safely and efficiently correct defective genes that cause inherited diseases, according to MIT Technology Review, which first reported the news…
  • August total solar eclipse a boon for cities, businesses across parts of U.S.

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Millions of eyes will be fixed on the sky when a total solar eclipse crosses the U.S. in August, and it's likely many of them will be safely behind the special glasses churned out by a Tennessee company. Source
  • Oregon scientists do first human gene embryo editing in U.S.

    Tech & Science CTV News
    For the first time in the United States, scientists have edited the genes of human embryos, a controversial step toward someday helping babies avoid inherited diseases. According to MIT Technology Review, the experiment was just an exercise in science -- the embryos were not allowed to develop for more than a few days and were never intended to be implanted into a womb. Source
  • Fisheries officials hope to examine dead right whale that washed ashore in N.L.

    Tech & Science CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Federal Fisheries officials are hoping to examine the latest North Atlantic right whale to be found dead on the East Coast. They say they will try to get to a site in western Newfoundland where the carcass washed ashore, but didn't specify the exact location. Source
  • 'Secret garden' filled with rare species open after century

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TRUCKEE, Calif. -- Pink and yellow wildflowers burst from a lush bed of grass hidden from public view for more than a century. Towering trees and snow-capped mountains encircle the wild meadow, beckoning visitors to a largely untouched piece of California's Sierra Nevada. Source
  • GM salmon project for P.E.I. will face environmental assessment, McKenna says

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CHARLOTTETOWN -- The federal government says a proposal to produce the world's first genetically modified salmon for human consumption in P.E.I. will face environmental assessment. In a letter to a group of environmental lobby groups, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says any plan by AquaBounty Technologies to manufacture or grow out its AquAdvantage salmon at Rollo Bay, P.E.I. Source