With the Copenhagen summit coming up in December, world leaders are right now deciding how best to approach a new climate pact to replace Kyoto. The Canadian diplomatic stance has already caused a walkout of developing countries from the meeting during talks this week.
But aside from that, I wanted to talk about Climate Change that is affecting us directly here in the Alberni Valley.
- – As I’ve posted before, if you look back at our temperature records for the past 100 years, there is an upward trend in temperatures since the 1950s. It has started later than other records I have seen, but this past week I read a paper published from UVic that studied receding glaciers and they mentioned that for all of the Pacific North West region, the “little ice age” that ended around the mid-to-late 1800s actually ended a little later for this part of the world, around the 1900s. So this matches well with the temperature record.
- – Speaking of glaciers. If you’ve lived here for more than 20 years you will no doubt have noticed the receding of the Comox Glacier, I know I have. The report I mentioned above studies a small glacier just North of the Comox Glacier and has found that since first being recorded in 1931, it has been receding by up to 10 meters a year. 10x the rate from before 1931.
- – The majority of summer temperature records in the Alberni Valley have been set in the past 15 years.
- – Water has become a real issue in places like Tofino, not only because of the rapid increase in development, but because they simply haven’t had as much water in the system as they had in the past
- – The storms during the winter of 2006/2007 were nothing short of unprecedented in this region. Whole swathes of trees laid flat. The flooding in Port Alberni was the worst since the Tsunami in 1967. Was that due to climate change? Hard to put your finger on it now, but other regions of the world have seen increases in intensity from Typhoons and Hurricanes, why would we be different?
Those are just some of the indicators I have seen. What have you seen that makes you think maybe we *are* seeing a change?