Record floods, melting permafrost, shoreline erosion, intense winds and higher than normal temperatures have caused problems in Quebec, Canada. The higher temperatures add to the credibility of climate models that have predicted the march of global warming will accelerate the more greenhouse gases we pump into the atmosphere, scientists say.
According to Environment Canada, spring temperatures in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River region, which includes Montreal and Quebec City, were 54 per cent higher than normal. This is the highest percentage deviation from the norm recorded since 1948.
The warmer winters are already endangering coastlines, the northern communities that are built on permafrost and forests, which probably will not be able to adapt fast enough to a warmer climate. Warmer temperatures in all seasons indicate Quebec is well on its way to meeting the climate-model predictions that we are fast closing in on the 2C mark many scientists claim is the tipping point that will plunge the globe into catastrophic climate change.
The models indicate mean temperatures in the southern half of Quebec will be 2C to 3C higher than normal by 2020. In northern Quebec, the warming will be even higher. And at the present rate of warming as tracked since 1948, we are on track to be well over 4C by 2050 and as high as 7C to 9C by 2080 (click here for more information).