Santa’s Revenge

Santa's Revenge

Santa’s Revenge is the theory that persistent weather patterns in mid-latitude areas, such as this extraordinarily long, harsh, record breaking snowy, and freezing winter that we are experiencing in Southern Ontario, is a result of climate change warming the Arctic.

The picture above shows me on February 26th, in downtown Toronto beside Lake Ontario braving the -16 degrees Celsius weather mixed with extreme winds to make it feel like negative 1 billion (an exaggeration due to annoyance). In fact, it was so cold that the Great Lakes were more frozen than any other time in the past 35 years (92.2 percent ice coverage).

An article has now been published which gives new evidence to suggest that the link between the Arctic getting warmer, and the mid-latitudes experiencing persistent weather. This theory has been debated time and time again, but the fact is that it has extreme implications for severe weather occurrences, food security, and water use in the northern hemisphere that would have large economic impacts.

Here are a couple of quotes from the article:

-“It’s starting to get harder to say that something isn’t happening”

-“Events like the extended cold spell… are very consistent with the kind of pattern we expect to see related to the Arctic warming so fast.”

-“Potential to drastically affect international food supplies and prices”

-“We produce the bulk of our crops at that mid-latitude area”

Climate change is extremely worrisome. With 7 billion people in the world we cannot afford to experience food security issues as many people will be left without access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. An increase in severe weather occurrences will cause more damages, more serious social disruption and more loss of human life. The economic impacts of climate change will leave many economies around the world in disarray as they try to cope with its negative effects.

“The real question is whether we can adapt and change faster than the climate.”

Photo Cred: Flavia Craciun

As always: comments, questions, concerns or even random thoughts? I would love if you shared them with me so please comment below!

2 thoughts on “Santa’s Revenge

  1. Really great post. I was really surprised to read that the Great Lakes were more frozen this year than in the past 35 years. Crazy!!!

    What response would you offer those people who believe the effects of climate change will be largely positive in Canada? (i.e. it will free up oil, gas, water, etc?)

    • Thanks Moira!

      The way I see it is Canada stands to become a global superpower through climate change with the development of the north, increased fresh water, increased resources, population growth, and the creation of new shipping lanes through the Arctic. Some countries stand to benefit from climate change (Canada, US, Russia, and Scandinavian countries), but the other countries will experience devastating harm. As a result, climate change is overwhelmingly negative.

      As described in the post, these countries will see food security issues rise, extreme weather events rise, economic losses, and many other negative effects. In addition, countries that see benefits from climate change such as Canada will also experience losses. For example, the pine beetle (which normally has its population controlled through winter cold) has benefited from warm B.C. weather and now decimates B.C. lumber resulting in massive economic losses. Russia too sees negatives of climate change as heat waves destroy 30 % of their wheat crop.

      Overall, climate change does not appear to be resulting in any largely positive outcomes and I would argue with anyone who believes that what they gain will be greater than what they, and the rest of the world, loses.

      Ben

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