Monday, March 05, 2012

Climate change, outdoor skating and Canadian tradition

A clever new paper coming out in Environmental Research Letters later this week shows evidence that the outdoor skating season has shrunk in the past fifty years across Canada. The authors asked outdoor rink officials how they decide when the weather is right to start, and to the end, operations each year, and then applied the algorithm to historical data from Canadian towns and cities. The Guardian has a news story up describing some of the details.

I read an advance copy of the paper, and found that it very clearly compliments the widespread evidence that the lake ice "season" has been shrinking because of climate warming.  As we discussed in the video posted earlier this winter (below), climate change may have a profound impact on the winter traditions of many Canadian families, including my own.


Steve L said...

I saw that rink story and thought of your previous blog on the lake hockey topic. I think I prefer data on lakes. The relationship of temperature to actual outdoor rink management is a bit more tenuous, I suspect.

Simon Donner said...

True, their evidence for a change in the skating season is indirect, unlike the lake ice date. Nonetheless, it adds to what we already know about changes in lake ice. That's the additive nature of scientific knowledge. As Steve Schneider liked to say, you have to consider the preponderance of evidence.