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The upcoming climate talks in Paris are one of the most important international efforts in recent years. Here's why

Report: Canada warming at twice the global rate


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Monday, November 23, 2015, 8:52 PM - A climate change briefing presented to Canadian premiers Monday suggests the country is warming at about twice the global rate.

Federal, provincial and territorial leaders gathered in Ottawa with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday for a briefing one week before the start of the UN climate change conference in Paris.

Greg Flato, a senior research scientist with Environment Canada told the premiers the data backing the report is 'conclusive', according to the CBC.

Alain Bourque, the executive director at Ouranos, a consortium on regional climatology and adaptation to climate change, added that a global increase of 2C could translate into a change of up to 4C for Canada.

A consistent spell of warm, dry temperatures were a huge problem in western Canada earlier this year, and could hint at what's to come.

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The conditions contributed to a spike in wildfires, rising grain prices and widespread, prolonged evacuations.

Scientists didn't recommend any specific policy changes to government officials but Flato said Canada needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help stabilize rising temperatures.

"Warming is unequivocal and human influence on the climate system is clear. Impacts of a changing climate are already being felt, and they will increase with further warming," he said, according to the CBC.

"The science indicates that reducing greenhouse gases are what is needed in order to stabilize temperature at some level, and that the amount of CO2 emissions, there's a cumulative budget that you can emit in order to keep the global temperature below a certain value."

Global temperatures are steadily rising, contributing to melting glaciers and ocean acidification.

WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE?

When scientists refer to 'climate change', they're talking about a change in climatic norms.

In other words, warm climates could get even warmer and drier, or they could get colder and wetter.

While this occurs naturally, scientists say humans play a role as well.

Here's an explanation from The Weather Network's Chris St. Clair.

Sources: CBC | Environment Canada

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