A recent UNB study found that, given climate predictions, we can expect lots of changes across the New Brunswick landscape. The researchers interviewed more than 40 New Brunswick climatologists, biologists and other scientists on ecological changes they expect to see in the province by 2050 and 2100. “Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems will be vastly affected as climate change influences, both directly and indirectly, the ecological parameters that present limitations or favourable conditions for specific organisms.” states the report. Expected changes include decline of balsam fir and white spruce and increased red oak and red spruce. Similarly, lynx will be out-competed by bobcat but deer will be happy campers. Atlantic salmon and brook trout are both likely to decline. Study authors are Tom Beckley, Arielle DeMerchant and Shawn Dalton.

And is climate change happening? This month the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at their Mauna Loa Observatory has reached 400 parts per million (ppm). For comparison, before the industrial revolutions levels were 280 ppm. On their website, check out the animated graphic showing disaster on the rise.

In the Arctic, ice cracks are increasing and according to Paul Beckwith of the Sierra Club, the ice cap will be gone in 6 to 30 months.

On the “trying-to-do-something-about-it” front, there is a report from the Trottier Energy Futures Project reviewing low-carbon energy research from 8 countries that shows that Canada can achieve 80% reduction in fossil fuel use by 2050 through a boom in clean energy technologies. And then, there are the interesting letters in the Globe and Mail. Dan Harvey of the University of Toronto published an article with a title that says it all, “Forget pipelines – Canada must prepare for a post-carbon world”. Twelve climate scientists sent a letter to Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, alerting him to the dangers of increasing Canada’s fossil fuel infrastructure.  And Joe wrote them back.

Seems like this issue is getting hotter all the time. Stay posted.

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