Global Weirding: Record-shattering spring temperatures a warning of extreme summer heat?

I’m on the West Coast of Canada, where temperatures have been unusually cool: 4-5 C below ‘normal’ for weeks now. I used to live in Ontario, where temperature records are currently being blown away: 8, 9, even 12 degrees Celsius higher than the previous record.

Sitting in 6 C and rain sure makes the situation in central Canada look pretty good right now. Rather than 16 C, imagine 24 C – what a great March! However, think about this:

What if records are shattered in the summer by the same amount? For example, rather than a very uncomfortable (Toronto gets very humid) 37 C, what if the temperature hits 47 C? When I grew up in Ontario, very few people had air conditioning because it just wasn’t worth it for three hot and humid weeks in the summer. But 47 C is in another realm entirely.

The extreme temperatures have other consequences, too: thunderstorms – in Spring! – move from unheard of to likely. And how about farmers? There’s a lot of great crop land in Ontario, but a heat wave of 47 C will kill almost everything currently commercially grown. One week of weather like that could cost the entire Ontario crop.

We’re in for it now; the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere mean that weather extremes are the new normal. Let’s see how we ‘adapt.’

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Rob on 03.20.12 at 5:39 am

I’m in Ontario, and am appalled at the apathy over 26 degree days in mid-March. I’ve had to switch off CBC Radio when the weather comes on, lest I hear any more announcers inanely talking about the beautiful weather, and hoping it continues. Don’t worry — it’ll continue till the mercury bulb blows up. See how pleasant it is at 45 in June.

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