Say goodbye to one of the driest, warmest Canadian winters since 1948

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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Environment Canada says the winter we just experienced was one of the warmest and driest across the country since 1948.
The national average temperature was 4 degrees Celsius above normal and precipitation was 22 per cent below normal.
This year, parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario had 60 per cent less precipitation than normal.
Senior climatologist David Phillips says the weather was "quite spectacular," adding, "we've never seen a winter like this."
He says records were shattered from B.C. to Baffin Island to the Great Lakes and it was the warmest winter on record in the Arctic.
Environment Canada also says that of the 10 warmest years, four have occurred within the last decade. Eleven of the last 20 winters are listed among the warmest.
The reason for this year's warmer and drier winter is El Nino, a shift in the winds and ocean currents in the Pacific and a thinning of the polar ice cap.
"In the last three to four years the ice in the Arctic has thinned," Phillips said.
"And that means the refrigeration at the top of the world is not cooling like it did in the past."

Organizations: Environment Canada

Geographic location: Arctic, Alberta, Saskatchewan Ontario Baffin Island Great Lakes Pacific

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Recent comments

  • Amazing
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Wow - I cannot believe there are still people who believe climate change is not real.

    The atmosphere is like our lungs. We smoke, and we suffer from lung disease. What do you think we're doing when we turn on our cars and ship our food from the other side of the world?

    This is serious.

  • Jack
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    While some of Dr. Phillips' reason for Canada's mild winters are truthful such as El Nino, changing wind patterns, and changing pressure systems in the Arctic and North Atlantic, I'm wondering how he claims that a thinning polar ice cap is partially responsible for our warm winters when he doesn't have any physical or graphical evidence to prove it?

    Secondly, if the thinning polar ice caps are responsible for the warm Canadian winters, then logically speaking, Northern Eurasia would have mild winters like Northern North America.

    Therefore, unless Eurasia is suffering the same effects as North America, I don't believe Dr. Phillips' thinning ice caps explanation for the mild winters. Definitely failed in the thinking department there.

    If we want to do something about climate change and global warming, some suggestions include investments in green technology, cut down on electricity and gas usage, implement CO2 vacuums and maybe claim a $25 million prize from Sir Richard Branson, plant more trees, and geo engineering.

    Unless Dr. Phillips can prove that the thinning polar ice caps are effecting both North America and Eurasia in terms of milder temperatures, I don't believe this explanation.

    Evidence Dr. Phillips, evidence.

  • Anon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    no thats a bad thing to publish, next year it will be cold and global warming will be a myth again.

    And for the record, last winter was alot warmer and drier for newfoundland than this winter.

    Hey danny boy, lets get hemp on the go. its a closed carbon system allowing us to make cheap efficient biofuel and over 20 000 different textiles and way more pulp and paper than abbitibi bowwater was making with trees. If anyone really cared about jobs or climate change in this province, hemp production would have been legalized and encouraged long ago.

  • Angry Man
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Yes! the utilities/heat bill was the highest I've ever gotten! And we were actually keeping electricity usage to a minimum to save costs! As for global warming, let's see what happens. There is evidence that such warming happens every few hundred years and repeats itself in cycles. There also has been a fair bit of global cooling experienced in the past few years, alternating itself between the periods of warmth. So who knows what to believe? We'll only find out in a few years..

  • Anon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    yes all climate on the face of the earth is cyclic but that doesnt mean we cant increase the amplitude in the severity of the these cycles. I.e instead of having average temperatures differ by 20 degrees celcius over a few thousand years they go to 40 degrees. which provides centuries of drastically different weather over time. Unfortunately global climate change wont be apparant until its far too late anyway.

  • The New
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Fun Times, Fun Times. Just wait till we get hit with record food prices around the corner. So Climate Change is not a big deal?

  • Mario
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    LoL something must me done! HAH what a farce! Humainity can't even stop tossing explosives and shooting bullets at one another long enough to see that what their doing is stupid, how do you expect them to stop something as intricate as climate change? Once war, hunger, greed, oppression, and racial hate are eliminated, then we can start on things like climate change and global warming. It wouldn't make much sense for some of us to work to protect the earth while others are trying to blow it up. Get your priorities straight people.

  • Billy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    On the other hand, Ireland has just had the coldest winter for over 60 years. As the climate patterns shift and change, maybe the profit base will shift from Farmer Chuck to Farmer José.

    Oh, and don't forget the Florida tomato crop, just recently decimated by record cold temperatures.

  • Notta chance
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    So!! What caused the 1948 RECORD HEAT????? As earlier stated ALL climate on the face of the earth is cyclic......

  • Jack
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Another reason I don't believe Dr. Phillips' explanation of thinning polar ice caps as a reason for Canada's mild winter is that melting polar ice caps will make the Labrador Current stronger, penetrate the Gulf Stream, and disrupt the thermohaline circulation.

    As the Labrador Current penetrates into the Gulf Stream zone, the results will be profound including possible global cooling and a Younger Dryas situation.

    In fact, in world history, when polar ice caps melted, such as the end of the ice age, these melting ice caps resulted in cooler conditions, and a new ice age called Younger Dryas.

    As a result, Eastern North America and Western Eurasia can experience a mini Ice Age in the future as the Labrador Current strengthens.

  • Member of the 93%
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    So a few thousand years ago NA was covered in a sheet of ice miles thick. It melted. Was man made global warming responsible for that climatic cycle as well?

  • Sounding
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Hilarious! Tell that to NL Power as I look at one of my highest ever heat bills!

  • Andrew
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Yep, all around the world things like this are happening and records being set/broke. Time for people to wake up and realize Climate Change/Global Warming is a truth, and something must be done about it.

  • House
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Member of the 93 that's a good one. A couple of thousand years ago eh! You would have thought it would be in the history books. That was more like a couple of million years ago and man wasn't around. After the global warming has finished man won't be around again just like the dinasours. But then mankind is no smarter than the dinasours no matter how much they think otherwise.

  • Amazing
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Wow - I cannot believe there are still people who believe climate change is not real.

    The atmosphere is like our lungs. We smoke, and we suffer from lung disease. What do you think we're doing when we turn on our cars and ship our food from the other side of the world?

    This is serious.

  • Jack
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    While some of Dr. Phillips' reason for Canada's mild winters are truthful such as El Nino, changing wind patterns, and changing pressure systems in the Arctic and North Atlantic, I'm wondering how he claims that a thinning polar ice cap is partially responsible for our warm winters when he doesn't have any physical or graphical evidence to prove it?

    Secondly, if the thinning polar ice caps are responsible for the warm Canadian winters, then logically speaking, Northern Eurasia would have mild winters like Northern North America.

    Therefore, unless Eurasia is suffering the same effects as North America, I don't believe Dr. Phillips' thinning ice caps explanation for the mild winters. Definitely failed in the thinking department there.

    If we want to do something about climate change and global warming, some suggestions include investments in green technology, cut down on electricity and gas usage, implement CO2 vacuums and maybe claim a $25 million prize from Sir Richard Branson, plant more trees, and geo engineering.

    Unless Dr. Phillips can prove that the thinning polar ice caps are effecting both North America and Eurasia in terms of milder temperatures, I don't believe this explanation.

    Evidence Dr. Phillips, evidence.

  • Anon
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    no thats a bad thing to publish, next year it will be cold and global warming will be a myth again.

    And for the record, last winter was alot warmer and drier for newfoundland than this winter.

    Hey danny boy, lets get hemp on the go. its a closed carbon system allowing us to make cheap efficient biofuel and over 20 000 different textiles and way more pulp and paper than abbitibi bowwater was making with trees. If anyone really cared about jobs or climate change in this province, hemp production would have been legalized and encouraged long ago.

  • Angry Man
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    Yes! the utilities/heat bill was the highest I've ever gotten! And we were actually keeping electricity usage to a minimum to save costs! As for global warming, let's see what happens. There is evidence that such warming happens every few hundred years and repeats itself in cycles. There also has been a fair bit of global cooling experienced in the past few years, alternating itself between the periods of warmth. So who knows what to believe? We'll only find out in a few years..

  • Anon
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    yes all climate on the face of the earth is cyclic but that doesnt mean we cant increase the amplitude in the severity of the these cycles. I.e instead of having average temperatures differ by 20 degrees celcius over a few thousand years they go to 40 degrees. which provides centuries of drastically different weather over time. Unfortunately global climate change wont be apparant until its far too late anyway.

  • The New
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Fun Times, Fun Times. Just wait till we get hit with record food prices around the corner. So Climate Change is not a big deal?

  • Mario
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    LoL something must me done! HAH what a farce! Humainity can't even stop tossing explosives and shooting bullets at one another long enough to see that what their doing is stupid, how do you expect them to stop something as intricate as climate change? Once war, hunger, greed, oppression, and racial hate are eliminated, then we can start on things like climate change and global warming. It wouldn't make much sense for some of us to work to protect the earth while others are trying to blow it up. Get your priorities straight people.

  • Billy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    On the other hand, Ireland has just had the coldest winter for over 60 years. As the climate patterns shift and change, maybe the profit base will shift from Farmer Chuck to Farmer José.

    Oh, and don't forget the Florida tomato crop, just recently decimated by record cold temperatures.

  • Notta chance
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    So!! What caused the 1948 RECORD HEAT????? As earlier stated ALL climate on the face of the earth is cyclic......

  • Jack
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Another reason I don't believe Dr. Phillips' explanation of thinning polar ice caps as a reason for Canada's mild winter is that melting polar ice caps will make the Labrador Current stronger, penetrate the Gulf Stream, and disrupt the thermohaline circulation.

    As the Labrador Current penetrates into the Gulf Stream zone, the results will be profound including possible global cooling and a Younger Dryas situation.

    In fact, in world history, when polar ice caps melted, such as the end of the ice age, these melting ice caps resulted in cooler conditions, and a new ice age called Younger Dryas.

    As a result, Eastern North America and Western Eurasia can experience a mini Ice Age in the future as the Labrador Current strengthens.

  • Member of the 93%
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    So a few thousand years ago NA was covered in a sheet of ice miles thick. It melted. Was man made global warming responsible for that climatic cycle as well?

  • Sounding
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Hilarious! Tell that to NL Power as I look at one of my highest ever heat bills!

  • Andrew
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Yep, all around the world things like this are happening and records being set/broke. Time for people to wake up and realize Climate Change/Global Warming is a truth, and something must be done about it.

  • House
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Member of the 93 that's a good one. A couple of thousand years ago eh! You would have thought it would be in the history books. That was more like a couple of million years ago and man wasn't around. After the global warming has finished man won't be around again just like the dinasours. But then mankind is no smarter than the dinasours no matter how much they think otherwise.