HED: Environment Canada sees climate change in a year of weather extremes


MONTREAL—From super storms to super heat, Mother Nature chose to “go big” in 2012 and according to Environment Canada, the year’s biggest weather stories confirmed a global warming trend.

From sheets of rain in the spring, to summertime temperatures in the month of March, much of the past year's weather highlights involved shattering long-standing records

“They called it the big heat, so throughout the country, 2012 was one of the warmest years; it was the fourth warmest year, actually,” said Rene Heroux, speaking for Environment Canada.

Despite it all, the increased extremes of climate change was the weather story of the year.

Montreal just ended a string of 36 consecutive months of warmer-than-normal temperatures, the longest such warming trend on record.

According to Heroux , the melting of Arctic sea ice throws southern Canada’s weather out of balance.

“The fact that the ice is melting so quickly in the Arctic contributes to the warming of our climate and in a warming climate, the projection show more droughts and more high-precipitation events,” said Heroux.

While many like Heroux in the scientific community agree that the cause of climate change is human activity, other Montrealers are not so concerned about the science.

“We can only rely on the past 100 years of statistics that we have, so let's see what happens and not worry for nothing,” said Levon Djevalikian, a runner.

While many people may enjoy the warmer summers and the milder winters, Environment Canada says there's a price to pay and it's the extreme weather events that it says are likely to continue for the next several years.