Today in Edmonton, it was +8 degrees. “Edmonton’s coldest Jan. 2 was in 1950, when the temperature was recorded at -41 degrees [celsius]. The average high and low the date is -6 and -14 degrees, respectively. [sic]” It can be hard to convince some–not all–Albertans that climate change is a threat when in an extreme climate like our own, it might just means skating in shorts on a beautiful January day, rather than -41 degrees celsius. However, for those Albertans that I think and work and live alongside, forecasts of this nature foretell more than a beautiful day. They also foretell dramatic consequences here as a result of 3-4 degrees warming, and even more dramatic consequences in the Canadian arctic of as much as 8 degrees warming. These dramatic planetary shifts also foretell the death of not only millions of animals and plants, but entire species.  By 2050, in fact, “as many as 30 to 50 percent of the planet’s species may be extinct by 2050, the Center for Biological Diversity describes. The natural rate is around one to five species lost each year.” A beautifully sunny January day on a local skating rink or tobogganing hill, is in fact quite macabre, and it should be sending chills to our very core!

Image: Courtesy of Prairie Climate Centre: