Canada's climate is about to change dramatically. You see, spring arrives next month. Sorry if that sounds anticlimactic, but in this country, changing seasons always mean changes in climate. Understanding why that happens can help us understand and dismiss one of the most commonly held fallacies about today's changing climate.
The phrase "extreme weather event" is synonymous with extreme water event, be it flooding, landslide, erosion or polar vortex. Old practices like building on floodplains as in Calgary are proving to be mistakes, especially where the ice-melt from the Rockies has always made downstream residents anxious on both sides of the mountains.
Depending on where you are, it's been getting hotter, colder, drier, wetter, stormier. Indeed, the changes, particularly the intensity of heatwaves and droughts, have been occurring faster than many scientists predicted. And that's made it a bit easier to feel there is something real about climate change.
Though the atmosphere has apparently stabilized and winter will soon be gone for yet another year, for millions of people, this is no time to breathe easy. In the next few weeks, a new kind of trouble will emerge. Dubbed the 'pollen vortex' this rare springtime phenomenon will leave allergy sufferers just as miserable and clambering for the indoors.
We've been trapped inside by icy concussion-inducing, deathtrap snow. I'm like a bear in hibernation, except I'm adding to my fat rather than living off it. I feel like I'm in some kind of dreary winter-induced coma. My youngest didn't wear socks to daycare during the last snowstorm, and I didn't even notice.