Climate Change


In 2014, the most essential indicators of Earth’s changing climate continued to reflect trends of a warming planet, with several  markers such as rising land and ocean temperature, sea levels and greenhouse gases ─ setting new records.  These key findings and others can be found in the State of the Climate in 2014 report released online today by the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

John H. Richardson

Among many climate scientists, gloom has set in. Things are worse than we think, but they can't really talk about it.

The incident was small, but Jason Box doesn't want to talk about it. He's been skittish about the media since it happened.

Jane Armstrong
Record warm ocean and river temperatures could threaten B.C. salmon numbers, federal fisheries officials say. (CBC)

Record warm ocean temperatures combined with low, unusually warm rivers pose a double threat to B.C. salmon, prompting officials to curtail some fisheries.

​The reduced fisheries are part of a cautious approach to ensure that a healthy number of salmon return to river spawning grounds.

Ocean scientist Ian Perry said two unusual weather factors have dealt simultaneous blows to B.C. salmon numbers; Higher than normal ocean temperatures and warmer and lower river levels.

Caitlyn Vernon
NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this images in the late morning on July 5, 2015. The tan and gray smoke almost completely obscures the Strait of Georgia and southern Vancouver Island. Winds shifted abruptly between July 5 and 6, driving the smoke plume toward the east, dispersing it in some places while fouling the air in areas to the east, such as the Fraser Valley.

Temperatures are soaring, the province is on fire and Premier Christy Clark has called a rare summer sitting of the legislature.

One hopes our government would call an emergency sitting to address the health and economic crisis facing B.C. communities as a result of climate change-induced water shortages and wildfire.

Jason Markusoff

I was about to head inside the Calgary Petroleum Club for an interview Tuesday when a man dressed up as a cowboy accosted me on the sidewalk, stunned look on his face. This is common during Stampede, even in the afternoon.

It happened to be an oil industry lobbyist, who had just left an investor’s forum where Premier Rachel Notley had delivered her first major (private) speech to an industry crowd, two months after her New Democrats won.

Deborah Harford, SFU

We are inching closer to a tipping point in the environment that is leading to more extreme weather conditions. Lower snow packs and hot, dry summers make for ideal conditions for the kind of wild fires we are seeing now.

Stephen Hume

Sockeye of the Adams River spawning run, one of several each summer in the Fraser River watershed. Above-average temperatures threaten to be lethal to the returning fish this summer.

The Early Stuarts, first of this season’s sockeye, are now ghosting in from the North Pacific, homing on the freshwater plume of the Fraser River.

It spills in a vast, silty lens across the Salish Sea, one of the last mysterious signals guiding them toward the final dangerous stretch of a 16,000-kilometre journey.

Gordon Hoekstra

Forests turn from carbon sink to carbon emitter because of pine beetle epidemic


B.C.’s forests experienced heavy carbon losses between 2003-2012, a dramatic change from the previous decade whey they were absorbing carbon, an analysis by the Sierra Club of B.C. shows.

The province’s forests emitted an estimated 256 million tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere between 2003 and 2012. In the previous 10-year period, they absorbed 441 million tonnes from the atmosphere, according to a report released this month by the environmental group.

Arthur Neslen
 Urgenda supporters celebrate at The Hague after court ruling requiring Dutch government to slash emissions. Photograph: Chantal Bekker/Urgenda

A court in The Hague has ordered the Dutch government to cut its emissions by at least 25% within five years, in a landmark ruling expected to cause ripples around the world.

To cheers and hoots from climate campaigners in court, three judges ruled that government plans to cut emissions by just 14-17% compared to 1990 levels by 2020 were unlawful, given the scale of the threat posed by climate change.

CBC staff
Urgenda Foundation director Marjan Minnesma hugs lawyer Roger Cox, left, after a Dutch court ordered the government to cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent by 2020. (Associated Press)

A court in The Netherlands has ruled that climate change poses so much of a danger that the government must reduce emissions by 25 percent in five years. 

It was the surprise outcome of a lawsuit brought by environmentalists who were upset that the Dutch government had only committed to a 14 to 16 percent reduction by 2020. 

Marjan Minnesma is the founder and director of the environmental group Urgenda, which launched the lawsuit. She tells As It Happens co-host Carol Off about the scene in the court when the ruling was announced.


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