Welcome to the New Normal, courtesy of Climate Change.

December 27, 2010

Edmonton Journal. - Click for Larger Image.

Hanneke Brooymans, writing in the Edmonton Journal, documents how Canadians are feeling the same seismic shift that human beings the world over have sensed in recent years. We are living on a rapidly changing planet.

EDMONTON – In April this year, farmers in large swaths of Alberta were staring morosely at dusty, parched fields. A few months later, some of the same farmers were coping with floods.

Welcome to the “new normal.” It’s a world where nature takes on a Jekyll and Hyde personality, twisting from one extreme to another in a mind-bogglingly short time.

“When people describe the new norm, it is almost as if what we haven’t seen in recent years is weather that seems to be normal,” says David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada. “It seems to be that it’s out of sync. We’re seeing more extremes.”

The Journal talked to farmers, scientists and citizens who have been wondering how far the changes will go, and how different the new Alberta, the new Canada, and the new Planet Earth will be.

“When you look just at the shift in temperature … it looks favourable for Canada,” says David Sauchyn, co-editor and author of The New Normal: The Canadian Prairies in a Changing Climate, released earlier this year.

“But that’s not the problem. The problem is not the shift in the average, it’s the shift in the extremes. And that’s going to be the most challenging consequence of global warming in our region.”


“Everything is based on normal..” ,
Brooymans writes. Certainly our building practices, roads, agriculture, transportation, cities, just about everything humans have done for the last 12,000 years has been done with a kind of baseline climate in mind. Lots of extremes within that, but baseline, from decade to decade, century to century, something to count on, over very long periods of time, (by human standards.)

“Farmers now are going to have to start looking at prolonged droughts like we had from 2005 to 2008. Or heat waves, or rains like we had this year. Things are a little bit more on the extreme. So we’re going to have to start looking at adjusting practices.”

Edmonton Journal article here.

3 Responses to “Welcome to the New Normal, courtesy of Climate Change.”


  1. […] community has been looking at, rather than old magazine covers, is an image of a changing arctic,a new normal, that is being reshaped by, among other things, the decreasing sea ice cover in northern polar […]


  2. […] community has been looking at, rather than old magazine covers, is an image of a changing arctic,a new normal, that is being reshaped by, among other things, the decreasing sea ice cover in northern polar […]


  3. […] has been looking at, rather than old magazine covers, is an image of a changing arctic,a new normal, that is being reshaped by, among other things, the decreasing sea ice cover in northern polar […]


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