Will summers just keep getting hotter thanks to climate change? How hot will they get? Climatologist, David Phillips tells us how much more summer heat Canadians can expect in the future on, Ask a Scientist from Environment and Climate Change Canada.
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JOSHUA (Canadian Kid):
By 2050 how many degrees do you think our hottest summer days will be?
INSIDE ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE CANADA
ASK A SCIENTIST
DAVID PHILLIPS (Climatologist):
Now that’s interesting. We have an idea of that because we have models that we can take, big computer programs that we can feed in all kinds of data, and say to the computer: tell us what it’s going to be like in the future. So these models, they work fairly well.
And we see a real warm up in all seasons. And so we think that Canada, if we do what we’re supposed to do in cutting back on our fossil fuels, that Canada will still warm up by about three degrees, which is quite a bit. It doesn’t seem like much, but you would sense that, if you went outside. So, three degrees.
Now if we don’t do anything about cutting back on our fossil fuels, then we’ll probably warm up by, the scientists say about seven degrees.
But let me give it in a different way for you. In Ottawa, if we talk about a hot day in Ottawa, that would be a day where the temperature would get above 30 degrees, so that’s a pretty warm day. You get now, right now, about 13 of those days a year. Right now, an average summer in Ottawa, 13 days. But in 2050, we’ll have 57 of those days. So, you can see it’s going to be a lot hotter. Almost two months of nothing but hot, hot, hot.
We know we’re going to be a lot hotter in the future, and that has a lot of physicians, doctors, very worried because people die in heatwaves. And so we’re going to have to be doing things differently to safeguard Canadians because of hotter summers and milder winters.
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