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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 20, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta The lethbtidge Herald Third Section Lethbridgc, Alberta, Friday, Ocloljcr 20, 1972 Climate heading back to 'normal' (Meaning, shiver, it's going to get colder for the next century or so) BANGLADESH AT THE CROSSROADS Students in Dacca cheer after the creation of the stale of Bangladesh last year The students, once the vanguard of the Bangladesh independence forces, are now deeply split, clashing on the issue of support for the government they helped Creole. A group of Biharis (centre) sit in refugee camp in Bangladesh. Since Bangladesh won its inde- pendence last December Ihe Moslem minority has crowd- d camps and enclaves across th By 'JEFF CARRUTHEKS' Herald Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA Brace yourself. Canada's climate is heading back to normal. And the normal, according to one of Canada's leading cli- matologists, is noticeably worse than what Canadians have been experiencing between 1930 and 19fiO. It's more like the climate the continent suffered through in the late 1800s, Dr. Kenneth Hare, climatologist and policy advisor it the federal environ- ment department, said in a re- cent interview. A century ago, temperatures were cooler on the west coast and in the eastern hall of the continent, scientific studies in- dicate. And the precipitation was generally much as 40 per cent higher in the northern Great Lakes region, for example, during the winter. Severe What this all means is that Canadians across the country can expect more frequent se- vere winters (like the ones that broke records in recent cooler temperatures, and more of that frigid Arctic air domi- nating the country's weather during the cooler months. The weather between 1930 and 1960, Dr. Haro added, is balmy hy comparison, anil studies around the world sug- gest it was only a brief respite from otherwise cool weather. Two findings designed to cheer up any Canadian: of the past 2000 years, the period be- tween 1600 and 1900 has been the most we're heading back into it again; the so-called normal period be- tween 1930 and I960 was the most abnormal period in the last 1000 years. But climate isn't the only thing that seems to be regress- ing. The Arctic pack ice is grow- ing thicker, Dr. Hare reported. And the outflow of pack ice from the Arctic past Greenland inlo Ihe Labrador Sea and inlo the Denmark Strait tetween Greenland and Iceland has in- creased considerably in recent years. Causes Scientists think Ihe ice condi- tions and climate are closely linked in the Arctic. But Ihcy say it is next to impossible to say which causes which. It's most likely a complex Inter- action. But one thing is known. What happens in the Arctic has dras- tic effects on the short-term weather and the long-term cli- mate of North America, even on tile west coast, where Pa- cific effects tend to dominate. On the west coast, the west- erlies which blow off the Pa- cific Ocean tend to have the most effect on weather. In re- cent years, as a result of a slight but important wanning in the Pacific Ocean, the west- erlies have been displaced slightly north. And this has !cd to the more severe winters Vancouver Island and the mainland of B.C. have been experiencing in re- cent years, along with eastern Canada. The explanation, according to Hare, is that the more northerly position of the west- erly winds allows Arctic cold air to sweep in behind" from the Prairies and sit over the south- west of Canada. Down trend Dr. Hare added that the chances of this happening in the future is increased, in part as a result of the changes in the Arctic. He siid there has been a gen- eral cooling of mean world temperatures amounting to about two degrees since 1940. Before that, during that short warming period, temperatures rose about three degrees. In Canada, government fig- ures show that 10-year or de- cactol average temperatures in southern Canada increased by O.S degrees from 1930 to ICfil and decreased degrees from 1901 to 1971. By city, the trend has gener- ally been that decadal mean temperatures during have hocn slightly below the so- called "normal and have been either the same or slightly low the means for l'.MO-iD. For Victoria, the "nonnuT' is 50.2 degrees, the decadal mean for 1910-19, 1950-50, and lOWI-SD respcclively is 5J.3 degrees, 49.8 degrees and 50.1 degrees. For Vancouver, the "normal" is 50.4 degrees, the decadal means for 1040-49, 1950-59 and 19EO-G9 arc 50.1 degrees. 49.fi degrees and degrees re- spectively. For Calgary, [he "normal" is 3R degrees, Ihe decadal means are 39.1 degrees, 37.2 degrees and 38.5 degrees respectively for 1MM9, 1950-59 and 1960-69. For Winnipeg, the "normal" Is 36.5 degrees, the decadal means for 194CM9, 1950-59 and 1960-69 respectively are 36.8 de- grees, 36.3 degrees and 3 de- grees. For Ottawa, the "normal" is 42.2 degrees, the decadal mean temperatures for 1940-42, 1950- 59 and are 42.3 degrees, 42.8 degrees, and 42.1 degrees respectively. Thickness The increase In thickness of the Arctic ice, which started in (he 1960s after a brief thinning trend peaked in the 1940s, has been playing havoc with ship- ping in the North in recent years. This last summer, conditions were so bad, ice didn't clear all summer for some channels and communities and scientific par- ties in the North were difficult to supply by ship. The suggestion Is that lea conditions are going to continue to worsen before they improve, strongly indicating that ice breakers might indeed by Ihe order of the day for removing resources from the North. Dr. Hare contrasts the devel- oping situation with the condi- tions when he was young, in the 1930s. At that time, there was year-round navigation in many parts of the Arctic, along the west coast of Greenland and between Greenland and Ice- land. Now most areas are clogged solidly during the win- ter and often packed even in summer. Perfect The micro-climate on Baffin Island is also changing rather drastically from dry and cold continental to wet and cold marilime climate, This is re- sulting in reduced food avail- ability. And federal wildlife ex- perts are concerned about local and migratory wildlife being able to .survive. There's a few good sides to Ihe climate story, Dr. flare suggests. Despite the cold and long win'ci's on the Prairies, for ex- ample, there is a combination of high sunshine and moderate summer rainfall to make the region perfect for growing high protein wheats. A.nd. without the challenge of a threatening and less-than- climate, he suggests man would not havo developed as much as he has. DEAL WITH BENY .....you'll BENY-fit I A Well-established reliable dealer General Motors trained personnel to serve you The finest products-Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and GM parts See your favorite Beny transportation expert for a test drive in one of the beautiful new 1973 models. OPEN r M. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m GMAC TIME PAYMENT PLAN SHOWROOM and GARAGE PHONE 328-1101 CHEVROLET OLDSMOBILE OK SUPERMARKET CAR LOT ;