. Earth Science News .

Warming threatens ice hockey in Canada: study
by Staff Writers
Montreal (AFP) March 5, 2012

Warmer winter temperatures are shortening Canada's outdoor skating season and may eventually prevent ice from freezing on backyard rinks that helped shape its greatest hockey stars, a new study warned Monday.

This past winter warmer-than-usual seasonal temperatures forced a late opening and early closure of outdoor rinks across the country, affecting thousands of skaters and hockey players.

"I went to the rink only eight times this year, compared to about 20 times or twice a week in past years," huffed Guillaume Bilodeau, 30, shooting pucks into an empty net at an outdoor rink in Montreal's Petite Patrie neighborhood.

Because the ice was soft, cracked and missing in spots, he did not even lace up his skates.

"This year the season started at the beginning of January and for the past two or three weeks it's only been so-so," he said. "And now it's already on its last legs."

In the capital Ottawa, the 7.8 kilometer (4.8 mile) Rideau Canal Skateway through downtown was open only 28 days, marking one of its worst seasons in 42 years.

In Winnipeg, half of its river skateway remained closed all winter as part of the Assiniboine River did not freeze over.

And it will only get worse, according to researchers Nikolay Damyanov and Lawrence Mysak of McGill University and Damon Matthews of Concordia University in Montreal.

The trio published a study in the journal Environmental Research Letters that showed "a statistically significant decrease in the length of the skating season" in many parts of Canada over the past half century.

They calculated the annual start date and length of the outdoor skating season from historical weather data across Canada and recorded how these have changed since the 1950s in tune with global warming.

A high temperature of minus five Celsius (23 Fahrenheit) over three days, enough to lay the initial ice on a rink, signaled the beginning of an area's outdoor skating season.

Data from 142 meteorological stations showed the largest decreases in the skating season length in the Canadian Prairies and southwestern regions.

By extrapolating their data to predict future patterns, the researchers also envisaged a complete end to outdoor skating within the next few decades in westernmost British Columbia and Alberta provinces.

"There will be no days that are cold enough to flood a rink by mid-century over most of southern Canada," Matthews told AFP, adding cities such as Calgary, Montreal and Toronto would have to artificially freeze ice to offer outdoor skating.

The study notes that hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, like many Canadians, started skating as a child on a rink in his backyard.

"It is hard to imagine a Canada without outdoor hockey," said Matthews. "But I really worry that this will be a casualty of our continuing to ignore the climate problem and obstruct international efforts to decrease greenhouse gas emissions."

Related Links
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Ancient Arabic writings help scientists piece together past climate
London, UK (SPX) Mar 05, 2012
Ancient manuscripts written by Arabic scholars can provide valuable meteorological information to help modern scientists reconstruct the climate of the past, a new study has revealed. The research, published in Weather, analyses the writings of scholars, historians and diarists in Iraq during the Islamic Golden Age between 816-1009 AD for evidence of abnormal weather patterns. Reconstructi ... read more

Japanese monk guards remains of tsunami unknown

Fears for safety at Fukushima one year on

Radiation fears haunt Japanese food shoppers

Flood-hit Japanese firms may quit Thailand: survey

New laser light source has a global market in consumer electronics

Why spiders do not stick to their own sticky web sites

US Army Awards Contract for AN TPQ-53 Firefinder Radar

LAMIS - A Green Chemistry Alternative for Remote-Controlled Laser Spectroscopy

Ocean acidification rate may be unprecedented

Water levels of river 'normal,' says Indian official

Great Barrier Reef corals clone in bad weather: study

Ocean acidification may be worst in 300 million years: study

Ice dam collapses at Argentine glacier

Brazil needs two years to rebuild burned Antarctic base

Even in winter, life persists in Arctic Seas

Conservationists call for huge Antarctic marine reserve

Chinese land rights 'must not be violated': Wen

Researcher tracks agricultural overuse of bug-killing technology

Japan touts food in major Hong Kong market

Wild cereals threatened by global warming

Deadly Australia floods spark new evacuation

First casualty as floods swamp parts of Australia

Bangkok's number two airport to reopen

Quake researchers warn of Tokyo's 'Big One'

US pledges aid after 150 die in Congo blast

Nigerian soldiers killed in creek attack: government

ICC issues warrant for Sudan defence minister

South Sudan rebels sign truce deal with government

Bosnian fights to save 'bear children', Laka and Gvido

Neandertals faced extinction before the arrival of modern humans

Website lets people shine light on dark secrets

Did Neanderthals take to the seas first?

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement