Climate hockey stick threatens…pond hockey

From the Canadian Department of Redundancy and the Journal of Paleohockey comes this hilarious study via press release that I first thought was a spoof. Sadly it is all too real. This a candidate for the Dr. David Viner Award.*

Children just aren’t going to know what hockey is.

Pond hockey heats up

Outdoor skating threatened by rising temperatures

Montreal, March 5, 2012 — Would Wayne Gretzky have blossomed into the Great One had he not honed his skills on a backyard rink as a kid? It’s a good thing that he grew up before global warming began wreaking havoc with our weather because the days of a game of shinny on that frozen pond are numbered.

The length of Canada’s outdoor skating season has decreased significantly, according to findings just published in Environmental Research Letters by Damon Matthews, professor in Concordia’s Department of Geography, Planning and environment — along with McGill colleagues, professor Lawrence Mysak and former graduate student Nikolay Damyanov. The evidence is already making headlines. Earlier this year, Ottawa’s Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s longest skating rink, had to shut down due to warmer-than-usual seasonal temperatures.

The proof is in the snowstorms — or lack thereof. Canada has taken more of a hit from global warming compared to other countries. Since 1950, winter temperatures in Canada have increased by more than 2.5°C, which is three times the globally-averaged warming attributed to global warming.

In order to quantify how this temperature rise affects the outdoor rink, the researchers gathered information from outdoor public skating spaces in various Canadian cities. Taking the beginning of the outdoor skating season as the last in a series of three days where the maximum temperature does not go above -5°C, they created a set of weather criteria to determine the length of the outdoor skating season. Subsequently, the researchers counted the number of viable days during which the ice could be maintained to estimate the season’s length at each of the stations.

By comparing their findings with data gathered over 50 years, from 1951 to 2005, by 142 meteorological stations across the country, the researchers discovered that only a few of the weather stations showed a trend towards later start dates of the outdoor skating season. A much larger proportion of stations, however, showed a statistically significant decrease in the length of the skating season over the past half century.

The results paint a grim picture for the future of outdoor skating. The largest decreases in the skating season length were observed in the Prairies and Southwest regions of Canada. By extrapolating their data to predict future patterns, the researchers came up with some ominous news: within a few decades, we could see a complete end to outdoor skating in British Columbia and Southern Alberta.

No Canadian region is safe from that fate. For Matthews, it’s clear that we are all vulnerable to continued winter warming. “It’s hard to imagine a Canada without outdoor hockey,” he says “but I really worry that this will be a casualty of our continuing to ignore the climate problem and to obstruct international efforts to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.”

“The disappearance of outdoor hockey rinks and probably cross-country ski trails is not going to be good for the health of our youth and the leaders of tomorrow, who need all the exercise they can easily get.” said McGill Emeritus Professor, Lawrence Mysak, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

Related links:

For questions to Lawrence Mysak, contact:

Cynthia Lee, Media Relations – McGill University | T. 514.398.6754 |!/McGilluMedia

To get in touch with Damon Matthews, contact:


Cléa Desjardins

Senior advisor, media relations

University Communications Services

Concordia University

Phone: 514-848-2424, ext. 5068




*“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” The Independent, March 20, 2000.

h/t to bladeshearer

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March 6, 2012 7:37 am

ya, heard that on the news yesterday morning coming to work and just shook my head in disbelieve!!!

March 6, 2012 7:46 am

“within a few decades, we could see a complete end to outdoor skating in British Columbia and Southern Alberta.”
Obviously, a candidate for the Dr. David Viner Award.*
*“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” The Independent, March 20, 2000.
REPLY: Good point – I’ll add that – Anthony

Ed Caryl
March 6, 2012 7:46 am

Nothing to do with urban heat islands. No.

March 6, 2012 7:51 am

OMG is nothing sacred. Now they’re taking away Canada’s national sport! Too bad they haven’t told my neighbours kids who have been skating and playing hockey regularly since January on their back yard mega rink. In spite of a mild winter in southern Ontario (Lake Erie shore 20 miles west of Buffalo New York) the ice has been pretty good. Even I strapped on the 30 year old Bauer Supremes and took a spin and fall.

March 6, 2012 7:55 am

Next thing you know pond hockey will have gone the way of Winter Ice Fairs on the Thames or the Hudson. We all know what a great loss *that* was to our civilization and culture.

March 6, 2012 7:57 am

Maybe the Canucks will want to visit the Netherlands, Friesland specifically, if they are missing icy conditions for skating.
The Elfstedentocht (Eleven Cities Tour speed skating race, Friesland’s historic, longer, and much colder version of San Francisco’s Bay-to-Breakers) was held last month thanks to especially frigid conditions The race — first held in 1909 — has been held only 15 times in its 103 year history. This year it was cold enough (at –14°F) to run it again.
It is important to note that the study cited ended its data (conveniently?) in 2005. I hear this winter and last was particularly cold from the Aleutians across northern Canada with no shortage of iced over ponds.

March 6, 2012 8:03 am

P.F. says:
I’ve been wondering about whether they ran the Elfstedentocht, but I was too lazy to check. Hans Brinker lives! Can Ice fairs on the Thames be far behind? 🙂

Bob Diaz
March 6, 2012 8:06 am

RE: Children just aren’t going to know what hockey is.
It’s worse than we thought, Children aren’t going to know what proper science is either. 🙂

March 6, 2012 8:07 am

…or with increasing safety standards, requiring a certain thickness of ice before the season can officially start.
1950: “Yeah, the ice looks thick enough, go ahead.”
1970: “Let’s drill a hole in the ice to see if it’s six inches thick yet, just to be sure.”
2012: “We have to check with the government before we can skate.”

Gerald Machnee
March 6, 2012 8:10 am

I have to read the study in its entirety and find out exactly what they measured, yet.
However, it seems that they are accepting the theory that we are or will continue warming.
As someone else said, check Dr Viner and also Kennedy’s statements about snow in Washington. Did they check the 1930’s and 1940’s when greats like Mosienko and the Bentleys skated?

March 6, 2012 8:12 am

Those out easters ought to come out west to Alberta and try driving from Edmonton to Calgary today with all the cars, trucks and buses in the ditches. I cleared my driveway three times yesterday and I am about to do it again and there is no lack of ice. However, there is a chinook in the forecast that will raise temperatures well above freezing this weekend … but that is normal. The 30 year average high temperature is about 3 degrees C, the low is -10 degrees C. All that his changed is the position of the observers – isn’t that something about the theory of relativity? We seem to be in “normal” territory.

Dave in Canmore
March 6, 2012 8:15 am

I just skied in 100cm of fresh Alberta snow yesterday. These guys just make stuff up as they go.

March 6, 2012 8:21 am

Of course, the assumptive elephant in the room is that they assume continued warming, OMG, for-evah !!! Natural cycles and periods of cooling are way outside their thinking. That’s why they are always drawing straight lines through cyclical data, of course, always starting in 1978 at the bottom of a cycle—you get better rising trend lines that way.
When reading articles now, as today reading a Smithsonian article on mammals, marsupials and monotremes, I read until the money phrase (“climate change”) and then quit.

Leo Puk
March 6, 2012 8:22 am

Sorry to report that there was no Elfstedentocht this year in the Netherlands. We were just a few days short of freezing conditions. Many other skating tours were held, though.

March 6, 2012 8:23 am

Here is a link to the paper found on the Globe And Mail newspaper comment and a quote of comments that offers insights:
“Figure 2a shows interesting results in Alberta for instance:
For two close locations in SE Alberta the start date indicates a late trend in one AND an early trend in the other. Same for 2 locations near the US border… and locations in southern BC.
1) This is contradictory in a short distance where climatic conditions or the “deleterious effect” of global warming cannot be that heterogeneous. Only weather, local conditions or… man made maintenance could.
2) Or/and the trend is virtually so negligible that it is meaningless in one direction or the other.
3) Or the proxy is not well chosen
Figure 3 is very instructive: despite the ad hoc dataset -using proxy and max temp only… the trends are hardly convincing. The OSS length in prairies and southwest are the only definite ones, reducing the season’s length. Yet the start date does not change or so little. But using averages such as NAO PDO modes and average temps, one disconnects physical processes, weather from the dataset.
Their conclusion last sentences: “The ability to skate and play hockey outdoors is a critical component of Canadian identity and culture. Wayne Gretzky learned to skate on a backyard skating rink; our results imply that such opportunities may not available to future generations of Canadian children.”
But that’s great science deserving worldwide media exposure… /sarc”

More Soylent Green!
March 6, 2012 8:26 am

Is this study a sign of desperation or a desperate call for help?

March 6, 2012 8:27 am

Weather Station
Montreal (CYUL)
118 ft
Station Select
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
16 °F
Feels Like 4 °F
History & Almanac
March 6, 2012 Max Temp Min Temp
Normal 29 °F 14 °F

March 6, 2012 8:28 am

Outdoor rinks in Moncton New Brunswick are being refridgerated. The icemaking season with natural ice has become too short to be worthwhile . The outdoor rinks are now useless unless artificial cooling systems are installed.
John McManus

Josh Grella
March 6, 2012 8:28 am

cirby says:
March 6, 2012 at 8:07 am
Well played, sir. Well played…

March 6, 2012 8:30 am

Wayne Gretzky and I are the same age and grew up in the same area of Southern Ontario (I even saw him play as an 11 year old wunderkind — fortunately my team wasn’t on the receiving end of I think a 16 goal game). And yes his father built outdoor rinks for him in the 60’s.
We moved to Canada in 1966 and my father also built backyard rinks for the first few years — we thought it was normal — that this was typical for S. Ontario winters. It turns out these years were atypically cold. You’d be hard pressed to build a rink that lasts in that area from the 70’s to today.
But if you lived 50 kms north you could.

March 6, 2012 8:37 am

Hmmmm. Two papers are now out claiming that the ‘disappearing’ Arctic is responsible for more snow storms. I guess they missed the memo.

March 6, 2012 8:42 am

No hockey, eh? Sos I guess like that means those hosers are going to be usin’ up the stools at Dunkn Donuts eh. Cause like global warming, okay. Okay, so take off!

March 6, 2012 8:45 am

Michael Levi (not exactly a climate skeptic) has an interesting deconstruction of the paper in his blog:
The Death of Outdoor Hockey Has Been Greatly Exaggerated
“Since 1950, winter temperatures in Canada have increased by more than 2.5°C, which is three times the globally-averaged warming attributed to global warming.”
Yes, we have had a tough time here in Canada the past 60 years, this 2.5°C has nearly destroyed the nation. /sarc

Andrejs Vanags
March 6, 2012 8:57 am

Canada should be HAPPY if it was warming. If it was a few degrees warmer over there it would be a world powerhouse with vast developable land, arable land and easily accessible (currently under tundra and snow) resources (but then agian it would have an illegal alien problem with its poorer southern neightboor). It should be doing all it can to burn, burn, burn CO2 and deposit soot over every snow bank in sight.
Well, I guess hockey in an indoor rink is just not the same.

Danny V.
March 6, 2012 8:57 am

The hockey landscape has changed tremendously since I was kid and as was Gretzky. Blame the decline in outdoor ice use more on rise of organized hockey and smaller yards with all the hot tubs, landscaping, bigger homes, double driveways and pools taking up any extra yard space. Just finished clearing 32 cm of white, not so fluffy, global warming over the weekend. Darn tired today.

William Sears
March 6, 2012 8:58 am

I notice that the obesity scare was thrown in for good measure. I miss the junk food science website (Sandy Szwarc). This (the ice hockey study) is part of what I like to call Big Foot research. It is what you get when there is not enough legitimate, quickly done, research to go around to supply all the professors who need publications for tenure and promotion, graduate students who need theses material, and government institutions that have to show that they are doing something. See James Le Fanu’s “The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine” for an elaboration on this idea. A good review is here:
I call it Big Foot research because there is no limit on the amount of research that can be done in searching for its existence and there are people who do exactly that.

Ian Hoder
March 6, 2012 9:02 am

I actually love when they make outrageous predictions like this. It shows people that alarmists tend to exaggerate just a wee bit.

March 6, 2012 9:04 am

Well, our priorities are clear. Hockey is far more important than lower winter heating bills.
Bemoaning a shorter hockey season, and not celebrating a more affordable winter.
Gretzky? I guess Canadians don’t have anything cultural to do when it’s not snowing?

James Sexton
March 6, 2012 9:09 am

Maybe someone should pass one the Georgia Tech madness to them. As Steve Goddard has posted, the hockey team needs a huddle. Here was my perspective last week….. now I’ll have to update it with this bit of stupidity.
Spaghetti science…. I think they’ve got each base covered now…..

March 6, 2012 9:18 am

I wonder how the Americans are able to put a team on the ice that competes at the finals of the World and Olympic championships given they are so much further south of us Canadians.
Wayne Gretxky grew up in Southern Ontario, the most southern part of Canada and the mildest. Just imagine how good he could have been had he had an abundance of outdoor natural ice to devlop his skills.(sarc)
Unbelieveable nonsense! Are we sure David Suzuki isn’t behind this compelling study?

March 6, 2012 9:22 am

You can smile and laught about it – and the tone of the report allowed such mocking.
The reality for people living in Canada – southern edge of the country. We have to wait until january to have good ice, and it’s mostly over by mid feb. While in the 60’s-70’s we could skate from mid december to early march. That’s our reality.
It’s a question of getting long period of cool temps ; 5 days with -10c or less will give you a very good starting point to get a good ice quality. But if it rains the next week or you get a warm temp surge (as we’re seing about every week and half), then you have to start over.
Over the last 10 years in the eastern part of the country and southern edge, many towns stopped building outdoor rinks as it cost too much for the time it last. No need to laught about it, or put up a paper about it, just look outside. That’s our reality like it or not. Will it continue – who really knows and can answer that question.. If it stays has it is, then for sure we’re in trouble. If it warms more, than we can simply forget about it. The only way out is to get cooler winter seasons. Some people here made remarks about how much snow there was.. Yep don’t you remember the last Olympics with all the rain on the rockies. It’s the same in the east, it used to be that most of the ski stations could make it through the winter without heavy snowing systems. Now if you don’t have such system, then you can close your station – as it is mandatory to have such system if you want to assure the snow pack conditions. Again, that’s reality – all the ski stations who could not afford such system have closed over the last 30-40 years.
Here’s a copy of a closing order from Levis (Quebec) – known to still have good winter, yet this year on Feb. 17th they closed all outdoor rinks because of the warm weather and rain. And we’re seing such situation over and over every year.

March 6, 2012 9:27 am

2012 Labatt Blue UP Pond Hockey Championship
Well, this year we had a wonderful tournament. There were a total of 159 teams, from Canada, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming that participated in our event, with 20 different age and skill level divisions. We thank all of you for coming and helping to make our 2012 event the success that it was!
World Ice & Snow Sailing Championship
The World Ice & Snow Sailing Championships (WISSA) are coming to St. Ignace, Michigan! This week-long event will be held February 20-26.
Held Feb 24-26 2012 on Chain Lake in St. Ignace, Michigan. They also held World Ice & Snow Sailing on the same lake the full week prior.
Ya the warm winter weather is really stopping the hockey, ice sailing, angel making etc.

John West
March 6, 2012 9:29 am

Truly tragic training truncation!
That really puts the C in CAGW. Instead of making out like everything is catastrophic perhaps they should just change it to IAGW (Inconvenient Anthropogenic Global Warming). The success of convenience stores proves we’ll pay to avoid inconvenience, there’s no such proof we’ll pay to avoid catastrophe.

TG McCoy (Douglas DC)
March 6, 2012 9:31 am

Had a nice mild winter in NE Oregon. Nothing much near 0F, a bit of snow like this
am, but we like an open winter now and then. But to some, a mild winter is a curse.
So -20 and three feet of snow is a blessing?..

March 6, 2012 9:40 am

I thought it was called the Department of Redundancy Department? — John M Reynolds

March 6, 2012 10:13 am

Oh, how horrible, so in the future Canadians will only be able to play hockey in the winter. :p

March 6, 2012 10:21 am

Doesn’t this feeble alarmism sound vaguely similar to the UEA scientists back in 2000, who said that UK children would not know snow? And then a few years later the UK was clobbered with snowstorms.
Canada has 2500 indoor rinks, the most in the world I think, so if outdoor rinks fade away it will be due to lack of use. Besides, most kids would rather play hockey on frozen lakes which are far more plentiful.
And if outdoor rinks are threatened, wouldn’t frozen lakes also be threatened? Haven’t heard that alarmist claim yet, but I’m sure it’s coming. Lol!

March 6, 2012 10:22 am

Younger Dryas and megafaunal extinction linked to meteorite.

March 6, 2012 10:28 am

You probably mean Tim Hortons.
John McManus

Gary Hladik
March 6, 2012 10:51 am

Regg. says (March 6, 2012 at 9:22 am): “You can smile and laught about it – and the tone of the report allowed such mocking.”
No, it actually begged to be mocked. 🙂
“The reality for people living in Canada – southern edge of the country. We have to wait until january to have good ice, and it’s mostly over by mid feb. While in the 60′s-70′s we could skate from mid december to early march. That’s our reality.”
Reality says: If you like ice, move north. Or way, way south. 🙂

March 6, 2012 11:03 am

The study went through 2005. Have they updated their study to the current year? Or would that show some inconvenient temperatures? Inquiring minds want to know.

Victor Eigen
March 6, 2012 11:08 am

Hey, stop bein’ a hoser, eh? It’s serious!
I’d be willing to bet my tuque that some winter soon, there will be plenty of snow and ice, and that, too, will be blamed on global warming.

Steve E
March 6, 2012 11:14 am

See what the Toronto Star said here:–death-of-backyard-rinks-linked-to-climate-change
When asked by the reporter, Could hockey-mad Prime Minister Stephen Harper be persuaded of the dangers of climate change by the spectre of the end of backyard shinny? Co-author Damon Matthews said, “It’s certainly a motivation for me in doing the study.” And then he said, “Canada is lagging behind the rest of the world” in responding to climate change. (Excuse the punctuation, that’s the way it was in the article.)
So apparently he undertook the study to advance a pre-conceived conclusion.
It gets even more comical when the Star reporter quotes Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule to gain expertise in a skill. He/She suggests that as a result there may be no more Canadian Gretskys and Canada will lose its hockey competence. Despite the fact that the vast majority of kids grow up play hockey indoors.

March 6, 2012 11:31 am

It is fear mongering .

March 6, 2012 11:36 am

Did they sanity-check it against records of outdoor rinks in a dozen rural locations? A dozen might not be statistically significant, but at least it would help them compare against actual hockey rinks.

Red Jeff
March 6, 2012 11:37 am

What a complete load of tripe. I live less than 40 miles from Toronto. I have a spring fed pond in my front yard about 2/3rd the size of a hockey rink. I regularly get (measured each year for 13 years) about 15″ of ice. This year about 12″. In all those years of shoveling the snow off for myself and neighbourhood kids to skate on (taking 4-6 hours each time) I can count on ONE HAND how many kids have abandoned their xbox or wii’s to exersize outside skate or even help shovel…. in 13 YEARS.
The disappearance of outside hockey rinks is due to 3 factors….
1. Lazy kids who won’t get off their duffs to go outside be it winter OR summer
2. Lazy parents who don’t insist their kids get active or exersize in any way
3. Towns no longer providing rinks for their citizens because of budget shortfalls
Climate change my backside, unadulterated laziness is your cause.

March 6, 2012 11:42 am

I understand the water is VERY COLD in the shallow end of the gene pool.

Jim Strom
March 6, 2012 11:45 am

>>>The proof is in the snowstorms — or lack thereof. Canada has taken more of a hit from global warming compared to other countries. Since 1950, winter temperatures in Canada have increased by more than 2.5°C, which is three times the globally-averaged warming attributed to global warming.<<
When experience returns a result three times the value expected on the basis of theory it seems wrong to consider that a "proof" or a confirmation. Rather, it's the ideal time to invoke "weather" as opposed to climate.

March 6, 2012 11:49 am

At least now there should be a common rallying point – nothing like messing with people sorts to get them motivated!

March 6, 2012 11:49 am

Steve E
So apparently he undertook the study to advance a pre-conceived conclusion.
Now there is no surprise, it a classic case of ‘maybe’ being sold as ‘will’ to further political ideas and to keep the research money flowing in , never mind the actual science. Or in other words a fairly standard approach for climate ‘science ‘

Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta
March 6, 2012 11:51 am

I wonder if there is water running down the streets of Montreal today, not from melt but the result of the flushing of Concordia’s reputation down the sewer causing back-ups.

March 6, 2012 11:59 am

Shrewd PR. Canadians love their hockey like Americans love football or baseball. It’ll be much easier to get them alarmed by losing outdoor hockey than any of the usual fear mongering.

March 6, 2012 12:01 pm

I remember an interview Wayne Gretsky once did, explaining how his Dad was able to have back yard ice in a warm climate. Walter G. would get out of bed in the middle of the night to flood the area so that the water was able to freeze and if the ice went out he would replace it. People were more ambitious in those days.

Evil Denier
March 6, 2012 12:10 pm

Wayne at 8:12 am
Yeah, the position is head up to the neck in their ……
Well, that’s where the sun don’t shine!

Fred from Canuckistan
March 6, 2012 12:10 pm

Does this man we need to change our moniker from “The Great White North”
Not going to happen.
We shall fight them on the ponds, in the snow drifts and we shall never surrender our frozen heritage.

Ozfarmer Ted
March 6, 2012 12:16 pm

Did anybody record the actual dates of the start and end of the seasons? Or is this just another exercise in theory?

Eric in CO
March 6, 2012 12:45 pm

I just played in a pond hockey tournament in Colorado on better than 12 inches of ice some 1000 miles south of where they are talking about. It was a great tournament.

March 6, 2012 12:46 pm

I live in Chicagoland. The people a couple of streets over create a hockey area on the pond behind their house every winter… Except this one. I don’t recall seeing them out there once. We really did have a mild winter and I don’t think the neighborhood ponds ever froze to a safe-to-skate-on state, though they did freeze over a number of times. Also not much snow this season.
That’s weather for you.
Just sayin’.

d_abes in Saskatoon
March 6, 2012 12:58 pm

My 12 year old is studying Bias in the Media in social studies, grade 7. They had to find news articles and expose the bias. This was the article I clipped for her to study. Thanks for the additional ideas in the comments.

Rational Db8 (used to post as Rational Debate)
March 6, 2012 1:02 pm

The poor wee little kiddies need exercise? Well, just put ’em to work on all the new farms or to deal with the larger crops on existing farms during the warmer summers, and work all that extra weight off ’em. They’ll be needing the extra labor to deal with the longer growing seasons and better crop yields. Then come winter, let the poor dearies rest up and store up good fat layers to help them withstand next year’s farm work. A little good hard work is good for the soul, character, and healthy growth of the little wee dear ones. 😉
I wonder if it’s occurred to the researchers that it’s the abundance of relatively cheap energy that allows our species to even have the time and leisure to play sports like hockey at all? To live so far north, and still be in comfort and have warm places to retreat to once we’ve finished our outdoor snow sports?

Dave Wendt
March 6, 2012 1:14 pm

They ought to be celebrating this development. It should lead to a significant decline in CO2 emissions. If the climate warms in the summer, you can suck it up and not run the AC and just sweat a little more. When winter comes to the Great White North, you don’t have the option of not running the furnace. You may buy yourself a Snuggli and turn the thermostat down, but that energy sucker is going to running from at least October to April or your pipes will be frozen and you may be dead. If CO2 were actually driving GW, shortening of the Canadian Winter would provide a nice negative feedback.

March 6, 2012 1:14 pm
March 6, 2012 1:33 pm

What’s the loss of some “pond hockey” compared to the opportunities for the exploitation of the ever increasing pond scum which will be beneficial in the production of biofuels ??

March 6, 2012 1:37 pm

I refined my ice skating ability 40 years ago in Phoenix Arizona in the middle of summer when it was 100 degrees outside. Nothing like ice skating indoors on a warm summer day! On top of that, the Anaheim Ducks have two rinks they can work on their game in downtown Anaheim. Ice is no longer a winter sport.

March 6, 2012 1:42 pm

News report, an assistant professor in the department of geography at Simon Fraser University, and of University of Victoria, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Kirsten Zickfeld reported on BCTV news tonight, computer programs tell her skiing on the north shore mountains and Whistler will be be at risk due to low or non existent snowfalls in thirty years time. Her program tells her even if C02 emissions are reduced to zero skiing will just be a memory. The University of Victoria is also the home of Andrew Weaver who is an adviser to the Provincial Liberal government when the carbon tax was brought in. Did we not hear something similar elsewhere about snow.
On the same news program a Vancouver restaurant announced they are now carbon neutral. BCTV news a leader in unbiased reporting, sarc off.
BC is also home to David Suzuki, need I say more.
Check the ladies bio, she is in deep.
Mar 5 2012

Harold Ambler
March 6, 2012 1:56 pm

Pond hockey is fun.
I learned to play a few miles down the road from Fairlee, Vt., where the video I’m linking below was shot. In Rhode Island where I live with my family now 2012 was a no-go for pond hockey, but that has happened before and will happen again. We will also pond skate again and play pond hockey again. Video here:

J. Felton
March 6, 2012 2:02 pm

*mutters obcenities under his breath as he scrapes snow off his windshield*

Richard M
March 6, 2012 2:10 pm

I skated in mid winter when I was a kid. There were many days that were too cold without risking frostbite. So, while the season may be shorter it’s very possible that there are more days during the season where skating is reasonable. Since this study did not cover that aspect, I think we can give it a big FAIL.
Not only that, but just look at the extended season for synchronized swimming. 😉
I don’t know about anyone else but I suspect that more kids get out of the house when it’s warmer outside. They may not be skating but there’s lots of other things to do that are more physical than sitting around watching TV because it’s too cold to risk life and limb.

Brian H
March 6, 2012 2:16 pm

P.F. says:
March 6, 2012 at 7:57 am

It is important to note that the study cited ended its data (conveniently?) in 2005. I hear this winter and last was particularly cold from the Aleutians across northern Canada with no shortage of iced over ponds.

Yes, and here in Vancouver, the cherries bloomed conveniently early that year …

John West
March 6, 2012 2:16 pm

Fred from Canuckistan says:
“Does this man we need to change our moniker from “The Great White North” ”
Yes, the TPPS (Tropics from Pole to Pole Society) will annihilate all whiteness. [Evil laugh]
Hey, wait a minute:
Some facts:
White people originated in cold climates.
Cold climate countries are predominantly white.
White people historically don’t do well in warm climates on average.
Non-white people originated in warm climates.
Non-white people range expansion correlates with Global Warming.
Fossil fuel restrictions would inhibit standard of living progress in predominantly non-white countries more than predominately white countries, impoverishing non-whites while whites enjoy their expensive renewable energy.
Most advocates for action on global warming are white. Al, Hansen, Mann, Schmidt, Jones, Gleick, etc. etc.
Obvious Conclusions:
CAGW mitigation advocates are racists attempting to limit the expansion and progress of non-whites.
Skeptics are the abolitionists of our time.
Facts wouldn’t lie, would they?
Just in case: I’m not serious, just pointing out that a list of “facts” pointing to an “obvious” conclusion can be dead wrong.

Dave Wendt
March 6, 2012 2:55 pm

John West says:
March 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm
“Just in case: I’m not serious, just pointing out that a list of “facts” pointing to an “obvious” conclusion can be dead wrong.”
I would not be to quick to reject your “obvious” conclusions. The “Sustainability” goals of the Agenda 21 crowd who have been the prime movers in this whole mess will have disproportionately negative consequences for the poorer peoples of the less developed world who are less melanin challenged than they. Although their goals are ostensibly “redistributional”, history has repeatedly demonstrated that the primary effect for the supposed beneficiaries of such efforts is to be confined to permanent dependency, while the bureaucratic overlords who administer such plans always seem to find a way to improve their own circumstances enormously. They and the Swiss bankers who provide sanctuary for their ill gotten loot are always the only real beneficiaries of their “Noble Causes”.

March 6, 2012 3:08 pm

The winter here in Ontario has been a very easy play for AGW promoters. It has been a heckuva warm winter with very little snow. It is easy to see why they would be rushing out with studies like this – it’s as easy as scoring on an empty net, and plays directly to the fears of hare-brained locals, which may be the majority where I live. This study will fade, though, when reality bites back. We have normal winters here, most every winter, and once in a while, an extremely cold and grumpy one. Within the past 5 years or so, I remember three weeks straight of near minus 20c.

March 6, 2012 3:18 pm

Further to my point above about this being a great winter to promote the warmie ideology, we’ve had Sir Richard Branson in town saving polar bears whose – according the news bobble head I just watched – populations ‘are rapidly declining.’ Yeah.

tom s
March 6, 2012 3:27 pm

Warm winter down here in Mpls/St.Paul area this year but still had some good outdoor rinks going in spite of it. And oh yeah, last year was a banner year for snow and the rinks flourished. Stupid is as stupid does….

March 6, 2012 3:53 pm

But the sad truth is that warmer climates prevent the possibility of hockey being played. Look at Florida: no hockey teams at all: You can’t possibly compare that with all the hockey teams in Greenland. The conclusion is obvious: Global Warming is Worse Than We Thought!®

March 6, 2012 3:55 pm

Richard Black is at it again. Alien invaders in Antarctica. Yaaaawn.

The fringes of Antarctica are being invaded by alien plants and tiny animals, scientists have found.
Researchers scoured the clothes and boots of tourists and scientists visiting the continent and found that most were carrying plant seeds.
Alien plants already grow on the fast-warming Antarctic Peninsula.

[My emphasis]
Then stop visiting there! This reminds me of amphibian diseases introduced by ‘concerned’ scientist on their boots. You really can’t win with these idiots.
And there he was again on the 1st of March:

Schmallenberg virus: Climate ‘raising UK disease risk’

Can anyone let me know just how much of Richard Black’s pension scheme is tied up in carbon schemes?

March 6, 2012 3:59 pm

August 18, 2005
A whirlwind tour of western Canada and Alaska is leaving Senator Clinton and three of her Republican colleagues more convinced than ever that global warming is a real and menacing phenomenon, the lawmakers said yesterday.
“I don’t think there is any doubt left for anyone who actually looks at the science,” Mrs. Clinton said during a news conference in Anchorage. “There are still some holdouts, but they are facing a losing battle. The science is overwhelming, but what is deeply concerning is that climate change is accelerating.”
01/07/2012 : NOME
Yet more extreme weather is hitting Nome where, for the first time in 13 years, the temperature hit 40 below zero just after 10 a.m. Thursday morning. The last time it was this cold in Nome was Feb. 1, 1999. The last time a minus 40 reading was taken on Jan. 5 was in 1917.
Temperatures remained “firmly in the 30s below zero” on Friday, according to the weather service, making it the 10th consecutive day with temperatures below minus 30. Temperatures of minus 38 on Jan. 3 and minus 38 on Jan. 4 broke the previous low temperature records for those days.
This is the longest severe cold wave since a record-breaking 16-day stretch from Jan. 15 to 30, 1989. That epic spell saw two days tie Nome’s all-time record low, 54 degrees below zero.
Nome has not seen temperatures above zero since Dec. 23, 2011.

March 6, 2012 4:08 pm

I live on a lake in Calgary, which is in Southern Alberta. Not just near one in a lake community, 20 feet from my back door is my dock, with my paddle boats and canoe, on a 43 acre lake. I’m sitting outside now, typing this on my laptop. I look around, and I see several inches of fresh snow. It’s below freezing. The lake is solid. Two days ago they drove the snow plow and Zamboni around to smooth out the skate path that I also use as a runway for my R/C plane. Within sight of my balcony are easily 10 arena sized skating areas that people have shovelled out and maintained through the winter.
Two houses over is where Theoren Fleury used to live, a former NHL star. He used to have a fairly good sized skating area, and often the entire Flames team were here messing around on it. In spring he used to bring kids here to play a game on the lake.
I’ve kept a log here of freeze and thaw dates, since 1996. Guess what the variation is? That’s right… almost zero. The lake freezes and thaws within days of the same time every year, and that’s now over 15 years of record. Even the 1998 thaw was only a few days early.
Ice in Canada forms because of lack of insolation, not because of prevailing weather patterns. In the depths of December when it’s still dark at 8:30 am and already dark before 5pm, there just isn’t enough solar energy to keep the surface liquid.
This “study” by typically clueless individuals is one of the most entertainingly STUPID things I’ve read for a long time. But, I’m expecting more of this over the next few years…

March 6, 2012 4:11 pm

“within a few decades, we could see a complete end to outdoor skating in British Columbia and Southern Alberta.”

The snow and ice dead of Eastern Europe this winter will agree. The Danube froze over by the way and caused a few shipping movement problems. It called the weather!!!!

March 6, 2012 4:19 pm

Further to my point about Richard Black’s usual rubbish he said:

The fringes of Antarctica are being invaded by alien plants and tiny animals, scientists have found.
Researchers scoured the clothes and boots of tourists and scientists visiting the continent and found that most were carrying plant seeds.
Alien plants already grow on the fast-warming Antarctic Peninsula.

Did you see it?

“The fringes of Antarctica” is “Antarctic Peninsula.”
Heh, heh. ;>)

Rhoda Ramirez
March 6, 2012 4:33 pm

nc: How can a restaurant be carbon neutral? Are they selling stones for food? Who are their customers – trolls?
I know you’r just passing on what some numnut reported, but it always irks me when someone says they are carbon neutral.

March 6, 2012 4:41 pm

It’s too bad the poor Canadians aren’t going to be smart enough to take off their skates and put on some running shoes or soccer cleats, etc. They are doomed! It makes you wonder how the rest of us get by without outdoor skating.

Steve from Rockwood
March 6, 2012 5:45 pm

Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s I used to make ice rinks in the winter (London, Ontario – not that far away from Gretzky’s Brantford). It was frustrating as you would get the rink in good shape and then a warm spell would destroy the ice in 4-5 days. If we had 2-3 weeks of constant rink use we were happy. My father came home one night with a newspaper clipping of a kid who scored 343 goals in one season. He showed it to me and I laughed – house league I said. It was Wayne. So much for me.
In 1989 – 1994 I lived in Cambridge, Ontario – closer to Brantford. We had outdoor ice rinks although with the same problem – a couple of good weeks and then melting.
Now in 2012 I live near Guelph, Ontario. Not that far away from Brampton. We can make an ice rink if we want (just waiting for grand-children).
So not much has changed in my neck of the woods in 40 years. And I met Wayne’s father so I must be telling the truth (he is a great guy).

March 6, 2012 6:50 pm

The first time in a while I actually watched Globull news BC was when this story came on. One tiny point: Southwest Alberta (where I was born and raised is “Chinook Country” whith a wildly variable winter climate at the best of times. Build the rink when it’s -10, 3 days later it melts at +15. Story of my childhood. Nothing new here.

March 6, 2012 6:56 pm

I’ve made a nice outdoor rink in southeast Michigan starting in 2007. But, this year was a bust. One bad year out of five isn’t bad. During the 90’s and early 2000’s it would be have very difficult to have an outdoor rink. Luckily, on average, winters have gotten colder in the region.

March 6, 2012 7:45 pm

OK, OK. I’ll bite. (Betraying my south Texas and other civilized climates where I grew up and have lived.)
Why do you have to “build” a outdoor hockey rink? Why worry about melting – Seems that you build a ring or dig a shallow hole in the ground the size of your desired rink – though I assume you need some minimum size to qualify for actual games. If you’re extravegent, build a permanent retaining wall at a convenient place, and keep the walls from season to season to hold the ice surface for next winter.
The fill it with water to a level surface. When the local weather gets cold enough, let that standing water freeze. Smooth the ice to remove debris and crack-driven high spots. (This would be hard manually – It’s why the Zamboni’s are neededl in indoor rinks for high-quality skating after all.) You’re done. If it melts completely over two or three days, or if the surface melts in only a few places, the water collects and (later) re-freezes over the old ice.
. From your descriptions, it’s GOT to be harder than that – but I can’t see what I’m missing.

March 6, 2012 7:59 pm

Try this: build a pond in your back yard, make it, say, 20′ x 20′. Make it about 6″ deep, maybe use some 2×6’s as edges. Now fill it to the top and keep it there for a week. What’s that? It all drained into the soil, right? So, maybe try a plastic underlayer. That’s still harder than it sounds, but lets assume you know what you’re doing and you do that. Now, keep it there for a week.
Now assume you have your 20×20 rink, and it’s frozen solid. Now you need to shovel snow off of it throughout the winter. Did you leave enough room to put the snow? Do you have a place to put your skates on and take them off? Is 20×20 big enough for your kids to play some midget hockey? Uh oh,,, a warm front came through and it’s melted again. Now it’s -30 and the thing has frozen as rough as mini mountain ranges. You shovel it, but there’s no way you’re fitting a mini Zamboni in there to smooth it out, so you have to run your hose to get a smooth layer of water to freeze. Make sure there’s enough edge to hold the water in or it’s just going to wash off the edge. Hoses don’t like cold temperatures, and the outdoor faucet is probably going to freeze if you don’t do this quickly and drain it right. If they freeze, they break.
Meanwhile, as you’re spending 20 hours per week just keeping your mini-rink skateable, the kids are going to the local arena for their practise and can’t figure out why “dad” is wasting so much time on the mini-rink…

March 6, 2012 8:02 pm

RACookPE1978 says
No, not a bad question at all.
As I recall, it has to built up in layers (called flooding) to prevent buckling and cracking.
Maintenance is easy, shaving it with a steel snow shovel, flood again.
Remember I am talking about Dad built yard rinks for the little kids. (and so are they, trying to tug heartstrings)
Older kids go to the Rec Center.

March 6, 2012 9:30 pm

I live in Lethbridge, Alberta – southwest part of Alberta, an hour from the Rockies. The last outdoor rink in my part of Lethbridge was dismantled around 1977, because it was more work than it is worth. We live in the Chinook belt which kills outdoor rinks, snow drifts, and fools plants into leafing out early. In fact, outdoor rinks in most communities out here are long gone and have been replaced by indoor arenas.

Mac the Knife
March 6, 2012 10:20 pm

As a kid growing up in Wisconsin in the 60s, we spent a lot of our winter spare time with our skates on, playing tag and pick up hockey games.. and just skating for miles, when the ice had little or no snow cover on Big Green Lake.
Now, when I return to Wisconsin for a winter time visit, I don’t see any kids out skating or playing hockey on the frozen lakes and mill ponds… and very few kids ice fishing. They are at home, updating their facebook pages, with 5 chat windows going while they play with their Wii Wiis.
It is no wonder they get fat… Their chosen entertainments are sessile to a large degree.

Ozfarmer Ted
March 7, 2012 1:38 am

To CodeTech : March 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm
Many thanks for that. That is where we get proper science. Proper data!

Richard Keen
March 7, 2012 10:22 pm

I read the first three paragraphs of the story, ’til I got to the snippet, “Since 1950, winter temperatures in Canada have increased….”. Then I knew – not that I ever doubted otherwise – that the rest was going to be just another trolled selection of data that rides the Pacific and Atlantic oscillation warmings and ignores the cooling from the 1930’s. Winter temperatures do exist prior to 1950, but including the hot 20’s and 30’s would trash the story.
The warmers do this over and over and over again, enough that once I read “since 1950”, I figure there’s nothing to see here, and move on.

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