News   Jul 19, 2024
 296     0 
News   Jul 19, 2024
 1.5K     4 
News   Jul 19, 2024
 584     1 

Climate Change & Toronto

I 100% appreciate all the effort you're putting into this, and do find it interesting.

But I think the control city or town(s) remain key.

The utility of information is that it is actionable.

For information to be actionable it has to show that change is both necessary and possible.

What could we do different? What should we do different? How do we do that?

Elsewise the information is merely trivia.
 
I 100% appreciate all the effort you're putting into this, and do find it interesting.

But I think the control city or town(s) remain key.

The utility of information is that it is actionable.

For information to be actionable it has to show that change is both necessary and possible.

What could we do different? What should we do different? How do we do that?

Elsewise the information is merely trivia.
Probably at least part of reason why the 1910s-1950s had such bad summer heat waves was tied to agricultural land use issues. The 1936 heat wave was particularly bad, with the three hottest days in all of Toronto's recorded history happening consecutively (all three days hit 105F). This was also a warm period for North America, especially in the Canadian Arctic. The 1950s-1980s were a cooler phase in the region, which has been attributed in part to increased industrial aerosols from coal burning. So the atmospheric geo-engineering/sun-dimming ideas are not totally crazy in the sense that it could have a cooling impact, but whether it's worth it when you considering other negative impacts is an other story entirely. Of course it's valuable to do what we can to reduce carbon-caused climate change, but since carbon emissions won't be reduced as much as ideal from a climate point of view, it's also worth keeping in mind ways to reduce the impacts such as land use changes.
 
So, I had a look at some possible stations to compare to. It seems like Toronto Downtown is the only station within 200km that has been in operation continuously from the late 1800s to present. This is not due to a lack of weather stations in those early days, Southern Ontario had over 100. However, the communities that held those stations either moved them several km to a different location, or closed their weather station entirely, or had significant periods of missing data.

Within 200km, Peterborough is the best location, it moved from the south side of the city to the rural airport, which is still better than elsewhere where there is missing data or even more location changes.

A bit further, but still similar climate, Kingston moved from the Queens Campus to the Airport. The advantage over Peterborough is that the two stations are near the water, and were more or less on the edge of town while operating, so the microclimate should be the same.

Going further still, Ridgetown, ON appears to have had continual records from 1886 to present. I'd expect it was about 1C warmer than Toronto prior to urbanization/industrialization, but otherwise broadly similar (ex non-snowbelt). I say continual, but there were still periods of up to a month on some years where the data was missing.

Windsor also has continual records at its Windsor-Riverside station but it will likely have the same situation as Toronto with Detroit's heat island.
 
Interesting observation. Do you mean as a result of land clearing (reduced forest cover, burning, etc.)?
I would ask the same question as I would have thought the vast majority of settlement/farm clearing would have ended by that point? By the turn of the century, if not earlier, and dependent on location, farm improvement was underway - better housing, better barns, improved farming equipment, connections to railways Etc. (This would be my forefathers experience, but settlement patterns would have governed the rate of progress I would imagine). Anyways, if you have more detail on that point, it would be interesting to explore.
 
I would ask the same question as I would have thought the vast majority of settlement/farm clearing would have ended by that point? By the turn of the century, if not earlier, and dependent on location, farm improvement was underway - better housing, better barns, improved farming equipment, connections to railways Etc. (This would be my forefathers experience, but settlement patterns would have governed the rate of progress I would imagine). Anyways, if you have more detail on that point, it would be interesting to explore.
I do not. The vast majority of rural heating back then would have been wood and coal but I'm not sure the population density would have made much of a difference.
 
I would ask the same question as I would have thought the vast majority of settlement/farm clearing would have ended by that point? By the turn of the century, if not earlier, and dependent on location, farm improvement was underway - better housing, better barns, improved farming equipment, connections to railways Etc. (This would be my forefathers experience, but settlement patterns would have governed the rate of progress I would imagine). Anyways, if you have more detail on that point, it would be interesting to explore.
Land clearing may have had an effect but it's hard to say because we have very limited records pre-land clearing, which indeed would've happened mostly in the late 1800s in the west, although perhaps up to 1900-1920 in the Great Plains. In SW Ontario I believe the last stage of land clearing was in the 1850s-1860s (Huron/Bruce County areas).

What I was referring to was mostly the idea that the agricultural practices that were implemented made these areas more vulnerable to drought. The Great Plains were already more vulnerable to drought than the Midwest, but they were initially getting decent amounts of precipitation when settlement began. However, once the dry years finally did come around, the agricultural practices amplified the problems and you got the Dust Bowl. The areas that were most severely impacted by the Dust Bowl were mostly settled just 10-20 years prior.
 

Back
Top