Tuesday, November 18, 2008


2008 Union of Concerned Scientists (2008). Climate Change in Ontario.

Colombo, S.J. (1998). The Impacts of Climate Change on Ontario's Forests. http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/air/climatechange/impacts.pdf

Environment Canada (2005). Acid Rain; Effects on lakes and birds in Ontario and beyond.

Government of Ontario (2007). Climate Change and Global Warming.

Government of Ontario (2008). Minitry of Environment.


Negative effects on the health of people living in Ontario can be directly related to climate change. "Climate change will have negative implications on our health"(CAA). Some examples of things that could affect people's health due to climate change are: air, water, and food quality, and illnesses brought on by extreme weather conditions. When sunlight interacts with fuels in the air such as vehicle exhaust, smog is created, causing respiratory diseases. Increasing temperatures means warmer bodies of water which results in better conditions for microorganisms to breed. These microoorganisms can cause infections and poisoning of the sea animals that we eat. According to McGillivray, "In May 2000, Ontario suffered the worst case of E. Coli contamination in Canada", this tainted the water supply and even resulted in deaths. These negative effects on the health of humans are all caused by the "increasing temperatures and greater variations in weather"(CAA). Humans must take action to prevent the effects of climate change.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pollution in Ontario

When many of us think about the province of Ontario, in terms of the environment,
pollution comes to mind. Pollution is the process in which the land, air and water become polluted due to poisonous chemicals. Air pollution is the release of chemicals into the atmosphere. Mostly from carbon monoxide and other gases produces my cars, and factories. “About half of the air pollution in Ontario comes from the U.S. due to air flows.”(Government of Ontario, 2007). Climate change can affect the pollution thus making this harmful smog even worse, because some photochemical smog and ozone are created as harmful hydrocarbons because of the reaction to sunlight. “Smog can form in almost any climate where industries or cities release large amounts of air pollution. However, it is worse during periods of warmer, sunnier weather”(Government of Ontario, 2007). So changes in climate, like increase sunlight, can therefore affect pollution. Thermal pollution is when natural water bodies undergo a change in temperature. This change in temperature is influenced by humans when they see water as a coolant in a power plant. “The effects of this increase in water temperature can have an impact on aquatic organisms by (a) decreasing oxygen supply, (b) killing fish juveniles which are vulnerable to small increases in temperature, and (c) affecting ecosystem composition”(Government of Ontario, 2007). Although a lot of air pollution is invisible, some types can be seen by the naked eye as the smoke released from smoke stacks.
Mostly smog is caused by air pollution and greenhouse gases, and therefore, climate change, land and water is contaminated when pollutants fall in rain or snow. Since most of our affects on weather patterns is due to global warming, we call this climate change. “Global warming is caused by the dramatic increase in greenhouse gases in our atmosphere”. (Government of Ontario, 2007). This is where we can see the link between Global Warming and Climate Change, especially in Ontario since Pollution is very prominent in this region.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Socio-Economics of Ontario due to Climate Change:

The government is paying and will continue doing so for the effects of climate change. If action is not taken to minimize the effects people have on the climate, taxes will increase as more bad then good will come from it in Ontario. Ontario’s climate, as of now, is primarily continental with cold winters and mild summers. In Southern Ontario, the climate relies almost entirely on the Great Lakes. They make for high precipitation which makes this region particularly good for agriculture and human settlement. This could explain why there is such a high amount of green gas emission, Enviro-Canada informs, “The largest provincial contributors were Alberta with 31 per cent of Canada's total emissions, and Ontario with 28 per cent.” This fact alone justifies the dispute that Ontario will be one of the most affected economy-wise out of all the sectors of Canada because it has to make the second largest change as a province from the rest of Canada.
Environment Canada states, “The social and economic sectors being most affected by climate include water resources, human health, the built environment, energy, transportation, tourism and recreation, forestry, agriculture, construction and finance.” Any temperature change can have substantial change on regions and it is predicted temperatures will continue rising drastically. Because of this, the Ontario government is having to set up expensive programs to decrease anything that directly relates to the increasing climate change, such as GHG (green house gas) emissions due to transportation and the burning of coal and natural gases. Another economic downfall directly related to the changing climate of Ontario are the building costs. “4% of building costs in Toronto are attributed to adaption to current climate.” Freeze-thaw cycles, UV rays and acid rain wear down surfaces made of things such as concrete, because of this roadwork needs to be done more often and keeping buildings safe costs a lot of money. Also, it is well known that heating and cooling causes houses and buildings to expand/contract. Climate change causing temperature changes correlates directly with this and, once again, costs a lot of money to keep up with. Agriculture and forestry will have a problem with acid rain, however they will fluctuate economy-wise because growing periods will increase due to the rising temperatures. This means more money short term but the increase in weather will also kill off certain types of plants making them impossible to grow in Ontario’s changing climate. In the long term, Ontario will have more losses then gains due to the changing climate. Unless something is drastically changed in this region, its economy will suffer the consequences along with many others such as environment, health, etc.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Acid Rain!!!

The acid rain in Ontario is due to all the pollution this province has released into the atmosphere. Acid rain damages Ontario's lakes, rivers, forests, soils and buildings and also impacts the fish and wildlife population. Birds are greatly effected by acid rain because of their food sources that are in aquatic environments. Environment Canada states that "sulphur dioxide in the air can combine with other pollutants and water to form fine particles that can increase the risk of serious health complications for people with heart and respiratory disease". Acid Rain Biomonitoring has been established in Ontario, its goal is to make sure acid rain control systems in Canada are protecting aquatic ecosystems. "In 1998, the provinces, territories and the federal government signed The Canada-Wide Acid Rain Strategy for Post-2000, committing them to further actions to deal with acid rain" (Environment Canada, 2005) and since 1980, emissions of sulphur dioxide have reduced approx. 63%. And in 2000, Canada committed to reducing Nitrogen Oxide levels and are expected to decline 39% by 2010.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More Effects on the Environment

- Aquatic live will be impacted due to the warmer climate
- Some will respond to the warmer water temperatures or "or seek refuge in areas where temperatures and flow patterns remain suitable"
- Others will become extinct
- As water temperatures in the region increase, cold-water species such as lake trout, brook trout, and whitefish may decline dramatically
- Ontario's lakes, rivers, and streams hold approx. one third of the worlds fresh water supply, the expected changes in rainfall, evaporation, and groundwater recharge rates will affect all freshwater users
- The increasing temperatures will lead to a decline in ice and a higher rate of evaporation, causing lake levels to decline in both inland lakes and Ontario's Great Lakes.
- Costs of shipping along the Great Lakes will increase, water shortages will develop and pressure increases for more water for irrigation, drinking, and other human uses.
- The result of milder winters influences the increase of nuisance mammals IE: raccoons, skunks, and deer carrying parasites.