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Cold days numbered, says Suzuki report

Ottawa is in danger of losing its outdoor winter sports within this century, according to a new report on climate change.

Ottawa is in danger of losing its outdoor winter sports within this century, according to a new report on climate change.

On Thin Ice: Winter Sports and Climate Change, released by the David Suzuki Foundation, is predicting that at current carbon emissions levels global warming would reduce the skating season on the Rideau Canal to three weeks and the ski season in Gatineau Park would be cut in half by 2050.

On average the canal season is currently open for 61 days. The study predicts that the canal would only be suitable for skating for one week in 2100 if carbon emissions remain as high as they are today.

Even with a low emission future the report is still predicting a nine-day decline in the number of skating days by 2020 and 12 days by 2050.

The report predicts that halfway through this century, cross-country skiing in Gatineau Park would be reduced by 60 days under current emissions levels, or 11 days under a lower warming emission future.

The low warming scenario is based on the assumption that greenhouse gas emissions would more than double from pre-industrial levels by 2100, which is much lower than the current emissions rate.

 
 
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