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The Globe and Mail:
"The Prairies should prepare for more summers like this one"

Heavy smoke from northern Alberta forest fires comes south to blanket the Bow River area in downtown Calgary, on May 16. LARRY MACDOUGAL/THE CANADIAN PRESS

"This might be an exceptional year. But a long history of drought cycles in this dry region, combined with a warming planet, means the Prairies should be prepared to adapt to more summers like this one."

“You can argue that we’re quite adaptable, otherwise we wouldn’t have succeeded in populating this part of the world,” Dr. Sauchyn said. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t still be here.”

KELLY CRYDERMAN

PUBLISHED AUGUST 26, 2023

Alberta Magazine Publishers Assoc. Service Journalism Award

Articles in this category include any how-to journalism, explanatory or informational piece which organizes information of a practical applicability to the reader. 

News

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2023

Gardening in the Drought-prone Prairies

Screenshot 2023-05-16 113757

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The Morning Edition - Saskatchewan with Stefani Langenegger

sakitawak-tree-1-scaled

April 6, 2022

Photo credit: Jeremy Williams / River Voices Productions

Sakitawak-land-1-scaled

February 24, 2022

Photo credit: Jeremy Williams / River Voices Productions

  • more climate change denial in Saskatchewan producers than in other Canadian samples 
  • individual characteristics were associated with less acceptance and concern of climate change
  • Viewing the video above increased climate change perception in the experimental group and protected against a history effect that decreased climate knowledge in the control
  • More trust in science predicted greater change in climate change perception following the video

From the article:

“This tendency to perceive floods, storms, and drought as ‘unprecedented’ is common. After all, it is human nature to view extreme conditions as out of the norm, given that our general frame of reference – such as a human lifespan – is relatively short.

The tree rings capture natural climatic variability before the world’s climate was significantly modified by human activity.”

– Dave Sauchyn

From the article:

“This whiplash is the kind of condition that we expect in a warmer climate,” he says. “Now, I’m not saying that the drought of last summer and the flooding of the spring is caused by climate change — these are perfectly natural conditions. But there’s pretty good science to suggest that the severity of the drought and the severity of the flooding is, to some extent, increased as a result of a warmer climate.”

– Dave Sauchyn