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Pond hockey heats up
Date:3/5/2012

This release is available in French.

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 2.5C, 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 -5C, 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 acr
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Contact: Clea Desjardins
clea.desjardins@concordia.ca
514-848-2424 x5068
Concordia University
Source:Eurekalert

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