Spring and global warming: the Maritimes

Self-tutoring about climate, weather, and geography: the tutor mentions some curiosities.

I’m in a philosophical mood today. Google says it’s the first day of spring, 2020, my kids are on spring break, and I’m eating Easter chocolate. (More on that in a coming post.)

My wife’s on spring break, too, of course, and has been following the news on TV. Today an official from Nova Scotia was on for awhile. At one point he mentioned that, while social distancing is important, outdoor activities like walking and biking are recommended.

My eyebrows raised. This time of year, back in the early 80s, no-one I knew in Nova Scotia rode a bike. The roads still had ploughed snow along their banks, and the weather was messy. Bikes came out around a month later, or perhaps in early May. Bikes and snow didn’t mix.

Yet, hearing this Nova Scotia official suggest cycling, I had to wonder: Has the climate changed so much that it’s really spring now in Nova Scotia, the snow all gone? I was determined to check.

I found some webcams that show road conditions in Nova Scotia and PEI. What do you know – one in the Annapolis Valley showed a snowless scene. “I guess it’s true,” I thought: “the Maritimes’ weather might be different now.” (Could those asserting climate change actually be right? I’ve been skeptical about the idea, but I’ll admit this could be powerful evidence.)

I wasn’t 100% convinced, so I looked at traffic cameras from PEI. The ones there do indeed show snow – probably enough that you wouldn’t cycle there yet.

I will admit that, when we used to go between the Annapolis Valley and PEI, you could tell that spring came later to PEI than the Valley, perhaps by a couple of weeks or more. Therefore, it’s possible that spring does come earlier everywhere in the Maritimes these days, compared with 1983. It may be in the Annapolis Valley already, to reach PEI in a few weeks.

Interesting, eh?





Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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