Canada issues first red alert in a decade for climate change

Written by Staff Writer by Feisal Omar, CNN

Canada has issued a red alert for British Columbia, the first such warning the province has issued in a decade.

Climate change and extreme weather are at the center of a new government report issued last month, “Whole Planet Warming: Extreme Weather, Hotter and Dryer,” which advises that in the coming decades extreme weather events in Canada, the United States and the UK “are likely to become more frequent, intense, and longer-lasting.”

“Excessive precipitation events increased significantly in Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and the northeast corner of the province from 2009 to 2016,” the weather warning issued Wednesday night read.

The red alert calls for “acute” extreme conditions with “immediate needs to mobilize emergency response plans,” according to the bulletin.

The warning was issued for the Boundary and West Vancouver valleys.

The end of severe weather

Canada has issued red alerts for British Columbia’s Boundary and West Vancouver valleys. Credit: Feisal Omar

In a climate change-themed promotional video released earlier this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that, in the future, drought will occur less frequently, but devastating droughts will have more impact.

“Drought is an everyday thing,” Trudeau said in the video. “The farther off you’re looking in future we will see changes in extreme weather events, the numbers of things that will happen are going to go up.”

Climate change report shows increasing risk of extreme weather event

This is not the first time climate change has been linked to flooding and droughts in Canada. In 2013, Canada’s National Science Board study concluded that Canada was expected to suffer more storms and flooding than expected, due to global warming.

Even with warming temperature in Vancouver during the past six years, the average precipitation levels remained within the context of average conditions during the period, according to the study.

The weather warnings came one day after an emergency spillway shut down the Sea to Sky Highway near Whistler because of a landslide.

In 2016, the Canadian city of Prince George was slammed by stormy weather, including hail and rain, contributing to flash flooding, while the population was swamped by power outages in central Alberta in March 2017.

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