Canada may claim it has no “official” religion, but any card-carrying northerner will tell you it’s ice hockey. Which means climate change is about to reduce a lot of manly lumberjack and Mountie types to incoherent weeping, because Canada may find itself without any outdoor ice rinks if temperatures continue to rise.
Hockey is no joke in Canada — people build ice rinks in their backyards during the winter months, so they don’t have to be without ice hockey while in between professional ice hockey games. The country even boasts the world’s largest skating rink, the Rideau Canal, a five-mile frozen run through Canada’s capitol.
But a new study published in the Institute of Physics’ journal, Environmental Research Letters, shows that milder winters and earlier springs have caused Canada’s ice season to noticeably shorten over the past 50 years.
By mid-century, it may no longer be possible to play ice hockey or skate on outdoor rinks without artificial intervention. “If you draw a straight line into the future you get zero rink-flooding days by mid-century which implies that at some point in that period you can’t build a rink because it is not getting cold enough,” said Damon Matthews, a geographer at Concordia University and author of the study.
Last year, we advised heading to the snowy north in light of news that a warming world would make Canada one of the globe’s wealthiest countries. Yeah, so … we take that back. Canada without ice hockey is going to be the most depressing place EVER.
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