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Melting Mountains


AWARE hosts Ian Bruce, a climate change expert with the David Suzuki Foundation

What: Melting Mountains – Global Climate Change and Mountain Environments

Where: Delta Whistler Resort, downstairs conference room

When: Thursday, Dec. 4, 7 p.m.

Although scientists have strong ideas, nobody is sure what will happen as a result of global warming and climate change, the consensus among many is that it won’t be good for mountain communities that rely on snow for tourism and cold winters for the local ecology.

Ian Bruce, the project director for the Melting Mountains Awareness Program at the David Suzuki Foundation is the guest speaker for AWARE’s monthly meeting on Dec. 4 at the Delta Whistler Resort.

His topic is Melting Mountains – Global Climate Change and Mountain Environments, which includes a report on glaciers and a look at how climate change could affect alpine wildlife, snowpack, and other issues.

Working with the Alpine Club of Canada and Mountain Equipment Co-op, Bruce recently helped to put together a David Suzuki Foundation brochure on melting mountains.

According to the David Suzuki Foundation:

• Mountains supply fresh water to over half of the world’s population (including much of Vancouver and Whistler). Mountains act as water towers, intercepting air masses, and triggering rain and snow;

• Mountain landscapes support plants and wildlife found nowhere else;

• In the Canadian Rockies, late summer river flows have decreased due to the reduction in glacier cover over the past 100 years;

• The European Alps have lost half their glacier ice in the past 150 years;

• Globally, the permanent snowline has retreated 200 metres in elevation on average since the 1960s;

• Changes in snow cover and temperatures are likely to be amplified at higher elevations;

• Global temperatures have increased an average of 0.6 degrees Celsius in the last 100 years. Average temperatures in the Rocky Mountains have almost tripled in that time with a 1.5 degree increase. B.C.’s Interior mountains have seen an increase of 1.1 degrees.

The AWARE presentation is free and open to the public.

Members of the public are also welcome to take part in AWARE’s board of directors meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. and breaks shortly before Bruce’s presentation.

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