What climate change would mean for Canada's famous landmarks - Macleans.ca

What climate change would mean for Canada’s famous landmarks

Here are the possible effects of a warming planet, from Peggy’s Cove to Banff National Park and all the way to the Okanagan Valley

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This article is part of a special climate change issue in advance of the federal election. This collection of stories offers a comprehensive look at where Canada currently stands, what could be done to address the issue and what the consequences might be if this country continues with half measures. Learn more about why we’re doing this.


When it comes to educating our country about climate change, scientists face a distinctly Canadian problem of scope: While most of us have a general understanding that the climate is changing, it’s is all too easy for a Yukoner to dismiss rising sea levels as someone else’s problem or a Torontonian to be completely apathetic to Arctic permafrost. “Many of the changes don’t have a direct, tangible connection to most people in Canada—they’ve probably never even seen permafrost—so it can be hard to appreciate its impact,” says Greg Flato, senior research scientist at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).

READ: Yes, climate change can be beaten by 2050. Here’s how.

To conquer apathy in action, Canada’s Changing Climate Report, released by the government this spring, zoomed in on the specific effects of climate change in all corners of Canada. In each, they predicted two futures: One if we dramatically slash carbon emissions starting right now, and another if we do nothing. Scientists predict temperatures will rise 1.8 degrees in a low-emission scenario and 6.3 degrees in a high one. “Our choices now effect what our lives will look like at the end of the century,” Flato says. If we choose poorly, what might Canada look like in 2100? We imagined six famous Canadian landmarks in a much hotter future.

Peggy’s Cove (Photo illustration by Lauren Cattermole and Drew Maynard)