Today’s Globe and Mail makes a good point about the ongoing Russian heatwave and wildfires, namely that they are a partial counter to the argument that northern countries like Russia and Canada would benefit from a warmer climate:
Russiaâ€™s summer heat wave has dimmed prospects that northern countries will â€œwinâ€ from climate change thanks to factors such as longer crop-growing seasons or fewer deaths from winter cold, experts say.
Canada, Nordic countries and Russia have been portrayed as among a lucky few chilly nations where moderate climate change will mean net benefits such as lower winter heating bills, more forest and crop growth and perhaps more summer tourism.
“Itâ€™s not a matter of a benign shift to a longer growing season” for northern nations, said [Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado]. Russiaâ€™s heat wave doubled death rates in Moscow, wrecked a quarter of Russiaâ€™s grain crop and may cut $14-billion from gross domestic product.
It is certainly odd to see climate change deniers who – in the course of the same speech or article – will claim that climate change isn’t happening at all, that it is pefectly natural, that it is actually going to be beneficial, and that it is all China’s fault for building too many coal plants.
The fact is, all of our infrastructure was designed for the kind of climatic conditions human civilization emerged in. While it is certainly likely that a few people will benefit from climate change, for the most part it will mean that roads, buildings, agricultural systems, and so on are increasingly poorly suited to the area where they are situated.
I wrote before about climate change and Australian brushfires.