Canada has its warmest winter ever, and other global warming news

| Tue Mar. 14, 2006 3:39 PM EST

Looks like there might be something to this global warming stuff after all. Here's AP:

TORONTO — The winter of 2005-06 has been Canada's warmest on record and the federal agency Environment Canada said Monday that it was investigating whether it was a sign of global warming.

From December through February, which is considered meteorological winter, the country was 3.9 degrees above normal — the warmest winter season since temperatures were first recorded here in 1948.

Environment Canada climatologist Bob Whitewood said it smashed the previous record set in 1987 by 0.9 degrees.

....Whitewood said the last 10 winters had been warmer than normal and along with this winter reflect a trend that could be explained as global warming.

Hmm, yes, I can see how he might infer that.

Hockey-playing Canadians are said to be "disappointed" about thinner ice. No comment from the thousands of pregnant seals "forced to give birth on shore by unusually mild weather that has prevented the Gulf of St. Lawrence from freezing."

Apropos, it's been at least a day since we last drew attention to this Mother Jones story about the plight of adorable polar bears doomed to (probable) extinction thanks to pollution and global warming. (Their Arctic home is literally melting beneath their feet.)

In other climate change news, NASA has roused itself long enough to tout a survey it says confirms "climate warming is changing how much water remains locked in Earth's largest storehouses of ice and snow." The story has an agency researcher noting an "internal NASA change...to allow scientists greater freedom." Which, if true--and don't count on it--will be quite the cultural shift.