Will Outdoor Skating Rinks Soon Be a Thing Of the Past?

Will Outdoor Skating Rinks Soon Be a Thing Of the Past?

New research suggests warmer winter temperatures may soon make outdoor skating rinks a thing of the past as warmer winter temperatures restrict ice from freezing over.

Many Canadians despair that our current government pays scant attention to global warming and climate change issues. A new study by Canadian climate scientists may have the government feeling intense pressure to change its mind on the subject from a hockey-mad electorate . Evidence in the new research suggests that warmer winter temperatures may soon make outdoor skating rinks a thing of the past.

Where will future Wayne Gretskys play?

Some of our greatest professional hockey players have honed their skills on outdoor skating rinks— think Wayne Gretsky. But as warmer temperatures due to climate change prevent ice from freezing over, researchers believe the hockey stars of the future will have limited access to frozen lakes and backyard rinks.

Rideau Canal skating closed

As possible evidence of this trend, the Rideau Canal in Ottawa—the longest outdoor skating rink in the world—was closed for much of the season due to warmer-than-usual winter temperatures, only opening January 15 and closing early on February 11 after a  mere 28 days of skating.

Length of skating season decreased over last 50 years

Two researchers from McGill and Concordia Universities decided to calculate the annual start date and length of the outdoor skating season from historical weather data across Canada and recorded how they’ve changed since the 1950s. In their study, which was published in today’s issue of the journal Environmental Research Letters, they “showed a statistically significant decrease in the length of the skating season over the past half century.”

Decrease most significant in BC and Alberta

The largest decreases in the skating season were recorded in the Prairies and Southwest regions of Canada. They predicted future patterns by extrapolating their data and concluded that, within the next few decades, there may be an end to outdoor skating entirely in BC and Alberta.

Canada’s winter temperatures increased more than 2.5 C since 1950

According to the Institute of Physics, Canada has “taken more of a hit from global warming compared to other countries in the world: since 1950, winter temperatures in Canada have increased by more than 2.5 C, which is three times the globally averaged warming attributed to anthropogenic [manmade] global warming.”

A wake-up call for government?

Damon Matthews, co-author of the study, hopes this research will be a wake-up call for governments. “It is hard to imagine a Canada without outdoor hockey, but I really worry that this will be a casualty of our continuing to ignore the climate problem and obstruct international efforts to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.”

Related Stories


Caught in the Middle

Caught in the MiddleHelp for the Sandwich Generation- Twenty million American adults are caring for aging parents at the same time they\'re raising young children. Known as the Sandwich Generation, the

The Importance of Senior Fitness

The Importance of Senior Fitness- According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), exercise and physical activity are some of the best things older adults can do to stay healthy. Even moderate ex

Grandparent Getaways

Grandparent GetawaysTrips to take with your grandchildren- \"No parents allowed.\" It\'s not a sign on a kid-only clubhouse, it\'s the first rule of travel for memory-making grandparent/grandchild vacatio

Comfortably Aging in Place

Comfortably Aging in PlaceHaving lived in the same ranch house for 55 years, John Heck’s grandparents wanted to make any and all necessary accommodations to allow them to peacefully age in place. Usin

Aging with Vitality, Grace and Confidence

Aging with Vitality, Grace and ConfidenceIt’s one of the great ironies of life: Your reward for surviving the tumultuous teen years, establishing a career and nurturing a family culminates in dry skin

3 Ways Seniors Can Control Prescription Costs

3 Ways Seniors Can Control Prescription CostsFor 55 million Americans enrolled in Medicare, the New Year means any new Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plans, or any changes to your existing pl

Popular Categories