Canadians surrender to warming, refrigerate Arctic hockey rinks

Global warming is threatening Canadian identity and culture -- winters are no longer reliably cold enough for the backyard hockey rinks that have produced national heroes like Wayne Gretzky. Even in Arctic territories, villages have had to install refrigeration systems rather than wait until January for skatable ice, reports The New York Times.

The last several winters have been remarkably warm in Canada, and the winter of 2011-12 was the warmest in the historical record, with temperatures as much as 13 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in parts of the country. Last January, the winter warmth disrupted the N.H.L. All-Star Game festivities in Ottawa, as mild temperatures denied visitors the wintertime tradition of skating on the Rideau Canal.

The warming trend has been especially noticeable in the Canadian Arctic. In Cape Dorset, it rained on Christmas Day in 2010. Last month, on the first day of winter, it was only about 27 degrees.


Read more from The New York Times: Rinks in Canada's Arctic Turn to Cooling Systems