Climate Change: World’s largest ice rink won’t open this winter

Historic Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Canada to remain closed due to lack of ice

RH Desk
New Delhi, Feb 27

World’s largest natural ice skating rink, the Rideau Canal Skateway in Canada, will not open this season for the first time due to a lack of ice, officials have said while citing climate change.

The Rideau Canal Skateway winds its way over a total length of 7.8 kilometers. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Rideau Canal in winter becomes a treasure that is the pride of the National Capital and a signature destination.

The National Capital Commission (NCC), which maintains and operates the rink, said their efforts to open the rink this season have “come to an end.”

“This year taught us a great deal about the effects of milder winters on the Skateway,” the commission said last week.

Wire news agency Reuters reported the NCC and the Standards Council of Canada have commissioned a climate change risk assessment to understand the impact of climate change on the Skateway. Under the scenario of moderate emissions, “the NCC should prepare for seasons with less than 40 days of skating approximately 50% of the time,” it says.

Doug Gillham, manager of the Weather Network’s forecast center was quoted as saying that temperatures this year are being driven by the La Niña weather phenomenon, while climate change has made mild winters more likely than they were a few decades ago.
The Commission has also said it is hopeful that it will be reopened for skaters next season.

“The Rideau Canal Skateway is an iconic and beloved attraction that we proudly maintain and operate,” it said. “We already look forward to welcoming visitors to the world’s largest skating rink next winter.”

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