Photo: The water level of Salamander Pond, along Henderson Road near Bathurst Street in Aurora, is much lower than it has been in previous years.
In the York region of Ontario, hot temperatures coupled with a lack of rainfall, have produced RECORD DRY CONDITIONS. "It's almost as if the clouds have forgotten how to rain." The combined rainfall for June, July and August is currently at 82 mm at Buttonville airport and 71 mm in Aurora. 1978 and 1988 are tied as the region's driest on record with about 93 mm of combined rainfall for June, July and August. "We are dealing with 35 or 40 per cent of what rainfall should be." In southwestern Ontario, although extreme conditions often occur, there is usually a balance, so an extremely dry period will be followed by a period with more rain. However, that is not the case this summer with month after month of dry conditions. "What surprises me most is the persistence of the dry. Usually, it balances out." In addition to ponds drying up, farmers are losing crops due to the drought or suffering financially by having to irrigate. And in many ways, the damage the environment suffers due to a drought-like conditions can be worse than an extreme weather event, such as a tornado, because trees and plants suffer long-term damage, leaving them susceptible to disease. "It's going to get worse before it gets better."
Adapting to the damaging effects of climate change, plants are gradually moving to where temperatures are cooler, rainfall is greater, f...