Transcript: Climate Watch Shorts: The mushing season | Jan 28, 2017

(music plays)

A black spinning globe appears next to the caption "TVO Climate Change Shorts."

A caption reads "Nam Kiwanuka. Climate Watch Shorts host."

Nam has curly brown hair and wears glasses and a gray parka.

She says WELCOME TO CLIMATE
WATCH SHORTS
WHERE WE EXAMINE THE LOCAL
IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE.
SNOW IS AN ESSENTIAL
PART OF THE EXPERIENCE
AT WINTER DANCE DOGSLED
TOURS IN HALIBURTON.
THEIR KENNEL OF 150 DOGS
WAITS EAGERLY EVERY YEAR
FOR THE TRAILS TO BE
READY FOR THEIR RUNS.
BUT
THE SEASON IS
GETTING SHORTER.
WE SPEAK TO THE OWNERS ABOUT
WHAT THEY'VE BEEN SEEING.

(music plays)

The caption changes to "Haliburton, Ontario."

In a snow-covered forest, six dogs pull a sled.

The caption changes to "Hank DeBruin. Co-owner. Winterdance Dogsled Tours."

Hank is in his fifties, with long curly light brown hair and a graying beard. He wears a blue sweatshirt and a woollen hat.

He says THE DOGS DICTATE
EVERYTHING AROUND HERE.
I DON'T THINK WE
OWN THE DOGS.
I'M PRETTY SURE
THE DOGS OWN US.
WE SCOOP THEIR POOP, WE
FEED THEM, WE WATER THEM,
WE RUN THEM.
I THINK WE'RE MORE LIKE
SERVANTS TO THE DOGS
THAN ANYTHING ELSE.
SO, YEAH, THE DAY IS
JUST LOOKING AFTER DOGS,
RUNNING DOGS,
HARNESSING DOGS.
THE BIG THING IS KEEPING
THE DOGS HAPPY.
A HAPPY DOG WILL RUN.

The caption changes to "Tanya McCready. Co-Owner. Winterdance Dogsled Tours."

Tanya is in her late forties, with long graying hair in a bun. She wears glasses, jeans and a red jacket.

She says AN UNHAPPY DOG WILL NOT RUN.
OVER 17 YEARS WE HAVE
DEFINITELY SEEN SOME CHANGES
IN THE WEATHER.
NOT SO MUCH STEADY
CHANGES, BUT JUST THOSE
EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS.
YOU CAN'T REALLY BANK
ON A CONTINUAL SEASON.
I THINK WE'D BE SILLY
TO NOT SAY IT'S SOMETHING
WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT IN
THE FUTURE, ESPECIALLY AS
OUR CHILDREN LOOK TO
TAKE OVER THE BUSINESS.
SO THERE'S PLANS FOR
PUTTING SNOW-MAKING EQUIPMENT
IN OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS
SO THAT WE CAN KIND OF,
LIKE THE SKI HILLS, TRY TO
BUFFER WHAT MOTHER NATURE
THROWS OUR WAY.

Clips show Hank and Tanya prepping the dogs for sled tours.

Hank says THE WEATHER MEANS
EVERYTHING TO US.
YOU NEED SNOW TO RUN DOGS.
TO GET PEOPLE HERE
YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE SNOW
BUT YOU ALSO HAVE TO
HAVE DECENT WEATHER
FOR PEOPLE TO BE
ABLE TO TRAVEL.
SO THE WEATHER IS A HUGE
PART OF OUR BUSINESS.
THE WEATHER DICTATES
EVERYTHING WE DO, REALLY.
I GUESS FOR US IT MEANS
LOOKING FOR SOME OTHER WAY
TO ADD INCOME TO
OUR BUSINESS.
WE'VE STARTED A MAPLE SYRUP
OPERATION THIS YEAR TO
HELP OFFSET WHAT WE
LOSE RUNNING DOGS.
BOTTOM LINE, WE USED TO HAVE
12 SOLID WEEKS OF RUNNING,
BUT NOW WE'RE DOWN TO
11 OR 10 SOLID WEEKS.
SO, FOR US, THAT'S A
HUGE PART OF OUR INCOME.

The caption changes to "Kent Moore. Professor of atmospheric physics. University of Toronto."

Kent is in his fifties, clean-shaven and with short wavy white hair. He wears a white shirt and a blue cardigan.

Kent says IF YOU LOOK SORT
OF OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS,
WHICH IS THE TIME THAT
WE HAVE THE BEST DATA FOR,
THERE'S BEEN A DECREASE IN
SNOWFALL IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO.
AND AN INCREASE IN RAIN.
SO WE'RE KIND OF GETTING
THIS TRANSITION FROM
SOME MORE SNOW EVENTS
TO MORE RAIN EVENTS.
SO THE WAY WE TEND TO
CHARACTERIZE SNOWFALL IS
BY ESSENTIALLY AVERAGING
OVER, LET'S SAY,
THE WHOLE WINTER
AND THEN DECIDING
ON HOW MUCH SNOW
FALLS EVERY DAY.
IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO
WE GET ABOUT ON AVERAGE
1 CENTIMETRE OF
SNOW PER DAY.
SO WHAT'S HAPPENING
THEN IS THAT THAT AMOUNT
OF SNOWFALL IS DECREASING
BY ABOUT 10 PERCENT
OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS.

The caption changes to "Ashleigh-Ann Frederick. Tour guide. Winterdance Dogsled Tours."

Ashleigh is in her twenties, with long slightly wavy brown hair in a ponytail. She wears snow trousers, a black sweater, a red and black jacket and a woollen hat.

She says FOR THESE DOGS, IF YOU
COULD IMAGINE TRYING TO
RUN IN THE SUMMER WITH
A HOT WINTER COAT ON,
YOU'RE GONNA GET
REALLY HOT.
YOU'RE GONNA HAVE A
REALLY HARD TIME.
AND IT'S THE SAME
THING WITH THESE GUYS.
THEIR WINTER COAT
CAN'T COME OFF.
SO IF WE TRIED TO RUN
THEM IN WARM WEATHER
IT REALLY WOULDN'T WORK.
WE REALLY NEED THOSE
COLD TEMPERATURES.
THEY LOVE IT WHEN IT
GETS DOWN TO MINUS 25.
THAT'S REALLY WHEN
THEY'RE IN THEIR PRIME.
IF IT GETS TO BE
ABOUT 5 TO 10 DEGREES,
THAT'S REALLY TOO
HOT FOR THESE GUYS.
SO ONCE THAT STOPS THAT'S
WHEN OUR SEASON ENDS.
AND ONCE THAT HITS
IN THE FALL IS WHEN
OUR SEASON BEGINS.
SO IF THAT'S CHANGING
THAT SHORTENS THE TIME
THAT WE CAN RUN.

Clips show Tanya and tourists interacting with the dogs.

Tanya says ASK ANYBODY WHO IS A GUIDE
HERE OR ANY OF THE CUSTOMERS
WHAT'S SO SPECIAL, AND
IT'S ALWAYS THE DOGS.
WE GET TO DO THE TALKING
FOR THEM, BUT THEY'RE
THE STARS, THEY'RE THE
MAGIC, THEY'RE THE PASSION.
THEY'RE JUST THE MOST
INCREDIBLE CREATURES
ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH.
AND THEN TO GET TO BE OUT
HERE IN THIS WILDERNESS...
WE HAVE PEOPLE
COME UP FROM THE CITY
AND THEY CAN JUST BREATHE.
AND YOU'LL SEE
THEIR BODIES OPEN.
THEY'RE RELAXED,
THE STRESS GOES,
THEY START LAUGHING
AND SMILING
AND THEY FORGET ABOUT
THE PHONES THAT ARE BUZZING
IN THEIR POCKET.
YEAH, THE WILDERNESS
SPEAKS TO YOU,
AND IT'S MAGIC.

(music plays)

A caption reads "tvo.org/climatewatch."

Watch: Climate Watch Shorts: The mushing season