Transcript: Climate Watch Shorts: Skating on thin ice | Feb 11, 2017

(music plays)

An animated slate shows the TVO Climate Watch logo and the caption "Shorts."

Then, Nam stands outside an outdoors hockey rink on a cold winter day.
A caption reads "Nam Kiwanuka. Climate Watch Shorts host."

Nam is in her late thirties, with fluffy curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a thick green winter coat.

She says WELCOME TO CLIMATE
WATCH SHORTS WHERE
WE EXAMINE THE LOCAL
IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE.
COMMUNITY SKATING
RINKS ARE A CHERISHED
WINTER TRADITION IN
ONTARIO, BUT WITH THE
CHANGING CLIMATE IT
MEANS SHORTER WINTERS.
SCIENTISTS PREDICT
THAT FUTURE TEMPERATURES
WILL SERIOUSLY AFFECT
THE SKATING SEASON.
WE HIT THE ICE TO
FIND OUT MORE.

A caption reads "Toronto, Ontario."

A man plays hockey with two boys. A toddle skates on ice.

Then, a man speaks in an office.
A caption reads "Robert McLeman. Professor of environmental studies. Wilfried Laurier University."

Robert is in his early fifties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He's wearing glasses and a checkered blue shirt.

Robert says ONE OF THE
PROJECTS I'VE BEEN WORKING ON
IN RECENT YEARS WITH
COLLEAGUES HERE IS A STUDY
CALLED "RINK WATCH" WHERE
WE ASK PEOPLE WHO HAVE
OUTDOOR SKATING RINKS TO
PROVIDE US DATA ABOUT
SKATING CONDITIONS.
AND WHAT WE DO WITH
THAT DATA IS WE USE IT
TO TRACK CHANGES
IN THE CLIMATE.
WE ALSO USE IT TO LOOK
AT THE SOCIAL BENEFITS
OF OUTDOOR SKATING.
SO WHY DO PEOPLE
BUILD SKATING RINKS?
AND WHAT DO THEY
HOPE TO GET OUT OF IT?
AND WE'VE USED THIS DATA
ALSO TO SORT OF FORECAST
INTO THE FUTURE HOW CLIMATE
CHANGE IS GOING TO
AFFECT PEOPLE'S OPPORTUNITIES
TO GO SKATING OUTSIDE
IN FUTURE DECADES.
SO WHAT WE'VE FOUND IN
OUR RESEARCH IS THAT
MINUS 5 DEGREES CELSIUS
IS THE MAGIC NUMBER.
SO IF AVERAGE DAILY
TEMPERATURES ARE COLDER
THAN MINUS 5 DEGREES CELSIUS,
RINKS ARE SKATEABLE,
THE CONDITIONS ARE GOOD.
IF IT'S WARMER THAN MINUS
FIVE DEGREES CELSIUS,
THEN THE SKATING
CONDITIONS DETERIORATE.
NOW ON AVERAGE IN
SOUTHERN ONTARIO,
THERE'S ABOUT 60 DAYS
EACH WINTER WHEN
YOU'LL HAVE THOSE
TYPES OF CONDITIONS.

Clips show boys skating and a woman helping a boy around 5 put on skates. Then a clip shows a rink covered in plastic, and a sign that reads "No playing. Unsafe conditions."
A caption reads "Bennington Heights rink during a thaw."

Robert continues BUT WHAT WE'VE SEEN
WHEN WE TAKE OUR SKATING
DATA FROM OUR RINK
PROJECT AND PUT IT INTO
A CLIMATE MODEL IS
THAT OVER THE COURSE
OF THIS CENTURY THE NUMBER
OF SKATING DAYS WILL DECLINE.
AND SO WHERE YOU NOW HAVE
60 DAYS ON AVERAGE HERE
IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO,
WE MIGHT BE DOWN TO,
SAY, 40 DAYS BY THE
END OF THIS DECADE.

Now a man in his late forties speaks.
A caption reads "Andrew Platt. Fairmount Park Ice Masters."
Andrew is clean-shaven and balding. He's wearing glasses and a blue jacket.

He says IT'S SUCH AN ICONIC
PART OF CANADIAN WINTER,
JUST BEING OUTSIDE ON AN
ICE RINK AND SKATING.
I THINK IT WOULD BE
A TREMENDOUS LOSS
FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
OF OUR KIDS.
OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS
IT'S DEFINITELY GETTING
HARDER AND HARDER.

Clips show Andrew and other men assembling a wooden structure in a park.

Andrew continues YOU NEVER QUITE KNOW
WHAT WINTER'S GOING
TO DEAL YOU, WHETHER WE
GET A GOOD LONG SEASON
OR A SHORT SEASON.
OR SOMETIMES WE STRUGGLE,
WE GET A NICE PIECE OF
ICE LAID DOWN AND THEN IT
MELTS AND THEN WE START
ALL OVER AGAIN.
SO THERE'S DEFINITELY MORE
VARIABILITY IN THE LAST
TEN YEARS THAT I'VE BEEN
INVOLVED WITH THE RINK.

Now a man in his fifties speaks in a living room.
A caption reads "Barry Ross. Fairmount Park Ice Masters."

Barry has short curly gray hair and a stubble. He's wearing glasses.

He says MYSELF AND
ANOTHER FELLOW STARTED
THE ICE MASTERS
ABOUT 25 YEARS AGO.
JUST THE TWO OF US.
WE TOOK OVER BUILDING
AND MAINTAINING
THE TWO COMMUNITY ICE
RINKS UP AT FAIRMOUNT PARK.
25 YEARS LATER WE'RE
STILL DOING THE RINKS
AND WE'VE GONE FROM
TWO GUYS WORKING
OUR BUTTS OFF EVERY NIGHT
TO NOW WE'VE GOT 70 GUYS
IN THE COMMUNITY THAT ARE
ALL PART OF OUR ICE MASTERS
BROTHERHOOD, SISTERHOOD
AND CONTRIBUTE TO THE
EFFORTS TO BUILD
AND MAINTAIN THE ICE.
WE ALL GREW UP SKATING
ON NATURAL ICE RINKS.
I PLAYED HOCKEY WHEN I
WAS A YOUNG GUY, AND
OUR LEAGUE GAMES WERE
ON NATURAL ICE RINKS.
IT'S A REAL... I DON'T
WANT TO BE CORNY, BUT
LIKE A HERITAGE
THING OF CANADIANA
TO HAVE NATURAL
ICE RINKS.
IT WASN'T HARD TO GET
OTHERS INTERESTED IN
JOINING US BECAUSE
THEY FELT THE SAME WAY.

A woman in her late forties speaks.
A caption reads "Shelly Raftis. Bennington Heights rink volunteer."
Shelly has long straight blond hair.

Clips show her watering a snowy surface surrounded by a wooden structure.

She says I STARTED OFF MAKING THIS
ICE RINK 8 YEARS AGO.
AND THE COMMUNITY GOT
MUCH MORE INVOLVED
BECAUSE IT WAS
SUCH A SUCCESS.
WELL, IT ALL DEPENDS
ON THE WEATHER,
SO I ALWAYS RELATE
IT TO BAKING A CAKE.
THERE'S LIKE THIS
CERTAIN RECIPE I HAVE.
AND IT'S MAINLY TO DO
WITH THE TEMPERATURES.
ESPECIALLY TO START THE
RINK, YOU'VE GOT TO MAKE
SURE IT'S JUST
COLD AND DRY OUT.
SO TO START THE RINK, I
LIKE TO HAVE TWO OR THREE
NIGHTS THAT ARE AT LEAST
CLOSE TO MINUS 10.
AND THEN YOU'LL GET
A SOLID BUILD-UP.
THEN ONCE YOU HAVE A
SOLID LAYER, IT'S JUST
A MATTER OF
CONTINUING TO FLOOD.
LAST YEAR WAS
NOT A GOOD YEAR.
IT WAS THE WORST
YEAR IN 8 YEARS
BECAUSE IT WAS
JUST TOO WARM.
SO I THINK I TRIED TO MAKE
THE RINK ABOUT FIVE TIMES.
FIVE DIFFERENT TIMES THERE
WAS DIFFERENT THAWS.
THEY DIDN'T GET
MUCH SKATING IN,
SO IT WAS QUITE
DISAPPOINTING.

Robert says IT'S A LOT OF WORK
TO BUILD AN OUTDOOR
SKATING RINK, AND SO IF
YOU'RE ONLY ABLE TO
BUILD A RINK FOR MAYBE
4 TO 6 WEEKS OF SKATING
THROUGHOUT THE WINTER,
A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE
PROBABLY NOT
GOING TO DO IT.
AND SO IF THAT HAPPENS,
THEN NEIGHBOURHOODS WILL
LOSE THOSE COMMUNITY
ASSETS, THOSE WINTER
RESOURCES WHERE FAMILIES
AND FRIENDS CAN SHARE
THE SKATING EXPERIENCE.

(music plays)
A clip shows a man in his forties helping a boy around 8 to put on skates in a park.

The end slate reads "tvo.org/climatewatch"

Watch: Climate Watch Shorts: Skating on thin ice