Canadian Outdoor Hockey – Threatened by Climate Change?

Photo of Cornell students playing outdoor hockey somewhere in NY, by Miles Luo

While a student at Cornell University, I played hockey out on a pond multiple times, and always had fun even on the occasions when several of us needed to use brooms or shovels as hockey sticks, and a crushed pineapple juice can as a puck. In recent years, it’s been a little tougher to find a good time to play since temperatures have fluctuated so wildly sometimes. Since my friends and I like to stay very conservative with our estimates on the ice’s thickness, an unusually warm day after a series of extremely cold — and typical Ithaca — ones can set us back a bit as we wait for a safer time to get on a pond.

So I at least partly understand the angst of all outdoor hockey-loving Canadians as described by Dave Levitan for Conservation Magazine:

Take anything from Canadians, anything at all—anything except hockey.

Few countries have such a relationship with an individual sport; cricket in India, soccer (football) in Brazil or various others, hockey in Canada. And while the Maple Leafs and the Canadiens aren’t going anywhere, the sport as it is played by millions of others in Canada is in serious danger thanks to climate change.

Continue reading