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RinkWatch: How backyard skaters are monitoring climate change

01 Feb

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network.

People in Canada and some northern U.S. states have a long tradition of turning their backyards and parks into homemade ice-skating rinks, where everyone can skate or play hockey to their heart’s content. But how will these homemade rinks fare in a warming world? Will people need to adopt new methods to build their rinks, or will they even be possible?
A new website called RinkWatch aims to answer some of these questions — eventually. Created by geographers from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, RinkWatch asks citizen scientists and rink aficionados to record data about their backyard rinks. The information — including data points such as the date the rink is first flooded and the number of weeks that the ice is good enough for skating — will be used to track the progression of climate change in the coming years.
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