For the first time in five decades, the famous Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa, Canada, which is also the largest outdoor skating rink in the world, will not open due to lack of ice.
The skating rink, which is a World Heritage Site at UNESCO, stretches 7.8 km and is extremely popular with both locals and tourists. In recent years, however, Ottawa has struggled with warmer winters. This year was the third warmest winter on record, so there is not enough stable, solid ice for skating.
According to records, temperatures must be between -10 and -20 degrees Celsius for the channel to stay frozen.
Since it is the largest outdoor ice rink in the world, it usually opens in January and is one of Ottawa's major highlights.
This year, however, the rink will remain closed due to a lack of ice - a major blow to all visitors who were looking forward to being able to skate this year.
Although a direct link between global warming and this event has not yet been established, experts suspect the same. The National Capital Commission (NCC) also recently issued a safety notice to the public, stating that the ice was 'dangerously thin."
The NCC has reportedly commissioned a series of climate adaptation studies in response to the current situation and is making every effort to try to keep the skating rink open earlier and longer.
The NCC believes there is still hope. They added that they will re-evaluate conditions later this week. Hopefully, the situation will improve, but until then, we'll keep our fingers crossed.
In the meantime, experts believe that we will eventually get to a point where it may not be possible to open the skate track.
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