Zoologist, NDP candidate and author Richard ‘Dick’ Cannings will be spending some time in Castlegar to celebrate the release of his newest book, authored alongside Sydney Cannings.
British Columbia: A Natural History: Its Origins, Ecology, and Diversity with a New Look at Climate Change, isn’t exactly a new book, rather a revision from the original, published in 1996.
The book release will be held on February 20 at Cafe Books.
“Every ten years or so we’ve decided to re-publish it with new additions,” Cannings said.
“It’s been a best seller ever since and even won awards for Best Book of the Year in ‘96 within B.C.”
Cannings added, there is always something new to say and changes to explain. “It’s always done very well.”
The theme of the new material is climate change. “We’ve tried to find out as much as we could about how climate change will affect different parts of B.C., and it’s differing ecosystems in different ways.”
“For a town like Castlegar, one of the big changes will be river flows,” he said. “Rivers that get their peak flows from snow melts — like most interior rivers — will see levels rise much earlier as the glaciers thaw sooner in the year.”
Furthermore, the peak season will be moving from the time around June to May or earlier. Those peaks will be smaller and the rivers will have extended low flow periods in the summer and fall due to longer, hotter, drier summers.
Cannings’ book ties all these consequences in with the animals and plants residing within various ecosystems.
“Salmon will have to wait later to spawn because they don’t like warm water,” he explained.
Warm water generally has less nutrients which causes a huge cascading effect through all areas, from rivers to oceans and more.
British Columbia: A Natural History, delves deep into global weather alterations but Cannings stressed that it isn’t the central topic of this edition.
This book, more than anything, is a celebration of the diversity of the natural world in B.C. and how interesting it is. It covers the province and all of its ecosystems. Freshwater locations to dry grasslands to interior rain forests.
With his writings, Cannings is looking to “expose people to the stories of all the plants and animals that we share this province with and the climate change aspect is just a new wrinkle. I mean it’s a big wrinkle and should be taken seriously but is not the main point.”
Dick Cannings has authored many other books on nature and wildlife which can be found online.
Anyone interested in the future of B.C. and it’s flora and fauna is invited to stop by or visit www.cafebookswest.ca for more information.