On the quay leading to the Arsenale exhibition complex, a block of ice melts in a rare blast of spring warmth. Elsewhere in the city, coconuts bob on the choppy waters of the canals during the opening week of the 55th Venice Biennale.
"Canada is not a country, it's winter," Canadians say with pride. But the nation's long, fearsome winters will live only in memory and song for Canadian children born this decade.
Killing nearly 200 people in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean and crippling much of New York City and surrounding areas earlier this week, Hurricane Sandy was the kind of extreme weather event scientists have long predicted will occur with global warming.
The melt of Arctic sea ice has reached its lowest point this year, shrinking 18 percent from last year's near-record low.