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Climate Change, Extreme Heat and Health | SMCC Backgrounder

  There is no denying it and no doubt about it: our planet is warming and climate change is well underway, around the world and right here in Canada. And extreme heat events are one of the consequences. Periods of extreme heat are uncomfortable, but they can also exacerbate existing health conditions, such as asthma, and […]

This photograph shows a close-up of the hummocky terrain of a moss bank surface, Green Island. (Image by Matt Amesbury)

Moss study reveals widespread climate change in the Antarctic

Moss from additional sites on the Antarctic Peninsula has allowed scientists to get a clear picture of the ecological changes the region underwent over the past 50 years. A new study builds on previous research from 2013, where scientists studied mosses and microbes growing at the southern end of the Antarctic Peninsula. In the recent […]

Western spotted skunk is shown doing its characteristic hand-stand when spraying. (Image by Jerry W. Dragoo)

Ice Age climate change more important than geological barriers in spotted skunk evolution

The evolution of Western spotted skunks—tiny, maze-patterned carnivores with a unique hand-stand spraying technique—was influenced by climate change, not geological barriers, new research suggests. Spotted skunks can be found throughout western United States and Mexico, living in a variety of climates. Studying the evolution of skunks may seem arbitrary, but in fact, these small carnivores provide […]

The view from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Rothera research station, on Alexander Island at the Antarctic Peninsula. (Image by A. E. Hogg/CPOM)

Antarctic Peninsula ice more stable than previously reported, according to satellite study

A recent assessment of glacier flow in Western Palmer Land on the Antarctic Peninsula reveals that sea-ice loss in the region isn’t as drastic as previously reported. Using five different satellites, researchers tracked changes in the speed of more than 30 glaciers over the past 25 years. Their findings provide evidence that Western Palmer Land […]

A 400-foot-wide waterfall drains off the Nansen Ice Shelf into the ocean.
(Image by Won Sang Lee/Korea Polar Research Institute)

Survey charts meltwater and streams across Antarctica

For the first time ever, researchers have mapped out the movement of water across Antarctica in an intricate network of lakes and streams. Researchers catalogued satellite images and aerial photographs of the continent starting from the late 1940s. In their analysis of the images, researchers found nearly 700 seasonal systems of interconnected ponds, channels and […]

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Natural and anthropogenic influences led to mountain snow loss in Western United States

Both natural and anthropogenic factors have led to the decrease of snowcaps on the Western US mountains, a recent study concludes. Study authors simulated snowpack conditions by using a climate model in two configurations: one with contributions only from natural variability; and a second with contributions from both natural variability and anthropogenic activities. Researchers found the […]

A stream flows through the toe of Kaskawulsh Glacier in Kluane National Park, Yukon. In 2016, this channel allowed the glacier's meltwater to drain in a different direction than normal, resulting in the Slims River water being rerouted to a different river system. (Image by Dan Shugar)

Retreating glacier is making a Yukon river disappear

The melting of a massive glacier is changing the course of a Yukon river, new study finds. Meltwater from the retreating Kaskawulsh Glacier, which used to flow through the Slims River in Kluane National Park, is now flowing through a different river. This is the first modern case of “river piracy,” a phenomenon where the […]

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Biofuels help reduce emissions from airplanes at cruise conditions

A mixture of biofuel and conventional fuel reduces airplane emissions by 50 to 70% compared to conventional fuel, according to the first ever in-flight study of biofuel aerosol emissions. Researchers measured aerosol emissions from an aircraft flying behind the test plane, a technique that provided more accurate results than ground tests. Aerosols released by plane engines in-flight […]

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SMCC Webinar: Water in a Changing Climate

Water is our lifeline and also a humbling force of nature. As the climate changes, the decisions we make today regarding water will determine our country’s success over the coming decades. SMCC in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada brought together researchers and policy makers to describe what the future may hold for this essential […]

80% of the world’s oceans would be affected by climate change by 2050

Four-fifths of the world’s marine ecosystems will be irreversibly damaged by 2050 if no immediate action is taken, a new study concludes. Researchers ran simulations to determine the effect of climate change on the main stressors of the ocean’s ecosystems—such as pH, temperature, oxygen concentration and food availability. If conditions remain as they are, in […]

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