Greenhouse emissions have to be continuously reduced to meet Paris Agreement goals

In order to limit the amount of global warming by 2020 to only 1.5 degrees Celsius, countries under the Paris Agreement may have to strengthen their carbon reduction pledges, a new study suggests. Researchers assessed remaining carbon budgets that are compatible with limiting warming to 1.5 °C by using a simple carbon-climate model, key properties […]

A family of Kodiak bears (Lisa Hupp/USFWS)

How climate change has altered Kodiak bears’ feeding habits

Red elderberry and sockeye salmon make up a large portion of a Kodiak bear’s diet; usually, the bears treat themselves to spawning salmon before the elderberry season begins. Recently, warmer springs have shifted the elderberry fruiting time to an earlier period, which coincides with the salmon spawn. Researchers observed how warmer springs affected the bears’ […]

2016 yet another exceptionally warm year, experts confirm

Global temperatures in 2016 have reached a peak high of 0.8 degrees Celsius above their level in the period between 1961 and 1990. This is the second year in a row to produce record global temperatures – although there isn’t a significant increase from 2015, according to the study authors. Warmer global temperatures in 2016 […]

the arctic tundra ecosystem at Toolik Field Station with the Brooks Range in the background.
(Image by Daniel Obrist)

The cycle of mercury pollution in the Arctic tundra

Human activity has been a major source of mercury pollution in the Arctic, and a new study has identified the form most often taken by the pollutant: gaseous elemental mercury (GEM). The News & Views article discusses how the Arctic tundra acts as a major sink for mercury, as the local plants uptake GEM from the […]

Adélie penguin at Lovill Bluff Colony, Mt Siple, West Antarctica. (Image by Jasmine Lee/Australian Antarctic Division)

A rare look at the potential effects of climate change on terrestrial species in Antarctica

Much research has been dedicated to studying the effects of climate change and global warming on the Antarctic ice sheet and sea levels; but the same can’t be said about the ice-free parts of the region, which cover less than 1% of the continent. Researchers modelled the potential effect of climate change under two Intergovernmental […]


Killer heatwaves are more common than we think

Results of an extensive literature review show that lethal heatwaves are more common than previously thought, and suggest that the extreme heat conditions will continue to arise even if greenhouse gas emissions are drastically reduced in the future. Researchers found over 1,900 cases of locations worldwide since 1980 where heatwaves have killed people, and identified […]

Polar bear on sea ice near Beaufort Sea,
 Alaska. (Image by anim1865 via Flickr CC BY 2.0 )

Lower mercury levels in polar bears could be a sign of climate-related diet shift

A drop in mercury levels was discovered among southern Beaufort Sea polar bears, something the researchers say may suggest a changing diet and a shift in foraging habits. Scientists collected hair samples from Beaufort polar bears over a seven-year period, and measured the mercury concentration in these samples. Results showed a 13% drop in mercury […]

Reducing ambiguity in the Paris Agreement can help better estimate its benefits

Estimates in greenhouse gas reductions on the terms of the Paris Agreement can be improved by 10%, if participating countries make a commitment to submit their climate plans every five years. Paris Agreement aims to limit global warming to below two degrees Celsius by 2030. However, the current result estimates vary by as much as […]

Dr. Ku'ulei Rodgers conducting coral bleaching survey.
(Image by Keisha Bahr)

Hawaiian corals at risk of extinction due to climate change, despite protection

Researchers have documented a third global coral bleaching event, which ended just in 2016, at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve (HBNP) on the island of O’ahu, Hawai’i. They found that 47% of reef flat corals at HBNP bleached overall and 9.8% of corals died at Hanauma Bay during this time. This means that, despite their […]


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 […]

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