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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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