Browse "Climate and Climatology"

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Agroforestry

Agroforestry is an intensive land management system that integrates the benefits from biological interactions created when trees or shrubs are intentionally grown with crops or livestock.

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Biogeoclimatic Zone

For example, in British Columbia, the Coastal Western Hemlock Zone is one of 14 biogeoclimatic zones. It occupies high precipitation areas up to 1000 m elevation west of the coastal mountains from the Washington to Alaska borders and beyond.

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Biosphere Reserve

The biosphere is that part of our planet that supports life. Biosphere reserves are special places chosen to become models of how we should live with nature. The Biosphere Reserve Program, initiated in 1974, is a network of over 350 sites around the world that share ideas and experiences.

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Climate Change

Climate change occurs when long-term weather patterns begin to shift. These periods of change have occurred throughout the Earth’s history over extended periods of time. However, since the Industrial Revolution the world has been warming at an unprecedented rate. Because of this, the current period of climate change is often referred to as “global warming.” Human activities that release heat-trapping greenhouse gases, such as the burning of fossil fuels, are largely responsible for this increased rate of change. The implications of this global increase in temperature are potentially disastrous and include extreme weather events, rising sea levels and loss of habitat for plants, animals and humans. In Canada, efforts to mitigate climate change include phasing-out coal-fired power plants in Ontario and instituting a carbon tax in British Columbia.

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Climate Information

Climate information is used by a variety of people. Building designers must be certain that their structures will withstand the strongest winds and be habitable during temperature extremes. Airlines, when possible, plan their routes to take advantage of the prevailing winds in the upper atmosphere.

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Climate Severity

 Environment Canada devised the climate severity index to rate a locality's climate according to human comfort and well being. The index has a range from 1 to 100, with a score of 1 representing the least severe climate and 100 the most.

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Climatology

The study of modern climatology is primarily global in perspective. The main tools used by climatologists are computer models of the atmosphere, ocean and land surface, and data inferred from SATELLITE observations.

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Global Warming Crisis

Across the Arctic, the ominous signs are everywhere. With average temperatures in some parts of the Canadian North rising at the rate of about 1° C each decade, glaciers are in retreat. Scientists report a dramatic thinning of the Polar ice cap.

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Green Driving Machines

From the outside there was little to distinguish the sleek Toyota Prius from any other car on the streets of Timmins, Ont. But when the driver turned the key, it was clear this was no ordinary sedan. The only sound as the Prius pulled away was the gentle hum of an electric motor.

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Greenhouse Crops

Today's greenhouse industry uses the most modern technologies, which allow it to reduce their negative effects on the environment, to considerably improve the energetic efficiency of crops (used energy by unit production) and thus to remain competitive in national and international markets.

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Hail

Hail, precipitation consisting of lumps of ICE, about 5 mm to 10 cm in diameter and about 0.1 g to 1 kg in weight. A 290 g hailstone that fell near Cedoux, Sask, is one of the largest recorded in Canada. The authenticated world record belongs to a 770 g hailstone that fell in Coffeyville, Kansas.

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Heat Wave

A heat wave is usually defined as a period of 3 or more consecutive days with temperatures of 32° C or higher. High HUMIDITY is not a requisite, yet most, but not the worst, heat waves are oppressively humid.

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High Arctic Weather Stations

High Arctic Weather Stations, managed by the Monitoring and Science Division, Prairie and Northern Region of Environment Canada, began as the Joint Arctic Weather Stations. The plan for a network of Arctic weather bases was approved by the US on 12 February 1946, and on 28 January 1947 Cabinet formally agreed to participate. Between 1947 and 1950, five sites were selected and built jointly by Canada and the US (at Eureka, Isachsen, Mould Bay, Resolute and Alert) to provide the data required for the understanding and prediction of meteorological phenomena on a hemispheric scale and, more specifically, to improve weather predictions for North America. The meteorological data collected is also used by forecasting offices, airlines, northern shipping, climatology studies and research.

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Pollution

Pollution can be defined as the release of any material, energy or organism that may cause immediate or long-term harmful effects to the natural ENVIRONMENT. Pollution was viewed initially as the unsightly mess or visible environmental damage resulting from careless disposal of various materials.

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Pollution Probe Foundation

Pollution Probe was formed in 1969 by a group of University of Toronto students in an effort to address some of the environmental issues that were without a champion at the time. The organization became a registered charity in 1971.