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Macleans

Inside the Kyoto Deal

Alberta’s energy minister, Steve West, spent much of last week wearing a tight smile, his clenched jaw and square shoulders set as firmly as his conviction that people who blame the oilpatch for the next century’s foul weather have lost their heads.

Macleans

Endangered Species Protection

Grant Fahlman, 51, has lived his whole life on the farm 25 km southeast of Regina where his family settled when they came from Russia in 1889, and this year was the first in his memory that no burrowing owls raised their broods in his pasture.

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Permafrost

Permafrost is ground remaining at or below 0°C continuously for at least two years. About 50 per cent of Canada is underlain by permafrost, mainly in the Arctic Archipelago, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Macleans

Sperm Scare

During the mid-1970s, a Canadian Wildlife Service researcher discovered that birds in Lake Ontario were behaving in a bizarre way: unable to find mates, pairs of female herring gulls were nesting together and devotedly tending clutches of eggs that usually turned out to be infertile.

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Resource Use

Since prehistoric times, the inhabitants of what is now Canada used vegetation and animals for food, clothing and shelter. They fashioned implements and ornaments from MINERALS and, after the arrival of Europeans, used furs for trading.

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Energy in Society

Energy plays a unique and critical role in the world; no activity of any kind (no "work") can take place without the movement or conversion of energy.

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Fertilizer

Fertilizers are natural or synthetic materials that are used to supply essential nutrients for PLANT growth. Plants require 16 nutrients for growth. Carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) are taken up from the atmosphere and as water.

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Energy

The term "energy" is often used interchangeably with the term "power," but incorrectly so. Energy is defined as the capacity to do work and is measured in joules (J) or watt hours (1 Wh = 3600 J).

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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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Treeline

The treeline is controlled by CLIMATE in interaction with SOIL. In the North, it is correlated generally with the modal (most common) position of the southern edge of the arctic front in summer, and with such temperature indices as the July 10°C isotherm.

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Forestry

Forestry is the science and practice of caring for forests. Both the meaning and practice of forestry in Canada have evolved over time.

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Biogeography

Ecology is subdivided into 3 fields of study: autecology (relations of individual species or populations to their milieu), synecology (composition of living communities) and dynecology (processes of change in related communities).

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Climate

Climate is often defined as average weather, when weather means the current state of the atmosphere. For scientists, climates are the result of exchanges of heat and moisture at the Earth's surface. Because of its size, Canada has many different climates.