Browse "Environment"

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Air Pollution

Air pollutants are substances that, when present in the atmosphere in sufficient quantities, may adversely affect people, animals, vegetation or inanimate materials.

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Arctic Haze

Once one of the purest and cleanest places on Earth, the Arctic has been tarnished, dimmed by a dirty blanket of reddish-brown smog. Coined in the 1950s, the arctic haze which arrives each fall and winter is a totally unexpected phenomenon recorded nowhere else on Earth.

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Biodiversity

 Biodiversity is the variety of life (genetic, species and ecosystem levels) on Earth or some part of it. It includes all living forms, plants, animals and micro-organisms. It is the natural wealth of a region that provides resources and ecological services.

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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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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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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

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.

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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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Ecosystem

    A limited space within which living beings interact with nonliving matter at a high level of interdependence to form an environmental unit is called an ecosystem.

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Endangered Animals

Many animals in Canada face the risk of extinction. The major factors that put Canadian animal species at risk include the conversion of forest and grassland to urban and agricultural uses, commercial timber harvesting, hunting, fishing and the pollution of lakes and rivers (see Water Pollution). As of 2017, a total of 735 species were considered at risk in Canada, including 502 kinds of animals. (Other species at risk include plants; see also Endangered Plants.)

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Endangered Plants

A species is endangered if there are threats to its survival. The major factors that put plant species at risk stem primarily from human activity, including the conversion of natural habitats into land for agricultural, urban and industrial purposes. In Canada, these activities threaten entire natural ecosystems, such as older forests and Prairie grasslands. As of 2017, of the approximate 7,300 species of flora in Canada, 233 are at risk.

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.