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Macleans

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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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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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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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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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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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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Statistics

Statistics is the science concerned with the collection and analysis of numerical information to answer questions wisely. The term also refers to the numerical information that has been collected. Statistics has many applications in Canada, from government censuses and surveys, to decision making in industry, to medical research and technological innovation.

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Weather

WEATHER FORECASTING is the attempt to understand atmospheric patterns to predict the weather conditions that will occur at a specific place and time, including temperature, wind, cloud, precipitation and humidity.

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Weather Forecasting

Most modern meteorologists attempt to cope with physical processes by expressing them mathematically, ie, by creating mathematical models of the atmosphere. Powerful computers are then used to solve problems.

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Weather Observations

   Weather in Canada ranges from the extreme cold of the Arctic to tornadoes and other severe weather in the southern regions; from the storms and fog of the Atlantic to the dry heat and majestic thunderstorms of the prairies.

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Biosphere Reserves in Canada

A biosphere reserve represents one of the world’s important ecosystems and is divided into three zones: a protected core zone (such as a park or wildlife area), a buffer zone around the core, and a transition zone that fosters sustainable economic and cultural activity. The World Network of Biosphere Reserves includes 686 sites around the world, 18 of which are in Canada. The network is part of the larger Man and the Biosphere Program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Biosphere reserves are designated by UNESCO to help conserve biodiversity, demonstrate sustainable development and build the local community’s capacity to deal with human and environmental issues.

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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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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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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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Wind Chill

The more pronounced the air movement (wind or moving air produced by walking, skiing or riding in a convertible) and the greater the temperature difference between the surface of the object and the air, the greater the heat loss.

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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.