Environment

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Environment News Science

Canada Announces Protection For Endangered Birds

Environment Canada has issued an emergency protection order that will limit construction activity and loud industrial noise near the habitat of an endangered bird species.

The greater sage-grouse is a shy bird that lives in southeastern Alberta and Saskatchewan.

There are fewer than 150 adult birds left in Canada, and environmentalists believe the species could be extirpated (locally extinct) within five years unless it is protected.

The birds’ natural habitat is long prairie grass, but much of this grassland has been destroyed by agriculture and oil and gas development over the past hundred years.

In December 2013, Environment Canada – the government department responsible for the environment – issued an order that prohibits any activity that would disrupt the birds’ habitat during the spring mating season.

Animals Environment News Science

Scientists Find 60 New Species In Suriname Rainforest

Scientists have discovered 60 species of previously unknown plants and animals living in a remote rainforest in southeastern Suriname.

Suriname is a small country on the northeastern coast of South America, just north of Brazil.

It is located in a geographic area called the Guiana Shield, which contains more than one-quarter of the world’s rainforest.

An expedition of 16 field biologists spent three weeks in Suriname in 2012, exploring the remote, mountainous rainforest region.

Thirty indigenous men helped transport their food and equipment by boat and guided team through the forest.

Environment News

Philippines Hit By Massive Typhoon

There has been a terrible storm in the Philippines.

The Philippines is a country in southeast Asia.

Because it is an island in the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines often gets very bad weather, including earthquakes, volcanoes and typhoons.

However, Typhoon Haiyan is perhaps the worst natural disaster to ever befall the country.

The typhoon hit the Philippines last Friday.

Its winds of up to 300 kilometres an hour whipped up the ocean waves.

The storm also caused flooding and landslides.

The country’s National Red Cross has launched a huge program to help the people whose houses were destroyed by the typhoon.

Image: Fredrik Rubensson
Environment Science

Pollution Shuts Down Chinese City

The air pollution was so bad in Harbin, in China, on October 21 that the city was forced to close roads and schools, and to cancel hundreds of flights from its airport.

News reports said the smog (a mixture of smoke and fog) was so thick that people couldn’t see more than 10 or 20 metres in front of them.

According to unofficial reports, people could not even see the person standing next to them.

The city’s website said: “You can’t see your own fingers in front of you.”

Residents said there was a “burning” smell in the air.

Many people covered their noses and mouths with scarves or masks.

The pollution was blamed on several factors.

Image: Seattle Skier
Environment Science

World’s Largest Volcano Discovered

What is the largest volcano on Earth? You may be surprised at the answer.

That’s because the world’s largest volcano has just been discovered–and it’s underwater.

The volcano Mauna Loa, in Hawaii, used to be thought of as the largest volcano in the world.

But scientists have discovered one that’s bigger. Much, much bigger.

Tamu Massif is a massive volcano about the size of the British Isles–or more than three times the size of New Brunswick.

Environment News

Human Activity Responsible For Global Warming: UN Report

A group of scientists associated with the United Nations has just issued a report on “climate change.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has confirmed that human habits and activity is responsible for global warming and for higher sea levels.

If this continues, according to the report, there will be more dramatic changes in plant and animal life.

Some critics believe that the current situation is more likely due to short-term factors or weather cycles. They believe that the climate situation will change on its own eventually.

But the UN report says the reality is clear and the facts are there.

Luckily, because humans cause the problem, humans can help solve the problem.

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Environment News

NBA Star Donates $1-Million To Oklahoma Relief Efforts

To help his home city “bounce back” after a terrible storm, NBA player Kevin Durant has donated $1-million.

The number of people harmed by a recent tornado in the U.S. state of Oklahoma was greatly reduced, thanks to a special early-warning system.

On Monday, a major tornado hit Moore, a suburb of Oklahoma City.

A tornado is a violent storm that usually looks like a whirling funnel.

Residents were warned there was a big storm coming, and possibly a tornado, days before it arrived.

When it actually hit, sirens blared, giving people a 16-minute head start to find shelter.

Earth; Image: Chris Hadfield, Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
Environment News

Earth Day Becomes Earth Month

Yesterday was Earth Day.

The annual celebration of the environment was first held in 1970.

But it wasn’t until 1990 that 141 countries put on special events at the same time to make people aware of environmental issues.

Now Earth Day is celebrated every April 22 in more than 150 countries.

In Canada, because there are so many events happening to commemorate Earth Day, the country now celebrates Earth Week and even Earth Month in some places.

Environment News Science

City Services Gearing Up To Battle Climate Change

Cities need to watch the weather closely in the future to make sure that city services are always in good working order, according to a new report being studied by the City of Toronto.

That’s because the changing climate–including severe weather and warmer temperatures–may affect cities’ infrastructure. In this case, “infrastructure” refers to services that support the city, such as roads, public transit and energy plants.

The report, requested by the Toronto Environment Office, summed up the past 10 years of serious weather events in and around Toronto.

In the last decade, several records were broken due to the weather. For instance, there was one day in which there was an unusually high demand for power during a very hot summer. This kind of high demand can put a strain on the city’s ability to provide power.

An all-time record 409 mm (millimetres) of rainfall was set at Trent University during this time. Four hundred and nine millimetres is equivalent to 14 billion litres of water in five hours.

Also, in the past 10 years, Toronto had its earliest ever official heat wave.

These kinds of weather events will likely continue and could affect the infrastructure of Toronto and other cities.

Environment News Science Technology

Hadfield Brings Space Life Down To Earth

When Chris Hadfield was nine years old, he watched Apollo 11 land on the moon and decided he wanted to become an astronaut.

That was in 1969, and about half a billion people around the world watched the same grainy images of the moon landing on TV.

It seems incredible, but with today’s technology and social media websites, people can see and hear what the astronauts are doing on the International Space Station every day.

We can watch videos of them, check out the view of Earth from the space station, and even have casual “conversations” with the astronauts.