Environment

Environment News

Manitoba Prepares For Red River To Flood

Manitoba is battening down the hatches because the water levels in the Red River are rising and it is threatening to overflow.

As the weather is getting warmer, large chunks of ice that formed during the winter are breaking apart and blocking the flow of the river. This is called an ice jam. Melting snow and rain are also adding to the rising water level.

Winnipeg is Manitoba’s capital and its largest city. The residents there have been advised to build walls of sandbags to protect their homes. The city handed out 1.8 million sandbags to homeowners. Many volunteers, including students, are being asked to help build the walls.

Breaking News Environment

Disaster In Japan: Doctors, Helpers And Donations

After the tragic earthquake in Japan last Friday, things there are in turmoil. The tsunami (a huge wave caused by the earthquake) has left some villages and towns completely under water. Homes and buildings were destroyed.

The estimated amount of money lost by people and business owners because of the disaster is more than $180 billion, not to mention the many lives that have been lost and the people who have been injured or lost their homes.

Many countries around the world believe that they need to help this suffering nation in its time of need, including Canada.

Polar bear and cub
Animals Environment

Dwindling Sea Ice Hurting Polar Bear Population

Polar bears need to be really fat in order to have healthy babies. But because of global warming, the bears aren’t as fat as they used to be, and they aren’t having as many babies.

Polar bears get fat when they can hunt a lot of seals. They can only hunt seals when there is sea ice for them to hunt from.

Global warming is making the sea ice melt. The bears don’t have as much time to hunt because the ice melts too early. Once the ice is gone for the year, the bears have to go to the shore.

A person cleaning a seagull
Environment

Oil Spill – Hope

THE OIL SPILL MAY SOON BE CAPPED

For more than three months, more than 80 million litres of oil have gushed from a broken oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company responsible, BP (British Petroleum), has tried many different things to stop the flow of oil, which is spewing into the gulf and threatening wildlife.

They tried capping the well, but the flow was too strong and the rig was too deep under the water. They even tried stuffing the well with golf balls, mud, fabric and human hair! That didn’t work.

Recently they tried using underwater “robot submarines” to cut into the broken pipe and cap it with a funnel. That may actually be working.

It’s a positive development, but it’s almost too late. First, 11 people died in the explosion on April 20 that originally damaged the oil well. And the massive amount of oil that leaked into the Gulf has already done immense damage to our ecosystem. The chemicals that BP used to help clean up the oil are themselves toxic – not only to the workers who have to do the cleaning up, but to the environment as the mixture of chemicals and oil washes up onto the shore.

U.S. President Barack Obama is furious. After all, even though the company that owns the oil well, BP, is British, the oil is washing up onto American soil. Now, beaches in Florida are starting to become covered in the oily, chemically gunk. Recently, President Obama sent a bill for $69-million to BP to cover the initial costs of responding to the spill.

Last week there were reports that BP may have known that the oil well had the potential to break. And BP’s reputation is forever tarnished; it’s likely that no one will ever forget that BP was the company that caused such a massive world-wide disaster.

Canada is sending aid to help in the clean-up efforts.