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Globe Climate: Warming climate impacts alpine environments (and the avalanches).
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Globe Climate: Warming climate impacts alpine environments (and the avalanches).

Globe Climate: A warming climate affects alpine environments (and avalanches)

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Good afternoon,Globe Climate is a newsletter about climate change and environment in Canada.

Do you remember energy conservation efforts in the 1970s? Jackie Forrest (executive director of the ARC Energy Research Institute) recalls that the global events that led to shortages, skyrocketing costs, panic and panic caused the current situation.

Energy conservation efforts today revolve around climate change. Everyone can play a role. You can start by increasing your energy literacy. Do your know how much you consume? Do you see potential areas for improvement in your home? You can change your habits once you understand this. These lessons will help you understand electricity consumption.

Lets Talk ScienceThe Royal Society of CanadaGlobe and Mail have partnered together to bring Globe and Mail readers relevant coverage about issues that impact us all, from education to scientific discoveries to the impact on our daily lives.

Now let’s catch up on the latest news.

This week’s notable reporting:

  1. Resources: Ottawa: IEA informs that consultations with provinces are crucial to reducing energy sector emissions. Alberta has earmarked $30 million for carbon capture projects, so technology can go before federal tax credit. Canada is playing catch up in global frenzy over lithium as China’s grip tightens.
  2. World: Climate change is putting more Nepali girls at risk of child-marriage, as families struggle with financial hardships and extreme weather.
  3. Life: We will see sustainable wine production efforts in 2022. The travel sector offers greener, more sustainable options.
  4. Solutions: Ottawa’s new science grantees will address complex challenges, including Indigenous-led solutions that stem biodiversity loss
  5. From The NarwhalThe largest land use plan in the entire world — How Nunavut puts mining and conservation into practiceFind the map

PS:It’s snowing all over the country. It’s snowing a lot! Your dog could be buried under the snow today!Use our calculator

A deeper dive

How does climate change impact the avalanche area?

Salmaan Farooqui works as a reporter in interior B.C. The Globe and Mail. He discusses how to change avalanche forecasting in this week’s deeper dive.

I am an avid backcountry snowboarder and avalanches are always on my mind. My avalanche safety instructor still reminds me of what it was like being buried in one.

The winter season in interior B.C. began when the snowpack was at its peak. In discussions and backcountry workshops this year, one thing kept coming up: How would the December atmospheric river affect the snowpack. The thick icy crust that was left on the snow in Western Canada would be a problem layer for avalanches to slide off of if the conditions were right. One avalanche expert told me that no one really knows how the crusts will play out over the course the winter. It made me think about how climate change was changing the avalanche space.

James Floyer (orange jacket), and Peter Thurlow, (orange jacket), examine how different layers of snow bond in a snow pit that they dug. Thurlow applies force to a snow column to check if it is slipping or breaking apart. December 17, 2021Salmaan Farooqui/The Globe and Mail

It was a great experience to be able go into the backcountry to do this piece with Avalanche Canada’s forecasters, who are among the most knowledgeable in avalanche prediction and prevention. Mount Mackenzie in Revelstoke was able to show me these rain layers within the snowpack and how storms and wind events make them more challenging. These rain layers have caused unexpected avalanches in my hometown of Rossland, which have the power to snap trees or bury cars.

While avalanches and rain crust layers are not uncommon, research by avalanche experts shows that they are becoming more frequent in alpine spaces.

Peter Thurlow uses a measuring instrument and a magnifying lens to determine the size of snow crystals within different layers of snow. Avalanche Canada has fiedl team that assess snow in Western Canada and Newfoundland. December 17, 2021Salmaan Farooqui/The Globe and Mail

I was pleasantly surprised by the comments of avalanche experts about how changes in summer weather can also affect slides. Massive wildfires, mudslides and other natural disasters are destroying trees along countless slopes. Trees act like an anchor that stops avalanches spreading, and so new terrain for avalanches that could threaten highways has been created.

One of the best things about reporting this piece as a photographer was the weather on the field day. Because of the dense fog and cloud, every time I’ve been snowboarding in Revelstoke it seems like you’re inside a ping-pong ball. The clouds were below us in the valley during our field day but the sun was out. Good photos were like shooting fish in the barrel.

– Salmaan

Peter Thurlow inspects the Mount Mackenzie’s northwest facing slopes. Wind has blown snow onto this side more often, creating dangerous avalanche conditions along steep slopes. December 17, 2021Salmaan Farooqui/The Globe and Mail

What else did you miss?

Analysis and opinions

Marcus Gee: There are still reasons to be hopeful amidst the environmental gloom

Eric Reguly: Big Oils green revolution is being rescheduled, despite the fact that it has a negative impact on the climate

Green Investing

Jeffrey Jones, sustainable finance reporter, says investors will pay the price if climate-disclosure regulations aren’t tightened.

Although plans are being made to make such data mandatory, it remains to be seen how strict these rules will be. These rules are intended to clarify for regulators and investors the company’s resilience in changing climates.

It’s crucial stuff, as investors are clamouring for standardised reporting to help determine which companies will prosper in a lower-carbon environment and which could fail, he said.

Also in the news

Making waves

Every week, The Globe will highlight a Canadian who is making a difference. This week we highlighted Sam Kashani’s work to eliminate food waste.

Hi, my name Sam Kashani. I’m 35 years old and currently reside in Toronto. I oversee operations, expansion, and maintenance of the Canadian chapter. Too Good To Pass Up.

We are a certified B-Corporation, social impact company and B-Corporation. Our common vision is a world without food waste. Our app connects consumers to businesses that offer surplus food at a fraction the retail price. This benefits both the industry but also the planet.

I believe that business can be a source of good in the world. My personal mission is to ensure that our expansion and operation has a positive social impact.

Over 80% of food waste is caused by food waste8% of the GhG(Greenhouse Gases), emitted into atmosphere – we can all be part of the solution by not throwing away the food we produce. My personal goal is to make it easier for Canadians to fight food waste. I want to inspire them to reduce food waste at home.


Do you know someone who is engaged? Someone who represents the real engines of change in the country. Email us [email protected]Please tell us about them.

Photo of the Week

Sierra Vandenberg, left, and Jessica Pitschke, right, finish hot drinks while they take a break skating along the Rideau Canal Skateway, Ottawa, on Saturday January 15, 2022. Environment Canada has issued an emergency warning for Ottawa regarding the expected windchill of -35 degrees C.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Globe Climate: Catch up

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