Wildfires, logging affect key fungi in pine forests: studies

Disturbances by humans or nature change the balance of fungi in soil, potentially making it harder for seedlings to regenerate

Wildfires, logging affect key fungi in pine forests: studiesDisturbances can hit Alberta’s lodgepole pine forests hard – including life under the soil, new University of Alberta research shows. Fungal communities that nourish pine tree roots are being altered by both human-made and natural disturbances, which can stress forests and make it tougher for pine seedlings to regenerate, said Jean Rodriguez Ramos, a PhD…

Butterflies ‘sentinels’ of climate change in mountain ecosystems

U of A scientists urge more monitoring of butterfly populations to help understand alpine environments predicted to change rapidly

Butterflies ‘sentinels’ of climate change in mountain ecosystemsMountains and butterflies are conceptualized as the ultimate juxtaposition – enduring and resolute versus fleeting and delicate – but the surprising robustness of alpine butterflies could help scientists better understand the impact climate change is having on mountains. In an essay written for the third annual State of the Mountains report by the Alpine Club of Canada, University…

As California burns, so does our winter lettuce

Canada depends on imports for fruits and vegetables. We need to think differently about how we feed ourselves during cold months

As California burns, so does our winter lettuceCalifornia is on fire. Although most of the fire-affected territory has nothing to do with agriculture, the smoke is so intense that it could damage many crops. And as fall approaches, the California fires could affect Canada’s food supply for the coming months. Like the labour issues affecting Canadian farmers this summer, this is certainly…

How changes in ancient soil microbes could predict Arctic future

Changing balance of microorganisms in Arctic soil due to climate change could have widespread effects, according to new research

How changes in ancient soil microbes could predict Arctic futureMicrobial communities in Arctic permafrost changed drastically at the end of the last ice age – and the shift could happen again due to modern climate change, according to a new study by University of Alberta scientists. The researchers compared the microbial communities found in permafrost formed during the last ice age, at the end of…

Paris emissions targets carry extra costs for Canada’s economy

The gap between expectations and existing policy is wide. Closing that gap will cost thousands of jobs and devastate whole economic sectors

Paris emissions targets carry extra costs for Canada’s economyBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Aspirations are important in life but it’s always helpful to be clear on the means to the desired end, especially if others are involved. A case in point: General commitments by governments in Canada to significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2030, i.e., the Paris commitment. In…

Oil industry not dead yet despite disruptions

But a true recovery in oil prices will require an economic recovery, whose timing remains unclear

Oil industry not dead yet despite disruptionsWhile there’s certainly carnage and woe in the oil and natural gas sectors at the moment, reports of the death of the industry are exaggerated. Many climate change activists and their sympathizers have been cheered by the dramatic drop in oil prices that coincided with, and were partly caused by, the COVID-19 pandemic. Prominent among…

Boreal forests offer refuge to plants, animals as climate changes

U of A biologists lead effort to identify lakes, hills and peat lands where species stand a better chance of survival

Boreal forests offer refuge to plants, animals as climate changesNorth America’s boreal forests are warming and drying from climate change. But they still hold places that can offer refuge for plants and animals, according to University of Alberta scientists who have taken the lead in creating a guide to identify those areas. The information about these sheltered places known as climate-change refugia – including…

Buckets of rain put wildlife in peril

With climate change, unrelenting rains can be challenging for wildlife and plants

Buckets of rain put wildlife in perilaa Rain is a good thing. It has so many beneficial properties – a source of drinking water for everything, a source of nutrition for plants and micro-organisms, a refreshing relief from the heat, a mechanism to replenish aquifers and lakes, a means to clean overlooked homes and cars, fun for kids of all ages,…

Radical, inhuman ideology endangers oil patch

The authors of a letter to Trudeau say most aid should be expedited but for oil companies, which need to be trapped in a bureaucratic nightmare

Radical, inhuman ideology endangers oil patchWhen professors around the country were busy figuring ways to deliver their classes online, two faculty members at the University of Alberta wrote a letter and enlisted the endorsement of 200-plus of their leisured colleagues at 33 universities in Canada. A crisis must not be wasted. From the privileged positions of publicly-paid jobs, the Alberta…

Practical ways to tackle our emissions problems

Climate warriors spend a great deal of time condemning current practices without offering realistic solutions

Practical ways to tackle our emissions problemsIn the past several months, we’ve heard dire and angry imprecations and accusations from the new climate crusaders. They demand total obeisance to their escalating demands. Any critics to their approach to catastrophic global warming are denounced as deniers or heretics. A new religious-political-social movement has sprung out of this trend: Extinction Rebellion, with the…
1 2 3 12