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    Page Updated:
    May 13, 2024


    Click the Headline Photo for the Whole Story

    Canadian Firefighters Battle Wildfire
    Sweeping Towards B.C. Town

    May 13, 2024
    Firefighters in western Canada on Monday battled a large wildfire just outside the largely-evacuated remote town of Fort Nelson in British Columbia, a local official said.
    Fort Nelson is in the line of one of the season's first major wildfires that have spread to roughly 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) across Western Canada and are sending plumes of smoke across five Canadian provinces, as well as parts of northern Minnesota.
    Mayor Rob Fraser of the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, where Fort Nelson is located, said the fire moved closer overnight to the town of about 3,500 residents and was now about 1.5 km (0.9 mile) away.
    "They're bombing it, they're dropping water with helicopters. We've got local crews with CATs (caterpillar tractors) and equipment, building firebreaks," Fraser told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "It's all hands on deck."
    After its worst-ever-wildfire season last year, Canada has just experienced one of its warmest winters with low to non-existent snow in many areas, raising fears ahead of a hot summer triggering blazes in forests and wild lands amid an ongoing drought.


    The Heatpump Petting Zoo
    A Fair Greening Our Homes

    -The Washingtom Post
    April 13, 2024
    A loose line of people snaked from a doorway in the side of a cargo truck. One young boy wandered over to examine several bales of hay stacked nearby while others waiting craned their necks to get a peek inside. A small sign in the shape of a barn stuck over the open door read, “Petting Zoo.”
    But the queuing visitors weren’t there to meet pigs, goats or sheep. What they wanted was hands-on experience with a different kind of beast: heat pumps.
    “We have heat pump everything,” said Vanessa Bertelli, head of the nonprofit Electrify DC, as she walked through the D.C. Armory, an indoor arena, on a recent Saturday.
    To her right, a showcase of two brands of heat pump water heaters. In another exhibit, a heat pump dryer. Inside the “petting zoo,” a converted truck designed to look like the interior of a home, heat pumps protruded from the walls.
    At this fair, instead of pony rides, games of chance and fried food, visitors took electric bicycles and scooters for a spin, watched cooking demonstrations on induction stoves, and learned about other ways to make their homes and lives more climate-friendly.

    Canada Braces for
    Another Season of Flames

    -New York Times
    March 4, 2024
    Canada’s emergency preparedness minister is warning that this year’s wildfire season will be worse than the record-breaking season of 2023, when thousands of fires burned tens of millions of acres and set off massive plumes of smoke that enveloped major U.S. cities, including New York and Washington.
    This year’s fires could be especially bad in two of the country’s most fire-prone provinces, where nearly 150 of the blazes that started during last year’s season are still burning this winter, under snow-covered ground.
    While so-called “zombie fires,” a term recently popularized in the Canadian media, are an annual phenomenon in parts of the country, never have so many fires been reported in a single winter, raising fears that many of them may flare up again above ground.
    The “zombie fires” persist during winter because porous peat and moss ground cover in northern areas act as underground fuel for them.
    The risk of wildfire in Canada has grown because of climate change, which increases the hot, dry and gusty conditions that have caused drought, according to research published last summer by World Weather Attribution, a group of scientists who model how climate change impacts extreme weather.

    Greenland's Melting Ice Sheet is
    Being Replaced by Vegetation

    February 14, 2024
    An estimated 11,000 sq miles or 28,707 sq kilometers of Greenland's ice sheet and glaciers have melted over the last three decades, according to a major analysis of historic satellite records.
    The total area of ice loss is equivalent to the size of Albania, and represents about 1.6% of Greenland's total ice and glacier cover. Where there was once ice and snow, there is now barren rock, wetlands and areas of shrub.
    A team of scientists from the University of Leeds, who have tracked the changes across Greenland from the 1980s through to the 2010s, say warmer air temperatures are causing the ice to retreat, which in turn is having an impact on the temperature of the land surface, greenhouse gas emissions and the stability of the landscape.
    Permafrost—a permanently frozen layer below the Earth's surface—is being "degraded" by the warming and in some areas, scientists warn that it could have an impact on the infrastructure, buildings and communities that exist above it.
    Their findings are published in an article titled "Land cover changes across Greenland dominated by a doubling of vegetation in three decades" in the journal Scientific Reports.
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