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Climate Change and Canada
Transcript of Climate Change and Canada
How can we Reduce Climate Change?
Canada is 9th in the world for amount of CO2 emission. In 2011, Canada emit 552.56 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. However, the number per Capita was 16.24 metric tons, which would put us 4th. Since the population of Canada isn't very big, our contribution to climate change is large Per Capita, but not as large overall.
What is Climate Change?
It is a change in global or regional climate patterns; the consequence of unchecked pollution. When carbon emissions caused by human activity enter the air, they have dangerous effects on the environment, the economy, and our well-being.
What is Causing Climate Change?
What Effects are Climate Change Having on Canada?
The effects climate change are having on Canada are endless, but there are some main issues that will we discussed below.
How is Canada Contributing to Climate Change?
Northern Nunavut (past the Arctic Circle) is one of the places in Canada that will be heavily affected by climate change. Nunavut does not have a very big human population, however it is home to many arctic species like the polar bear, harp seal, arctic fox, a variety of penguins, and tons more! Many of these animals will suffer and lose habitats because of sea level rise and the melting of ice. The climate and habitats they have adapted to for so long are suddenly decreasing, and there aren't many more places they could go instead. Lots of arctic species will go extinct or become endangered because of climate change, which will affect entire ecosystems.
By: Janet Park & Paige Entwistle
We can reduce climate change by doing a few simple things. Even though they are small, they can make a big difference.
1. Switch to renewable energy.
Using solar power or wind power will cost more in the beginning, but will save a lot of money and energy in the long run.
2. Eat wisely.
Since a lot of emissions come from producing meat, eat less of it and switch to a more green diet. Eating more organic food rather than chemically grown food will also help, because less toxic chemicals are entering our atmosphere that way.
4. Trim your waste.
When garbage gets put in landfills, it produces methane. If you recycle, dispose of toxic chemicals properly and put food scraps into a compost bin to be reused, it will cut down the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
Canada's forests are also expected to be among the most vulnerable in the world to climate change. These forests support countless species and ecosystems; they are among the many examples of at-risk habitat. Since the globe is heating up, there will be a lack of precipitation which will cause trees to suffer from drought. Loss of trees will also decrease the amount of vegetation removing CO2 in the atmosphere, which will result in even more carbon dioxide. Since 40% of Canada is made up of forests, this negative change will be very apparent. We have eight major forest regions, but the ones that will suffer the most are the deciduous forests.
3. Fly less.
Don't travel as often, or take a bus or train instead. Airplanes release a huge amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, so if you need to travel, use alternative methods or travel closer to home.
When greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, they get trapped and start to heat up from the sun's energy, altering the Earth's climate patterns. The greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, CFC's, and nitrous oxide, however carbon dioxide is by far the biggest one. The largest source of this pollution is the burning of fossil fuels (such as coal and oil) for energy. Fossil fuels are also mainly released by cars.
Canada's contribution to climate change was 2% overall.
5. Be energy efficient.
Unplug electronics when not in use, wash clothes with cold or warm water, hang clothes to dry instead of using your clothes dryer, or look for more energy efficient appliances.
David Suzuki Foundation. (2014).
Impacts of climate change | Impacts | Climate change | Science & Policy | Impacts | Issues.
Retrieved May 28, 2015 from http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/climate-change/science/impacts/impacts-of-climate-change/
David Suzuki Foundation. (2014).
Top 10 Ways you can stop climate change | | What you can do | David Suzuki Foundation.
Retrieved May 30, 2015 from http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/top-10-ways-you-can-stop-climate-change/
Union of Concerned Scientists. (November 18, 2014).
Each Country's Share of CO2 Emissions.
Retrieved May 27, 2015 from http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/each-countrys-share-of-co2.html#.VWxn5llViko
How does Climate Change affect Canada and how does Canada contribute to it?
We can conclude that Canada is deeply affected by climate change and that we unfortunately contribute to climate change in many ways. But, the government is trying to reduce it, and everyone else should too.
People are causing these changes, which are bigger and happening faster than any climate changes that modern society has ever seen before.
Government of Canada. (December 19, 2011).
Human Activity and the Environment: Annual Statistics: Section 1: Climate change in Canada.
Retrieved on May 25, 2015 from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/16-201-x/2007000/10542-eng.htm
While carbon has entered the atmosphere for millions of years through natural events such as forest fires and volcanoes, the burning of fossil fuels and clearing of land has resulted in the highest levels of greenhouse pollution in our atmosphere in the last 800,000 years.
Sustainable Forest Management in Canada. (2015).
Canada's Forests - Sustainability and Management | CCFM
. Retrieved on May 31, 2015 from http://www.sfmcanada.org/en/canada-s-forests
One of the biggest contributors to climate change in Canada is the Alberta oil sands. All the oil they are extracting is very harmful to the environment, and making Canada's greenhouse gas emissions higher. On a global standpoint it isn't as big as other things going on worldwide, however it is pretty big if you are looking at Canada's contribution.
Davison, J. (February 29, 2012).
How much of an environmental bad guy are the Alberta oilsands? - Technology & Science - CBC News.
Retrieved on June 1, 2015 from http://www.sfmcanada.org/en/canada-s-forests
Climate change will also affect the water in Canada, such as the Great Lakes. Sea levels will rise due to melting ice caps, which could cause flooding on coasts in British Columbia, P.E.I, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick. This could wash sea water into fresh water areas, decreasing the amount of fresh water. The Great Lakes aren't close enough to the ocean to be affected by this, however they could be affected by increased water temperatures. Increased water temperatures could affect the ecosystems that inhabit the Great Lakes, either limiting their population or causing them to move into other Great Lakes. This could also increase the amount of invasive species, which would effect the ecosystems and wildlife even
EPA. (March 13, 2014).
Water Impacts of Climate Change | Climate Change and Water | US EPA.
Retrieved on June 1, 2015 from http://water.epa.gov/scitech/climatechange/Water-Impacts-of-Climate-Change.cfm#quantity
There are other industries that need cold weather and snow to make money that will start to suffer from the impacts of climate change. Ski/snowboarding industries and dog sledding industries are just two of the many industries that could lose a lot of money. Ski hills will have to shut down due to the lack of snow, snowboarding and ski rentals and purchases will drop because of the temperature change, and a lot of companies will go out of business. Not only does it lose jobs, it limits the activities we know and love to do. Tobogganing, ice fishing and skating are all examples of activities that may not be available to us anymore if we don't do anything to stop climate change. However, for industries that need warm weather, it will increase income for them. For example, golf courses and tennis clubs will possibly become more popular because those sports are available nearly all year round.
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta could also face some major changes. They are in the middle of Canada and have no major water sources near them, so they could suffer some serious droughts. Those provinces (especially Saskatchewan) already get little rain, so climate change continuing to decrease the amount of rain will make it even worse. The lack of rain will cause plants, trees and crops to die, and could dry up small water sources like ponds. The wheat industry may even suffer because of it. The drought will affect humans, animals, and plants all through those provinces.
Canada is contributing negatively to climate change, but we are also contributing positively. Canada has one of the cleanest electricity systems in the world, with 79% of our electricity supply emitting greenhouse gases. The government has spent over $10 billion on green infrastructure, renewable energy, cleaner fuels and smarter grids. Canada has also been the first major coal user to ban the construction of coal-fired electricity generation units. When coal is burned a lot of greenhouse gases are released, so limiting the amount of coal we burn is going to make a big difference. We are harming the environment by contributing climate change, however it is nice to know that climate change isn't going unnoticed and that the government is trying to prevent it or lessen its impact.
Government of Canada. (February 26, 2015).
Canada's Action on Climate Change - Canada's Action on Climate Change.
Retrieved on May 30, 2015 from http://www.climatechange.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=72F16A84-1