Canadian Science News

U of A Funding Boost for Science
Global News: Science said, “The federal government is investing nearly $24 million towards research equipment at the University of Alberta. On Thursday, the government announced $23.8 million in funding.”

These projects to be developed may lead to “ground-breaking results” in adapting forests to climate change and looking into heart failure as well as the research in dark matter.

Amarjeet Sohi, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, stated that it was an honour to support the impressive research projects. Sohi noted that science can push the forefront of discovery and innovation.

The University of Alberta is “part of more than $554 million going towards 117 new infrastructure projects at 61 post-secondary institutions. “

Aurora Borealis in the Skies
CBC News: Technology and Science stated that there is a “fast-moving stream of particles is being spewed out from the sun, and it could produce a light show here on Earth.”

Natural Resources Canada and the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) have been forecasting particle streams being the potential cause of a geomagnetic storm. This will mean the potential showing of the northern lights.

When the particles come to the earth, they interact with the magnetic field for the creation of colours seen as the northern lights or the aurora borealis. “The SWPC has issued a minor geomagnetic storm watch…That means there is a chance to see the aurora across the entire country,” CBC News: Technology and Science said.

Big Icebreaker Arriving in Victoria, B.C., Harbour
CTV News reported on the arrival of a massive ice breaker, named Polar Prince, in a Victoria, B.C. harbour. It is coming to the final parts of a 150-day trip around the Canadian coastline from Toronto to Victoria.

The trip via the Northwest Passage went along with the 150th birthday celebrations of Canada. Geoff Green, Expedition Leader for Canada C3, said that the celebrations are only a primer.

Green said, “It’s been a journey to help us look at our past, present, and future; learn a lot about this country, its successes and its flaws; and to look ahead to how we can be better…I leave this 150-day journey with a great sense of great optimism, hope and potential for Canada in the next 150 years.”

Potential Solution for Climate Funding Crisis
“The Climate Change and Atmospheric Research program (CCAR), which supports seven independent projects in climate science, is due to run out [of funding] at the end of the year,” the  National Observer Said, “to the dismay of countless scientists, advocacy groups and environmentalists.”

PEARL, or the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory, is one Arctic lab that studies the changes in the atmosphere.  New Chief Science Advisor, Mona Nemer, said, “My understanding is that a solution [for both] is actually in the works, and things are on track and the community will be pleased.”

The solution is proposed to be involving the climate fund and initiatives such as PEARL. Nemer is looking at collaboration with granting councils for supporting the major infrastructure and big networks in Canada for major science projects.

Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan, is looking for “other avenues of support” as well. Katie Gibbs, the Executive Director for Evidence for Democracy, which is an Ottawa-based group devoted and dedicated to evidence-based decision-making, said, “Thousands of Canadians have contacted the science minister about PEARL and climate science funding over the last month.”

Scientists Have 15 Whale Deaths on Their Minds
“The focus of this year’s annual meeting of North Atlantic right whale researchers has been altered in light of 15 of the critically endangered marine mammals being found dead this year in waters off eastern Canada and the U.S.,” according to CBC News: Nova Scotia.

The North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium has a goal of looking into a “mortality crisis.” There is a serious set of risks to the whale population with those who study the animal for decades. Kim Davies, a post-doctoral fellow at Dalhousie University in the Department of Oceanography, described the focus on communicating the science and risks to right whales.

Davies was not surprised about a recent death report. It showed that four whales died based on collisions with ships. Another two died from entanglement with fishing gear. Fishermen, Indigenous peoples, large-vessel operators, and scientists will meet in Moncton, New Brunswick to work to reduce the total number of deaths to right whales.

Moira Brown, whale biologist, said, “That’s what’s key … getting all the stakeholders in the room…Not just the scientists and the managers, but vessel operators and the fisherman — let’s share information.”

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