Warming Trends: Climate Atlas of Canada Maps ‘Life’s Hardships’, Plus Christians Embracing Climate Change and a New Podcast Called ‘Hot Farm’


Canada’s climate “Atlas of Hope”

When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report in February showing that global warming is spiraling out of control and options for adaptation are dwindling, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said so. dubbed the “atlas of human suffering”.

But a new interactive map of Canada offers an “atlas of hope” in contrast. Created with the blessing of Indigenous peoples, the Climate Atlas of Canada is an interactive portal that shows nearly 700 different First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and includes community-level data on projected temperature increase, predicted changes in rainfall; and changes in agriculture such as the lengthening of the frost-free season.

The atlas, built by the University of Winnipeg’s Prairie Climate Center with Indigenous organizations, was first launched in 2018 but has recently been reworked to focus on Indigenous experiences.

“When we launched it, we knew it was groundbreaking, and at the same time we knew it was totally inadequate,” said Ian Mauro, executive director of the Prairie Climate Centre. “It was a settler colonial map. It reinforced the borders, it reinforced the division and reinforced the place names of the settlers.

Now the map has been “decolonized” and “indigenized,” Mauro said. The map contains several video profiles of Indigenous community members sharing their knowledge on climate change adaptation and environmental protection.

Hetxw’ms Gyetxw, who grew up in the Gitxsan community and was also involved in the creation of the atlas, said Indigenous knowledge acquired over thousands of years can be combined with Western knowledge to fully understand and find holistic solutions to climate change and environmental problems. .

“To be able to show the extreme resilience that we have as peoples to adapt to the rigors of life,” Hetxw’ms Gyetxw said, “that’s what we hope we can bring to people going through drastic changes in this world due to climate change.


Bridging the Christian Climate Gap

Most young Australian Christians are concerned about climate change and think environmental protection should be part of the church’s mission, according to a survey of Australian Christians aged 18-40.

Yet many church leaders, who were also interviewed by the Australian chapter of the Christian relief and development organization Tearfund, do not see tackling climate change as a cause that fits their mission. Pastors and ministers said they rarely preach on environmental topics.

Tearfund sees the issue of climate change as clearly embedded in the Christian faith, said Emma Wyndham Chalmers, the organisation’s Advocacy Strategy and Project Manager, as the world’s poorest people will be disproportionately affected by the effects of global warming.

“It’s an issue that we really need to address in the context of our faith and connect the dots between these fundamental principles of loving our neighbor and stewarding and caring for this Earth,” Wyndham Chalmers said. “We see it as kind of our responsibility as humans.”

Climate change is an issue that divides the church, she said, with some members unwilling to engage with it. But, she added, these findings signal a generational shift towards more engagement and action on climate change, creating opportunities for churches to end their “climate silence” and connect with people. young believers.

“We want this to open up a conversation and a dialogue that is not really about deepening divides, but about bridging them,” Wyndham Chalmers said, “and finding common ground for constructive, hopeful conversation. and positive action that then leads to constructive action.”


All about climate change and agriculture

The story of modern agriculture and climate change is complex. Industrial agriculture is both a contributor to climate change, with diesel-powered equipment and fertilizers emitting greenhouse gases, and a victim of climate change, as floods, droughts and heat waves bring uncertainty to the system.

A new podcast called “Hot Farm” from the Food and Environment Reporting Network explores all of these complexities in a four-part series that focuses on farmers in the Midwest. Inside Climate News recently discussed the podcast with host and producer Eve Abrams. This conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

What will you explore in this new podcast?

Hot Farm is all about climate change and agriculture, and it’s about how we’re going to eat, basically. It examines the underlying issues that currently exist and are unresolved in terms of the impact of agriculture on our environment and the impact of climate change on agriculture, and therefore the ability to eat.

Our main characters are farmers. And these are stories about people. So yes, it is a question of climate. But these are stories of people and you really put yourself in their shoes, which I think is exciting for a lot of people. We rely on food, we eat food every day and yet most of us are completely unaware of how our food is made and where it comes from. And here you become much more intimate with this process and these people.

How is climate change experienced in the agricultural world of the Midwest, and what do people there think of climate change?

Some people say, “Yeah, climate change has completely destroyed our crops this year. We had floods. We had these crazy temperatures. Some people talk very explicitly about climate change, and many don’t, but they see the same weather. So, as one of our characters said, “We don’t talk about climate change, it becomes a political term.” You know, “I think that term has been politicized.” But whether that term is used explicitly or not, farmers face the weather, so they are seeing massive changes.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused severe disruptions in food supply chains. Does this instability add more urgency to the Midwest’s role in our food security?

A lot of people have talked about Covid with me. They talked about our supply chains and we saw how weak they are. We have seen the low points of Covid. And many, many, many people I’ve spoken with have been advocating for a lot more resilience in our supply chains and a lot more local consumption. The farmer I portrayed in episode 1, that’s a big part of his job is, “Let’s eat local, support our local farms.” Let’s create more resilient supply chains. So I finished my reporting last summer, so I didn’t contact anyone about Ukraine in particular. But the resilience of supply chains is a huge issue.


Another climate impact: the speed of sound

Sound could travel up to 45 mph faster by the end of the century in parts of the ocean as climate change warms its waters, a new study has found, with potential implications for marine animals that depend on the ocean. sound to communicate, especially in an increasingly noisy environment. – polluted waters.

Researchers from Canada and Italy have constructed a global dataset showing predicted future changes in the speed of sound in marine waters under a worst-case scenario of greenhouse gas emissions. Sound can travel faster in warmer waters because warmer water molecules contain more energy and can vibrate faster, allowing sound to travel faster, said lead author Alice Affatati, a bioacoustics researcher at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Many marine animals rely on sound to communicate with each other, hunt prey and navigate their environment, because light is scarce in the ocean, Affatati said, and hypothetically increasing the speed of sound can help animals. to communicate better. But these sounds can be disturbed by noise from human sources, such as ships.

Human-caused sound can lead to problems “not only for the animal itself but also for the food chain”, Affatati said, as it can interfere with hunting large predators.

Co-author Chiara Scaini, an environmental engineer at the National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics in Italy, said the dataset created in the study is open access, so more research should be done. carried out to develop a better understanding of the impact of varying speeds of sound in warming oceans, in particular how sounds from human sources will affect ecosystems.

“We know it all seems very theoretical, like we’re doing computer science and mapping,” Scaini said. “But at some point, it has to be to move towards an action that we plan to take as human beings.”

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