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Category Archive for 'Plants'

Godverdomme?

It’s official: the tulips are blooming early in Ottawa. They usually come up in mid-April, not mid March. That’s how weird a winter it has been: soil temperatures two weeks ahead of schedule, no snowfall in March, record breaking warmth and now, early tulips. The Dutch ambassador isn’t worried: Dutch ambassador Wim Geerts, who grew […]

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What happens when climate change moves faster than plants can migrate? It’s a good question. Throughout the history of life on Earth, species have shifted where they live in response to changing environmental conditions. Abrupt changes in climate and the environment  can outpace the speed at which plants can adapt. The consequence is local extinction. […]

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A flower for our epoch

The alpine and tundra wildflower Dryas octopetala has the honour of lending its name to a period of climate change called the Younger Dryas, around 10,000 years ago, when glacial conditions rapidly set in across the higher Northern Hemisphere. Pollen from the Dryas flower suddenly began to appear in ice cores. The abrupt arrival of […]

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A question of timing

"The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time." [NASA] Discussing weather events in the context of climate change isn’t simple. To be correct, we need […]

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Carbon Fixation

Carbon fixation is a process found in autotrophs (organisms that produce their own food), usually driven by photosynthesis, whereby carbon dioxide is changed into organic materials. Carbon fixation can also be carried out by the process of calcification in marine, calcifying organisms such as Emiliania huxleyi. The Calvin Cycle is the most common method of […]

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