Category Archives: Study

Post-doctoral fellow Barry Madison works with the fish in Valerie Langlois' lab. (Queen's University)

Dilbit dangerous to young fish, laboratory study shows

Diluted bitumen, also known as dilbit, a mixture of oil sands bitumen and natural gas dilutants can seriously harm fish populations, according to research study at Queen’s University and the Royal Military College of Canada published this week. At toxic concentrations, effects of dilbit on exposed fish included deformities and clear signs of genetic and physiological stress at hatch, plus abnormal or uninflated swim bladders, an internal gas-filled organ that allows fish to control their buoyancy. Exposure to dilbit reduces their rate of survival by…

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Fault zone map Douglas Chanel

New Douglas Channel geological studies near completion

Three studies of the geology of Douglas Channel are near completion and publication, according to Natural Resources Canada. That news comes as studies, released today, warn of a major megathrust earthquake on the fault west of Haida Gwaii. Northwest Coast Energy News asked the Geological Survey of Canada if there were any recent updates available after the agency said that a survey had located a “possible fault” on Hawkesbury Island during studies for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel. “Devastating megathrust earthquake” a “substantial…

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Kitimat Emergency Coordinator Bob McLeod

Is Kitimat ready for a “big one?”

Studies of the October 2012 magnitude 7.8 Haida Gwaii earthquake show that the region is vulnerable to a “major megathrust” earthquake along a newly confirmed fault line west of the islands. That earthquake was felt in Kitimat and Kitamaat Village and a tsunami warning was issued within a few minutes. So have the District of Kitimat, the Haisla Nation Council or Rio Tinto Alcan changed or upgrading their earthquake and tsunami plans in the past couple of years? “Devastating megathrust earthquake” a “substantial hazard” for…

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Area of the proposed Prince Rupert air shed study. (Environment BC)

BC orders Prince Rupert air shed study with wider scope than the Kitimat report

The province of British Columbia has posted a request for bids for an extensive air shed study for Prince Rupert, a study that has much wider scope that the controversial Kitimat air shed study. The maximum cost for the study is set at $500,000. The BC Bid site is asking for  a study of potential impacts to the environment and human health of air emissions from a range of existing and proposed industrial facilities in the Prince Rupert airshed, further referred to as Prince Rupert…

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Pteropod

Ocean acidification growing risk to west coast fishery, including crab and salmon, US studies show

The United States says acidification of the oceans means there is an already growing risk to the northwest coast fishery, including crab and salmon, according to studies released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere and absorbed by the oceans, the water is becoming more acidic and that affects many species, especially shellfish, dissolving the shells. A NOAA study released today of environmental and economic risks to the Alaska fishery says: Many of Alaska’s nutritionally and…

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Eocene lake

Fossil hedgehog, tapir lived in ancient rain forest at threatened Driftwood Canyon Park near Smithers

About 52 million years ago what is now the Bulkley Valley was home to a tiny hedgehog  and an ancient ancestor of tapirs, who lived on the shores of a placid lake surrounded by  a lush upland forest. The newly discovered fossils at Driftwood Canyon near Smithers are significant advance in the study of the ancient history of the region. That’s because while the Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park is known for beautifully preserved fossils of leaves, fishes and insects, these are the first mammalian remains…

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Steelhead.

Rebar in hatcheries could distort navigation sense in young salmon and trout

Iron and steel in hatcheries, including rebar supporting concrete structural elements, could be distorting the ability of salmon and trout to navigate using the earth’s magnetic fields according to a study released today by Oregon State University. The exposure to iron and steel distorts the magnetic field around the young fish, affecting the fish’s “map sense” and their ability to navigate, said Nathan Putman, who led the study while working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, part of OSU’s…

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US study finds shale development generally helps local government coffers with revenue gains offsetting costs

A study by Duke University of the US shale gas boom has found that oil and gas development from shale fields has generally helped the public finances of local communities, providing new revenues and resources that usually — but not always — outweigh the increased demand for public services and other costs. It found that many local governments in western North Dakota and eastern Montana, near the Bakken shale formation, have thus far experienced net negative fiscal effects. Also, some municipalities in rural parts of…

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Harper’s Northern Gateway strategy and why it will end up in a muddy mess

It appears that the Stephen Harper’s strategy for approving Northern Gateway has been revealed on background to The Globe and Mail’s Gary Mason. (Either it’s a revelation or a trial balloon). It comes down to the idea that Harper will approve Gateway “in the national interest,” count on a vote split between the NDP and Liberals in British Columbia to avoid any consequences to the Conservative majority and then leave it up to Enbridge to actually get the job of building the pipeline and terminal…

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Genetics show stronger pine beetle evolving; stream flow increases in infected forests: studies

A new study, based at the University of Alberta, released this week, indicates that natural selection may be making the mountain pine beetle more tolerant of colder temperatures and that the beetle may be evolving the ability to fly longer distances. A second study, from the Colorado School of Mines, also released this week, is tracking how the extent of pine beetle infected or killed trees in forests is changing ground water and stream flows. The mountain pine beetle infestation has wreaked havoc in North…

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