The Astounding Drop in Global Fertility Rates Between 1970 And 2014 -

What is your plastic footprint? - It’s about time we stop and take a careful look at the plastics we are thoughtlessly adding to landfills. (Canadian Wildlife Federation)

Atmospheric rivers bring rain to California - Amazing to think that higher concentrations of water vapour can lead to such heavy rain events. (Earth Magazine plus more at NOAA)

UN experts denounce 'myth' pesticides are necessary to feed the world - (The

Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent. Imagine, it’s been there for all these years (epochs, periods, etc.) and only now is Zealandia being recognized for what it is. ( LITHOSPHERE

El Niño - If you want to understand how interconnected our planet is—how patterns and events in one place can affect life half a world away—study El Niño.(NASA-EO) CLIMATE

I am greatly saddened by the news of Prof. Hans Rosling's passing this morning, both for his family and for the world at large. He was so personable in his TED Talks, so enlightening, so inspiring. I felt like I knew him, personally. We need people like him to bring to us an understanding of what true facts can tell us and how we can learn to break down the stereotypes we have of people and places by opening our eyes to the "facts on the ground". Hans Rosling truly made the world a better place.

Electric cars and cheap solar 'could halt fossil fuel growth by 2020' - Solar power and clean cars are ‘gamechangers’ consistently underestimated by big energy, says Imperial College and Carbon Tracker report (  Cʟɪᴍᴀᴛᴇ▲ 

Canada's boreal wetlands are key to fighting climate change - A new report from the Boreal Songbird Initiative calls for enhanced protection of wetlands within Canada's boreal forest ( CA.GEO  Cʟɪᴍᴀᴛᴇ▲ 

Footprints by nation - Carbon, fossil fuels, land and freshwater, interactive maps and dataviz (

Snake hunters from India are the latest weapons in Florida’s war on pythons - Faced with losing a frustrating battle against invasive Burmese pythons, the state of Florida has turned to an unusual source for help: two experienced snake catchers from India. (Washington Post)

How easy is it for Americans to move to Canada? - Fellow North Americans have no special advantage (The Economist)   CA.GEO 

Declining trust in government is denting democracy - According to a new index, America's democracy score deteriorated in 2016 (The Economist)

How 2016 Became Earth’s Hottest Year on Record - Excellent story and infographics (NY Times)  Cʟɪᴍᴀᴛᴇ▲ 

Where are Arctic soils defrosting? ...and, thereby contributing carbon to the atmosphere that would otherwise be “locked up”. New word alert: thermokarst (NASA EO)   Cʟɪᴍᴀᴛᴇ▲ 

The latest from Davos… 8 men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world (World Economic Forum)

The Canada experiment: is this the world's first 'postnational' country? - When Justin Trudeau said ‘there is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada’, he was articulating a uniquely Canadian philosophy that some find bewildering, even reckless – but could represent a radical new model of nationhood (The Guardian)   CA.GEO 

Urbanisation signal detected in evolution, study shows - A "clear signal" of urbanisation has been identified in the evolution of organisms, which has implications for sustainability and human well-being. (BBC News)

Can markets be too free? - With many countries moving to the right and economic entities pushing for freer market access, The Economist stops to ask and explain.

‘Duck Dynasty’ vs ‘Modern Family’: 50 Maps of the US cultural divide - It’s downright scary when real life outcomes can be predicted by TV (NY Times)

  Happy New Year! All the best to you in 2017!

Website maps Vanuatu climate change flood risk - A new web tool is allowing Pacific Islanders on Vanuatu to see how rising sea levels could affect their homes and businesses over the coming years. (BBC News)

Coastal Risk Vanuatu Website →        Cʟɪᴍᴀᴛᴇ▲ 

Why houses in Bermuda have white stepped roofs - Bermuda has no fresh-water springs, rivers or lakes. So how did humans ever settle there?An excellent primer on water conservation and tourism issues. (BBC News)

Arctic heatwave could break records - Temperatures at the North Pole could be up to 20 degrees higher than average this Christmas Eve (BBC News)  Cʟɪᴍᴀᴛᴇ▲ 

Road-free areas need better protection, study says - A global map of areas without roads shows large tracts of wilderness remain unprotected. [BBC News from Science]

Ice loss spreads up Antarctic glaciers - The scale and pace of change now taking place in West Antarctica is captured in a new, long-term satellite record. (BBC News)  Cʟɪᴍᴀᴛᴇ▲ 

World’s oldest water gets even older - “The liquid was discovered deep down in a mine in Canada in 2013 and is about 1.5 billion years old.

But now, scientists have found a deeper source of water that is at least 500 million years more ancient.” (BBC News)

Mapping Earth's slow surface warping - British researchers are now routinely mapping a great swathe of Earth's surface, looking for the subtle warping that ultimately leads to quakes. (BBC News)

Fossil footprints tell story of human origins - “Footprints made by early humans millions of years ago have been uncovered in Tanzania close to where similar tracks were found in the 1970s.” (BBC News)

World's hottest borehole nearly complete - Geothermal Energy news from Iceland…”they should reach 5km down, where temperatures are expected to exceed 500C, in the next couple of weeks.” (BBC News)

Forest Losses and Gains since 1990 - Animated map; sad to see Canada in the loss category. Congratulations Europe and China for your huge gains! (

Further info from Global Forest Watch, FAO (scroll down for maps & infographics), and UNEP - Vital Forest Graphics

World Migration Map - Animated to show “live” movements of people - very cool! (

Maps that show us who we are (not just where we are) - A fascinating perspective on mapping (

When Earth hit the reset button on life: New research on the Permian-Triassic mass extinction - A somewhat long, but enlightening look at P-T extinctions and the anthropomorphic extinctions of today (EARTH magazine)

Earthquakes of the first 15 years of the 21st century - Animation - Teaching plate tectonics? Here you go… (USGS on YouTube)

Beyond GDP – is it time we rethink how we measure growth? Yes it is, and it has been for years now! (World Economic Forum)

100 Women 2016: Female Arab cartoonists challenge authority Excellent insights (BBC News)

Thinking about a career in Geography? U of T “Careers by Major” A great overview of “what’s out there”

Canada moves ahead with carbon taxes, leaving the US behind Canadians too often look south for guidance when, in fact, they can be (and are) leaders (MIT Technology Review)

How an Ancient Greek mathematician calculated Earth’s circumference

A great, short video (Business Insider via

Solving the mysteries of the Monsoon - Scientists have just returned from a groundbreaking research campaign to understand the Indian monsoon (

Unearthing a Giant Marine Reptile - nearly 75-foot-long ichthyosaur fossil found in the limestone banks of Sikanni Chief River of BC (NatGeo)

Health Canada proposes ban of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticide  Finally!! Let’s get this ban passed! (


Notre Dame Must Vacate 2012, 2013 Football Wins Over Academic Violations (NPR) Plagiarism costs! Dearly!

Sea Ice Reaches a New Low (The Economist)  Sea ice in the Arctic is about 2m km² smaller than its November average

You may be higher up the global wealth pyramid than you think (The Economist) IF YOU had only $2,220 to your name, you might not think yourself terribly fortunate. But you would be wealthier than half the world’s population…

Canadian Index of Well-being (Univ of Waterloo) Is our overall quality of life getting better or worse? Are we getting closer or moving farther away from realizing the kind of Canada we want to live in?

Over-populated or under-developed. The real story of population growth The Guardian

Social Progress Index Report from the World Economic Forum

Analysis by

Gender inequality goes right to the top (The Economist-Daily Chart)

The State of the Climate in 2016 (The Economist)

This will be helpful for Ch 9: Atmosphere and change

What the world thinks about globalisation (The Economist-Daily Chart)