When we think of climate change, more often than not the first images that pop into our minds involve large blocks of ice crashing into the icy blue waters of the Arctic Ocean, or fragmented sheets of ice floating atop it.

Over the past few decades, depleting Arctic ice has opened up new shipping routes, making the area more accessible for oil extraction but highly prone to oil spills and therefore more dangerous for the wildlife there. Climate change is exposing the plants, birds and mammals of the Arctic to new contaminants.

Today in The Conversation Canada, Jennifer Provencher and Yasmeen Zahaby of Carleton University write about their newly created tool — the ToxChip — that can detect the effects of various contaminants on the DNA of two seabird species in the region. They believe the ToxChip could help detect and reduce the impacts of oil pollution on all animal species in the future.

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Also today:

Thanks for reading, 

Freny Fernandes


Sea lions, otters and birds were some of the many wildlife species that were hit hard by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. Oil spills like these expose the wildlife to new contaminants and can be fatal. (AP Photo/Jack Smith, File)

Once the slick is gone: New tool helps scientists monitor chronic oil in Arctic wildlife

Jennifer Provencher, Carleton University; Yasmeen Zahaby, Carleton University

ToxChips study the changes in the DNA of animals exposed to contaminants, like those found in oil spills.

Portugal has seen little rain since October 2021. By the end of January, 45 per cent of the country was enduring ‘severe’ or ‘extreme’ drought conditions. (AP Photo/Sergio Azenha)

The window of opportunity to address increasing drought and expanding drylands is vanishing

Margot Hurlbert, University of Regina

If the world overshoots its climate targets, drought could cause dryland areas to expand by a quarter and encompass half the Earth’s land area, threatening lives and livelihoods.

Migrant men work in the strawberry fields. (This is Evidence)

Migrant workers are flipping the script and using Photovoice to tell their own stories

Reena Kukreja, Queen's University, Ontario

Undocumented migrant workers use Photovoice to share their experience working and living in Greece.

Tipping reshapes the relationship between workers and their managers, and workers and consumers. In doing so, it has wide-ranging effects on workers. (Shutterstock)

The future of tipping should be driven by Canadians, not businesses

Simon Pek, University of Victoria

The future of tipping should be defined by Canadians, not businesses seeking to shift responsibility for worker compensation onto consumers.

Technology that can produce deepfakes is widely available. (Shutterstock)

The use of deepfakes can sow doubt, creating confusion and distrust in viewers

Sze-Fung Lee, McGill University; Benjamin C. M. Fung, McGill University

Deepfakes — manipulated images of people — can be difficult to distinguish from the real thing, and this has terrifying consequences for democracy.

La Conversation Canada

Un avenir marqué par le métavers risque de changer fondamentalement comment l'on opère au quotidien. Marc Lee/Wikimedia Commons

Métavers : une dystopie sur les villes de demain

Mischa Young, Université de l'Ontario français; Sarah Choukah, Université de l'Ontario français

Les nouvelles réalités virtuelles changent la façon dont nous interagissons avec nos espaces urbains. Comment le métavers rendra-t-il certains aménagements urbains redondants et d’autres indispensables ?

Ukraine Invasion



  • How US policy on abortion affects women in Africa

    Boniface Ushie, African Population and Health Research Center; Kenneth Juma, African Population and Health Research Center

    For countries that look to the US for guidance and for funding, the consequences will go beyond abortion.