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Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.

Slime moulds, which live in soil, are truly ancient animals. They may spend much of their lives as single-celled organisms, but they are also smart ... like, really smart.

Intelligence is sometimes defined as taking actions to prolong one’s life and to propagate one’s kind. And with that meaning in mind, the remarkable cognitive abilities of certain non-human creatures such as slime molds – and the octopus – serve to challenge our traditional understanding of intelligence.

Read more about these intelligent species, and the risk we create to them through climate change.

Now, let’s catch you up on other news.

Open this photo in gallery:

Illustration by Drew Shannon

Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. Research: Industrial carbon price more effective to reduce greenhouse gases than consumer policy, report says
  2. Carbon tax: Bonnie Crombie rules out provincial carbon tax as part of Ontario Liberals’ 2026 election platform. Also: Poilievre threatens no confidence vote on carbon price, Guilbeault calls him a liar
  3. Wildlife: Grizzly bear hair points to human impact on ecosystem, study shows
  4. Wildfires: B.C. prepares for what could be a dangerous wildfire season
  5. Energy: Greek PM fuels debate for expanding Canadian LNG as Ottawa promotes renewable energy industry
  6. Pipelines: Unplanned shutdown of Imperial pipeline will affect delivery of fuel to Winnipeg for months
  7. Infrastructure: Retrofits and conversions, not new buildings, needed for sustainable future, expert says
  8. From The Narwhal: From the Torngat Mountains to the Labrador Sea, a new Inuit-led protected area takes a step forward

A deeper dive

Total solar eclipse of the heart

Ivan Semeniuk is The Globe’s science reporter. For this week’s deeper dive, he talks about the upcoming solar eclipse.

Climate, as we often hear, is not the same thing as weather. Rather, it is the tendency of the atmosphere to behave in certain ways over the long term.

For those who are keen to view one of the great solar eclipses of the century on April 8, reading the climate has been crucial for deciding where to be when the moon’s shadow sweeps across North America, from Mexico to Newfoundland.

This is a game that eclipse chasers know well. A total eclipse of the sun is a rare and awesome sight. Whether you are a veteran eclipse watcher with ambitious plans to photograph the event, or a first-timer hoping to witness something incredible, the last thing you want is a cloudy day.

So the question is, where is it least likely to be cloudy?

In this case the answer is toward the southern end of the eclipse track in Mexico and Texas. Many seasoned eclipse chasers have long made their travel plans and will be setting up somewhere along the warmest and generally fairest portion of the 180-kilometre-wide path of totality.

In doing so, they hope to avoid low pressure systems called Alberta clippers that originate in Western Canada and can bring clouds or even snow into the Great Plains and Great Lakes area as late as early April.

By the time the track veers off to Quebec and Atlantic Canada, the total eclipse will be taking place over places where cloudy skies are more likely than not at this time of year.

Even so, while Texas is at least twice as likely to be clear than the Canadian portion of the eclipse track, there’s no guarantee that’s how things will play out. On the same day last year, a large swath of Texas was under cloud along the eclipse track while Eastern Canada and the Great Lakes were relatively cloud free.

This year, the El Niño climate pattern, which has helped to make it a mild winter and early spring in the northeast, could also prove helpful for those observing from Canadian locations.

And the eclipse itself can influence events. When the moon covers the sun, the daytime temperatures can drop dramatically in a few minutes. If there is a lot of moisture in the air, it can condense to form clouds right at the moment that the eclipse is total.

In the end, it will come down to what the specific weather patterns are like in the days and hours before the eclipse. If you are trying to ensure a clear sky and are not travelling to the southern U.S., your best bet is to keep a careful eye on what the atmosphere is doing and be prepared to shift position if you can. No one can guarantee a clear sky for this total eclipse. It’s only a guarantee that you won’t see if you don’t look!

For more information on where, when and how to observe the eclipse safely, see our coverage.

- Ivan

Open this photo in gallery:

Women watch a partial solar eclipse at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.CHRIS WATTIE/Reuters

What else you missed

Opinion and analysis

Editorial board: EVs shift into a higher gear

Jennifer Grenz: Indigenous and Western world views must come together for the greater good

Tony Keller: We have met the enemy of the carbon tax, and it is us

Andrew Coyne: On the carbon tax, the Opposition’s cynicism neatly coincides with the public’s

Chris Ragan: Carbon pricing has become our national dumpster fire

Editorial: Political hot air has scorched the carbon tax

Kevin Thomas: Companies must be made to disclose Scope 3 emissions

Green Investing

Canada Growth Fund to invest $50-million in Montreal’s Idealist Capital

The federal government’s new cleantech funding agency is investing $50-million in Montreal’s Idealist Capital, an impact fund that concentrates on commercial-scale technology developers focused on the shift to a low-carbon economy.

The investment in Idealist marks the third by Canada Growth Fund, a $15-billion pool set up by Ottawa to direct private-sector capital to Canadian technologies that help meet the government’s commitments to reduce emissions. It is managed by PSP Investments, a public-sector pension-fund manager.

Photo of the week

Open this photo in gallery:

Software engineer Manasseh Michael works on his laptop during a Garden Desk co-working event at an urban community farm on March 21, 2024, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Garden Desk, led by We Are Kix, a Malaysian-based film and experience company, is a pioneer in the co-working-in-nature concept, welcoming professionals from various urban sectors including corporate, tech, advocacy, creative, film and photography. The goal is to have people integrate nature into their daily work routines while cultivating collaboration within the serene ambiance of a picturesque garden.Annice Lyn/Getty Images

Guides and Explainers

Catch up on Globe Climate

Business owners and short-term renters on the Canadian side of Niagara falls are speeding up preparations to welcome a million people expected to flood the region to experience a rare solar eclipse in the backdrop of the popular destination.


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