Japanese quake a warning to Canada: Prepare for the inevitable

Fri Mar 9 2012

By Margaret Munro

VANCOUVER – Anacla, a First Nations village on the west coast of Vancouver Island, is moving up, heading for higher, safer ground.

A new “big house” has been built 50 metres up from the pounding surf of Pachena Bay. And there are plans to replace the 49 houses on the beach, which could be swallowed by the sea with just minutes’ notice.

It has happened before, says Tom Happynook, a hereditary chief with the Huu-ay-Aht First Nations, recalling how the village in the bay vanished in 1700, when a quake kicked up giant waves off Canada’s West Coast.

“The village was completely wiped out,” says Happynook.

Scientists say the strain is building again beneath the sea floor as enormous tectonic plates push against each other about 100 kilometres offshore. Continue reading →

Drilling for facts about Beaufort Methane Leaks

Edmonton Journal  Sun Apr 29 2012
By Margaret Munro
Postmedia News

The oil and gas industry may be eyeing the energy riches under the Arctic Ocean, but scientists are even keener to start drilling.

They say the Beaufort Sea, in the western Canadian Arctic, holds clues to several environmental mysteries of global significance – chief among them why so much methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is now seeping out of the sea floor.

An international team is proposing an ambitious drilling program to extract some answers. Researchers from Canada, the United States, Europe and Korea want to drill wells from the Mackenzie Delta across the Beaufort Sea.

If approved, drilling could begin as early as 2015, the first holes bored into the Canadian Arctic in years.

The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, an international outfit that dispatches research ships around Continue reading →