Abstracts: CMOS Ottawa, 2008-2009

(in language given)

Anderson/Ouelett:  The Canadian Forces Weather and Oceanographic Service (CFWOS) has embarked on a modernization and transformation to meet present and anticipated demands. This talk will provide an overview of the weather services undertaken by the CFWOS, the growing demand for support, and the proposed way ahead to meet these demands through a $25M capital project.

The cornerstone of the CFWOS revitalization is the creation of a Joint Meteorological Centre. At this Centre, in CFB Gagetown, teams of CF Meteorological Technicians will properly prepare for deployments and centralized weather information delivery will be provided using modern communications technologies. Environment Canada meteorologists and Information Technology specialists will provide support and undertake applied science development projects.

Juniper:  Research by Dr. Juniper and collaborators into the ecology of hydrothermal vent biological communities associated with arc volcanism in the western and southern Pacific Ocean will be described. These deep-sea hot springs were discovered during joint Canada-US and Canada-Germany expeditions from 2004-2007. Much of this research is focusing on ecosystem adaptations to unusual habitat features that characterize these submarine volcanoes.

Copland:  Substantial losses of ice shelves have occurred from the northern coast of Ellesmere Island over the past 4 years. This has included the entire loss of the Ayles and Markham Ice Shelves, 60% of the Serson Ice Shelf, and substantial fracturing and disintegration of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, the largest remaining in the northern hemisphere. Fiords have become ice free for the first time in at least 3000 years, and there has been substantial loss of associated microbial ecosystems. In this presentation, the extent of these changes will be reviewed and their causes explained by Dr. Copland, who joined a Ranger's skidoo patrol to survey the ice shelves shortly before their dramatic break ups last summer.

Gajewski:  Quantitative paleoclimate reconstructions, including both spatial and time series, are needed to describe natural climate variability and for use in data-model comparison studies. A new composite July temperature paleoclimate reconstruction for North America depicts the evolution of the climate during the past 14,000 years with a temporal resolution of 100 years. After reviewing the methodology used for quantitative paleoclimate reconstructions, regional and continental paleoclimate curves for North America based on pollen records will be presented.

Denman: With the completion in 2007 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), public perception shifted from skepticism to a general sense that climate change is real and that humans are largely responsible. However, more recent research findings in several areas suggest additional cause for concern: e. g. the minimum summer extent of Arctic sea ice is decreasing faster than in any of the IPCC coupled models, global emissions of carbon dioxide over the last 6 years are increasing faster than in any of the IPCC SRES emissions scenarios, and evidence indicates that the Laurentide ice sheet, which covered much of the northern hemisphere at the last glacial maximum, at times during its retreat shrunk at faster rates than are forecast for the Greenland ice sheet during this century. Both as natural scientists and as members of society, the obvious question is "What do we do next?"

Until now, scientists have resisted even discussing 'geoengineering' approaches to mitigating climate change or its impacts. But unless a post-Kyoto agreement on controlling emissions, scheduled to be reached in late 2009, is much more effective than the Kyoto agreement appears to be, then we should be doing research on some of the geoengineering approaches that have been proposed: injecting sulphur aerosols into the stratosphere, fertilizing the oceans with iron, large scale tree plantations for biofuels or to alter the albedo, etc. What about the cost of damage from projected climate change versus the cost of mitigating it? The 2007 Stern Report argues strongly that the benefits of mitigating climate change far outweigh the costs of mitigation. His report has received much criticism because he used an unusually low discount rate for the value of future generations. He has countered that at the base of the economic calculations lies an ethical issue - how much do we value the welfare of future generations relative to our own welfare? Another recent study argues that the Stern Report is right for the wrong reasons: that the statistics for rare extreme events are not properly accounted for in the assessment models. Therefore, the possibility of future unexpected 'disasters', where the costs may be enormous and continuing and beyond our current perception (e. g. Hurricane Katrina) should lead to a precautionary approach and a high value assigned to the well being of future generations. More recently, the economic downturn has largely replaced climate change in the public consciousness. Clearly the climate change 'issue' extends far beyond the expertise of any scientific discipline. How can we, or should we, confine our activities on climate change to within our areas of scientific expertise?

Andrews / Fleming: The Major Crown Project (MCP) directorate was created within the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) in 2006 for the purpose of implementing the Fleet Renewal program. The objective of the CCG 25-year Fleet Renewal program is to have an orderly and affordable plan to refurbish and replace vessels in order to ensure that CCG will have a strong, modern, multi- mission fleet, capable of delivering cost effective and reliable service.

Two projects currently under way in MCP are for replacement vessels for the Fisheries Science Vessels (CCGS Needler, Templeman, Teleost and Ricker) and the Oceanographic Science vessel (CCGS Hudson). It is intended that these new vessels be state-of-the-art multi-purpose science platforms that can support Canada's oceanographic and fisheries research for the next 25 years.

Lemmen: This talk will present the key conclusions found in From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate 2007, a major scientific assessment released in March 2008. Through a primarily regional approach, the assessment report discusses current and future risks and opportunities that climate change presents to Canada, with a focus on human and managed systems. Advances in understanding adaptation, as well as examples of recent and ongoing adaptation initiatives, will be discussed.

Kunze: The ocean's meridional overturning circulation arises from the formation of the world's coldest and densest water-masses (Antarctic Bottom Water) on Antarctic shelves and seas, their sinking and spreading to fill the bottom 1 km of the world ocean, and subsequent upwelling and warming through turbulent mixing.

The present state of confusion about deep-ocean mixing, including recent microstructure measurements near various kinds of topography and a global assessment using a mixing parameterization based on internal wave/wave interaction theory will be discussed.

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