Abstracts: CMOS Ottawa, 2013-2014

(in language given)

Conway:  On April 23-24, top Canadian scientists and agency leaders met in Ottawa to discuss the impacts and challenges of Extreme Weather-and how to minimize its often devastating effects. This talk will summarize some of the highlights and conclusions of the meeting.

The symposium, which was organized by the Canadian Climate Forum, brought speakers together from a range of sectors, to: present new ideas on weather patterns; and insights on the challenges of extreme events on health, the economy, energy supply, infrastructure and public safety. Sessions also examined the strengths and weaknesses of current adaptive measures; and provided practical information on elements needed to build resilience, and to safeguard Canadians and the economy in the future.

McElroy:  From the deployment of a Canadian ozone monitoring system during IGY in 1957 through the signing of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer in 1985 and up to the present, Canada has played a leading role in the measurement of ozone, worldwide.  Dr. McElroy was intimately involved in the ozone issue since 1970.  He will share his viewpoint on the contribution Canada has made to ozone science and on the influence the development of the Montreal Protocol in 1987 has had on global environmental discussions since.

Hamm / Taillefer:  Acoustic propagation modelling came of age in the midst of the Cold War where many of the "numerical models" were used to assist sonar systems to predict sound energy levels and propagation paths to assess the posture of enemy submarines.  Today's propagation models exhibit a very high degree of fidelity and accuracy, and are now used extensively to combat the threat of sound to marine life created through anthropogenic activities. Anthropogenic activities include commercial shipping, coastal industry, installation of offshore energy platforms, oil production, and probing the Earth's crust for oil and gas deposits through seismic exploration.  The oil and gas industry are now fully dependent on acoustic modelling in order to assess the impacts of their activities on the marine life, in particular, for marine mammals. The stakes are high for the oil and gas sector, and for the animals.  A review of these topics and Maritime Way Scientific's recent investigations will be presented for non-acousticians.

Jungcurt:  The ocean is undergoing unprecedented change.  Pollution, acidification, over fishing, demand for resources, and climate change are affecting marine populations and coastal communities. Recognizing the importance of understanding Canada's capacity to address future questions of ocean science, the Consortium of Canadian Research Universities asked the Council of Canadian Academies to undertake an assessment of Canada's capacity in ocean science.  A group of Canadian and international ocean experts determined 40 priority research questions for ocean science in Canada, and an Expert Panel on Canadian Ocean Science assessed Canada's current and future capacity to address these research questions. It also used the 40 questions to determine future opportunities and challenges for ocean sciences in Canada. This presentation will provide an overview of the work conducted by these groups and will discuss the key findings of their reports.

Phase 1 report

Phase 2 (report, executive summary, report in focus and appendices)

Bancroft:  Canada's north is a harsh, austere and at times unforgiving environment.  There are numerous challenges working there; such as vast distances, minimal support infrastructure, extreme weather, sea ice, and poor communications.  There are very few organisations capable of operating there independently, even the Canadian Forces or the Canadian Coast Guard. High trust partnerships have often proven essential to success. This presentation will review some of these success stories, and their impact to date on northern development from a public good perspective, and underscore some key lessons learned for individuals and organisations looking north.

Shearer:  Russ Shearer of AANDC has led the Northern Contaminants Program for 20 years.  This program, well connected internationally through the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program of the Arctic Council, has supported Canadian government, academic and community-based science and led to the development of a strong Arctic research community.  The program was driven by the discovery that worldwide contaminants were finding their way into the traditional foods of Northerners and into the people themselves through long range air and water pathways.  Russ will give examples of how the science has driven international policy to protect our North.

Allen:  What causes the interannual variability in phytoplankton growth and timing, in nutrient levels and in pH in a coastal ocean? How has that changed in the past? Can we predict what will happen this year? These types of questions can be answered by coupled biological-chemical-physical models provided they contain the physical oceanography that causes interannual variations and the biology and chemistry that determine the impacts on phytoplankton and on carbon.

Designed for deep estuaries, *SOG is such a model. As models go, it is simple: a one-dimensional, vertical model with all two-dimensional processes parameterized. In order to constrain and evaluate coupled bio-chem-physics models, detailed knowledge of the system is needed. The Strait of Georgia is an excellent test-bed: a deep estuary in British Columbia that has been observed, studied and modelled over many years with a large surrounding population interested in its health. This talk will present the basis of the SOG model and then highlight two applications: 1) the prediction (and hindcast) of the spring phytoplankton bloom and 2) the processes driving the seasonal and interannual variation of pH in the Strait.

* SOG - Strait of Georgia

Allport:  For nearly 20 years Doug Allport has been at the forefront of Canadian alerting and situational awareness developments. Today he wears many hats, including the General Manager of Canada's Multi-Agency Situational Awareness System (MASAS) and volunteer Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Public Alerting and Notification (CAPAN). In his talk, Doug will update us on recent developments, and provide a look ahead to what he sees coming next.

Goodison: The cryosphere (solid precipitation, snow cover, sea ice, lake and river ice, glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets, permafrost, and seasonally frozen ground) exists in various forms at all latitudes and in about one hundred countries. Changes in the cryosphere have major impacts on health, water supply, agriculture, transportation, freshwater ecosystems, hydropower production, and cryosphere-related hazards such as floods, droughts, avalanches, and sea-level rise. Today, it receives constant coverage by the media, creating a demand for authoritative information on the past, present, and future state of the world's snow and ice resources from polar ice to tropical glaciers.

The International Polar Year (IPY) clearly demonstrated the urgent need for a sustained, robust, end-to-end cryosphere observing and monitoring system, not only for polar regions but globally. Canada stepped forward and proposed to WMO Congress in 2007 that WMO create a Global Cryosphere Watch to serve as an important component of the IPY legacy. WMO welcomed the proposal and subsequent widespread consultation resulted in a GCW Implementation Strategy which was approved by WMO Congress in 2011.

GCW will provide authoritative, clear, and useable data, information, and analyses on the past, current, and future state of the cryosphere to meet the needs of WMO Members and partners in delivering services to users, the media, the public, decision and policy makers. It will include observation, monitoring, assessment, product development, prediction, and related research.

This presentation will summarize the development of GCW, its current status, near-term initiatives and opportunities and challenges which will require active engagement of WMO, its Members, partners, and collaborators and will include perspectives on international collaboration gained by the presenter while working at WMO within the UN system. Canada has been a leader in GCW's early development, largely through Environment Canada. But there are many opportunities for other federal and provincial agencies and universities to make valuable contributions to GCW nationally and internationally to help ensure this legacy will be carried forward, while meeting their own needs for cryosphere information.

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