Abstracts: CMOS Ottawa, 2015-2016

(in language given)

Bouchet: New technologies for observations, telecommunication advances, continued increases in the performance of supercomputers have allowed the capacity for weather and environmental prediction to explode over the past 15 years.  It is quietly revolutionizing the approach to weather forecasting, blurring the decades-old lines between weather forecasting and climate and bringing predictive capacity into scientific and decision-making arenas that seemed out of reach not so long ago. The presentation will concentrate on the Canadian advances and how we are exploiting this new capacity.

Sandford:  Because of growing populations, an expanding resource-based economy, the intensification of agricultural practices across the country, and changes in the manner and rate in which water moves through the global hydrological cycle, Canada now faces the same kinds of problems that are creating a global water crisis elsewhere. In order to keep up with the direction the rest of the world is going, the next generation of federal and provincial water policy must serve to understand and restore the essential link between water security, climate stability and human and planetary health. The UN's recently endorsed 2030 Transforming Our World global sustainable development agenda provides a framework and a context for advancing water and water-related climate policy in ways that will allow us to protect our health, assure our prosperity and adapt to new planetary conditions in the face of rapid hydrometeorological change.

Harley:  Environmental change is accelerating, and ecological responses to this change are beginning to outpace our ability to understand and predict them. There are four major hurdles to surmount as we grapple with ongoing ecological change: 1) multiple stressor effects, 2) cumulative effects across ontogeny, 3) inter-individual variation and capacity for adaptation, and 4) "ecological surprises" mediated by species interactions. All four of these phenomena as they apply to benthic marine ecosystem responses to changing salinity, warming, and ocean acidification will be discussed.  Overall, results Dr. Harley's research group suggest that biological systems are already changing, that shifting interactions among species are critical, and that a new generation of experiments will be required to gain a better understanding of ecological change.

Zwiers: Today's electronic and print media are replete with stories about extreme weather and climate events from all over the world. These stories draw our attention because of their immediacy and the devastating impacts of these events, which often result in deaths and hundreds or even billions of dollars in damage.

Pappin: Ground-level air pollution is among the leading risk factors for premature death worldwide.  Managing this public health burden is a pressing scientific challenge and a multidisciplinary undertaking. The presentation will provide an overview of recent efforts to streamline air quality and public health management in the context of long-term air pollution and climate change mitigation policies. It will discuss the interplay between atmospheric science and modelling, epidemiology, and economics for evidence-based decision- making.

Perkins:  Ms. Perkins will talk about her experiences this past October, aboard the CCGS Amundsen (icebreaker turned research vessel) from Iqaluit, east across Lancaster Sound and north up Baffin Bay between Ellesmere Island & Greenland, finishing in Pond Inlet, one of Canada's northernmost communities.  This opportunity was made possible through Schools on Board, an ArcticNet outreach program dedicated to teaching high school students about current Arctic research, as well as environmental, social, & economic problems caused by climate change.  It was offered to nine students and two teachers.  Now, Ms. Perkins states, "It's our turn to share these incredible experiences with our home communities!"  As part of our objective to support education, your CMOS Ottawa Centre provided a $1,000 grant to assist Ms. Perkins with her costs.

Stone: The 21st Conference of the Parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will be held from November 30th to December 11th in Paris, France. The goal of the meeting is to complete the negotiations of an international, legally binding regime to follow on from the Kyoto Protocol. The stakes as well as the expectations are high; we are running out of time to address the threat of climate change. This will be one of the new Prime Minister's first international meetings. The talk will sketch out some of the background to the process and what we might expect to be achieved at the Paris meeting.

Chadwick: The future of science could well be through the arts... which leads us to the education system of the future. The content of this presentation will be a bit about Tom Thomson... a bit about my art and how it has influenced my science, a bit about green energy ... and finally a bit about climate change.

Richardson: Mark Richardson is the lead cartographer for the Headquarters of the Canadian Wildlife Service. In the last 8 years Mark has coordinated and led a variety of conservation mapping projects to provide a better understanding of the issues that face Canada's Species at Risk and Protected Areas in Canada's North. This presentation will discuss the last decade of Northern Cartography efforts by the Canadian Wildlife Service,  discussing topics such as: Economic Impact Assessments, Key Migratory Bird Habitat and the Nunavut Land Use Plan, New Protected Area establishment and outreach and Species At Risk (Boreal Caribou and Polar Bear).

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