Abstracts: CMOS Ottawa, 2021-2022

(in language given)

FieldIn this talk, Dr. Ellen Field will discuss how education is, and, has been an overlooked mitigation strategy and how education policy can be instrumental as part of a multi-pronged approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Gaps in current education policy at Canadian regional jurisdictions (provincial and territorial) and national levels will be discussed along with best practices of climate change education from empirical research studies. In addition, this talk will consider lessons the formal education system can learn from the youth climate justice movement, and possible pathways for responsive education systems that focus on transformative and transgressive pedagogies. Audience members will take away insights on how education is instrumental to climate action and suggested ways to engage various segments of the population in climate change education.

Oliver:  Science and Inuit both have ways of knowing with a rich understanding of climate, the ocean and sea ice. These understandings are distinct and independent, yet complementary. Is it possible to bridge these two knowledge systems so as to inform each from the other? Is it even desirable? As a Labrador Inuk working in the scientific field of oceanography I have spent the four years exploring these questions. While they cannot be answered simply, I will provide my perspective and experience working at the interface between scientific and Inuit knowledge of the ocean. My research team and collaborators in the Nunatsiavut Government and in Inuit communities in the region, have been undertaking a number of related project and activities along these lines. Inuit knowledge of the coastal ocean and sea ice is being documented using participatory mapping and interview methods. We are developing ways recording Inuit observations of the environment, rooted in and referencing local traditional knowledge and focusing on that which Inuit consider important and of value. Scientific measurements of coastal ocean temperature, salinity, and ocean currents are being made through community-based monitoring programmes with representation in most communities in Nunatsiavut who are providing their expertise in choosing locations, times, and methods of accessing field sites. Finally, we are developing numerical ocean models for the region with Inuit Knowledge providing both ground-truths against which we can validate the model as well as informing hypothesis and model experiments. We have also been exploring the role that land-based activities, including research workshops, can play in this process. We are encouraged by the points of contact between science and Inuit knowledge that have emerged - such as maps, conceptual models, hypotheses - and that these can play the role of boundary objects to facilitate dialogue between these two knowledge systems.

HumphreysThe Hudson Bay Lowlands (HBL) is the largest contiguous peatland complex in North America. Although peatlands are large stores of carbon, they are a natural source of methane (CH4), a potent greenhouse gas. However, it remains uncertain how much CH4 is emitted by the HBL peatlands and how ongoing climate change will impact these emissions.

We measured CH4 fluxes using the eddy covariance technique at four HBL peatland sites with different vegetation and peat characteristics over several years.

Total seasonal emissions ranged from 2.6 to 7.2 g CH4 m-2 (Apr 1 – Nov 30) with the highest values at the wettest and warmest peatland, a patterned fen, and the lowest at the driest and coolest peatland, a raised peat plateau with permafrost. Year-to-year variability in CH4 emissions was less than site-to-site variability.  These measurements can help constrain recent top-down estimates of HBL-wide CH4 budgets.  We also discuss how these measurements can help us understand the potential impacts of warming, drying and thaw on HBL CH4 emissions.

Andersen:  The final 15 kilometres of the Dempster Highway within the Yukon (YT km 450-465) - known as Hurricane Alley - experience strong downslope winter windstorms. Easterly winds blow perpendicularly across the highway after topographic enhancement by a north-south ridge east of the road. The ECCC Rock River meteorological station recorded 88 hours of sustained wind speeds above 75 km/h during winter 2020/21. The windstorms frequently cause road closures and hazardous conditions for motorists. ECCC wind forecasts are often inaccurate since the modelled grid cells are much larger than the ridge; however, recent UBC modelling suggested that using smaller grid cells should increase accuracy. In October 2021, seven additional local meteorological stations were installed to measure winds. This talk will discuss the state of the research on Hurricane Alley windstorms, and the use of synoptic tools (ECCC analysis charts and NOAA HYSPLIT model results) to explain atmospheric conditions responsible for the windstorms.

Schletselaar:  Climate warming is causing rapid and widespread environmental change in northern regions. Transportation networks in Canada's North are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Rising ground temperatures and permafrost thaw have been a main cause of road damage as the bearing capacity of the ground is significantly reduced and subsequently subsides, leading to differential settlement of the road surface. Other road damage is due to increased precipitation which causes road washouts, icings, damage of culverts and landslides. Under current climate trends, it is expected that highway infrastructure in northern communities will require increased maintenance, incurring significant costs, in order to meet functional standards.

This presentation will outline a quantified assessment of climate change-induced maintenance expenditures for highways in Yukon. Changes in expenditures linked to climate conditions will be discussed in relation to underlying permafrost and ground ice conditions.

Gruber:  The Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) revealed the benefits of ambitious mitigation and effective adaptation and, conversely, the escalating costs and risks of delayed action. But how do we best enable this effective adaptation and ambitious mitigation when it comes to permafrost thaw? In this presentation, I will explore the potential role of operational services. With the framing of climate services, several distinct challenges can be identified for permafrost climate services: (1) history – climate services evolved from e.g., National Weather Services, whereas permafrost services are rarely established, (2) perception – permafrost areas are in the periphery and hazards affect relatively few people directly, and (3) processes and paradigms – a new combination of research and capabilities related to the atmosphere and the subsurface are needed to generate future scenarios of permafrost thaw. Emerging permafrost climate services and initiatives will be discussed to illustrate the growing momentum that exists in Canada, for example NSERC PermafrostNet, and globally.

BettsThis talk will be based upon this recent paper which I suggest you scan.

"Climate Change and Society" DOI: 10.3934/geosci. 2021012 

This examines our understanding of climate change, as well as the reluctance of industrial societies to deal with the drivers, especially the burning of the fossil fuels, before the consequences become catastrophic.  I have worked as a professional scientist for 50 years, but I also realized 50 years ago that science alone is not enough to deal with pressing global issues, as it lacks a moral framework—it lacks wisdom.  So I decided it was also my responsibility as a scientist to develop the skills to map out what drives the social framework and the social assumptions.  I contrast the Earth-centered indigenous worldview needed for our survival (which has been systematically destroyed), with the industrial capitalist mindset of the Fossil fuel Empire that is destroying our stable climate to maximize profits.  We review briefly the long history of the misuse of human power, and the rise of science and technology without a guiding moral framework.  But the deceit and bribery of politicians by the Fossil Empire are no match for the Earth system response. We are seeing new climate extremes on a global scale that are destroying our fossil fuel and economic infrastructure in an attempt to save some of the Earth’s ecosystem.

Kimbell & DelisleIn 2017, the Government of Canada announced the replacement of its weather radar network. At the time, the network consisted of 31 radars, including two operated in partnership with the Department of National Defence and one owned by McGill University. A contract was awarded to buy and install 32 to 33 new radars. They are S-band (10 cm) radars, and utilize dual-polarization technology. One of the radars is located in Franktown, in eastern Ontario, and was just commissioned (August 2021). The presentation will provide an overview of the network, the new technology, and the resulting improvement in our ability to forecast the weather in eastern Ontario.  The website www.weather.gc.ca  is getting a makeover that will allow you to view more weather products and services. You probably noticed on March 29 that the RADAR product changed on your favorite weather website! This was a first step towards transforming the site, which now offers products and services geo-referenced on a single map of Canada. As with every transformation, a lot of reactions and adjustments were necessary. We will be happy to provide you with an overview of the changes and improvements available now and in the future. 

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