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CCG Paleoclimate

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CCG Paleoclimate

  1. 1. post-glacial Canada CLIMATE CHANGE GEOSCIENCE Great Lakes PALEOCLIMATE ice cores sea ice
  2. 2. Observation
  3. 3. “ The hills look like sawdust, really, that colour. I've never seen it where the grass didn't turn green in the spring before.” JERRY MURPHY Elnora, Alberta source: Globe and Mail, 1 July 2009
  4. 4. Historical climate observations at the Environment Canada archives in Toronto
  5. 5. Direct observations provide a critical but short-sighted perspective on recent changes
  6. 6. CLIMATE HISTORY OF CANADA Younger Demise of Laurentide Dryas Ice Sheet 20 16 12 8 4 0 THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO Final Drainage of Lake Agassiz LAST GLACIAL MODERN MAXIMUM OBSERVATIONS
  7. 7. PALEOCLIMATOLOGY ice cores tree rings sand dunes relic shorelines macrofossils
  8. 8. “Jack's a paleoclimatologist, and I have absolutely no idea what he's up to.” The Day After Tomorrow, 2004
  9. 9. SCIENCE PARTNER Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  10. 10. post-glacial Canada CLIMATE CHANGE GEOSCIENCE Great Lakes PALEOCLIMATE ice cores sea ice
  11. 11. C A N A D A A F T E R GLACIATION
  12. 12. Art Dyke documenting whale remains 23 metres above sea level in the central Canadian Arctic
  13. 13. “ Resolving the timing of regional variability in ice-sheet maxima is also important for understanding ice-sheet sensitivity to regional and global climate change, as well as in establishing ice-sheet–climate feedbacks. ” Science August 2009
  15. 15. PEARLS UNSTRUNG? How will climate change affect Canada’s Great Lakes?
  16. 16. Michael Lewis GSC Atlantic
  17. 17. EOS December 2008
  18. 18. “ In the last decade or so, scientists have uncovered clues that the water level in Lake Erie — and indeed, the levels in at least some of the other Great Lakes — fell well below all natural outlets, rendering those ” lakes isolated bodies of water. Science News August 2009
  19. 19. 23
  20. 20. Artist’s rendition of Niagara Falls, circa 8,000 yr B.P.
  21. 21. H I S TO RY F R O Z E N I N ICE
  22. 22. Members of the GSC Glaciology group
  23. 23. High-altitude expeditions show how Canada’s Arctic has responded to past climate change
  24. 24. James Zheng processes an ice core from the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling project
  25. 25. The Greenland Ice Sheet holds ca. 7 metres of sea-level equivalent
  26. 26. Fritz Koerner and David Fisher coring at the Agassiz Ice Cap on Ellesmere Island
  27. 27. “ State-of-the-art ice sheet models are generally found to be underestimating the extent and changes in GIS elevation and area; our findings may help to improve the ability of models to reproduce the GIS response to Holocene climate. ” Nature September 2009 SCIENCE PARTNER University of Copenhagen
  28. 28. S E A I C E IN THE ARCTIC
  29. 29. The North-West Passage
  30. 30. Maximum sea ice extent September 2009 median sea ice extent 1979-2009 source: National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado
  31. 31. The remains of bowhead whales provide clues about past changes in sea ice conditions
  32. 32. Estimates of sea-ice extent in the Canadian Arctic during the last 10,000 years
  33. 33. “ Historical records indicate that Arctic sea-ice extent has been declining since the late 19th century. Although this decline was accompanied by multidecadal oscillations, the accelerated ice loss during the last several decades lead to conditions not documented in ” at least the last few thousand years. Quaternary Science Reviews in the press
  34. 34. SCIENCE PARTNER United States Geological Survey
  35. 35. L E S S O N S F R O M THE PAST
  36. 36. PALEOCLIMATE ✓ shows us how critical landscapes and natural resources have been affected by climate change in the past ✓ gives us a broader perspective on contemporary environmental and resource issues ✓ provides a major contribution to international initiatives that assess the dynamics of the global climate system