Tour Speakers

2018 CMOS TOUR SPEAKERS (see schedule )

Dr.  Gilbert Brunet     


   Presentation Topic:
    Toward Seamless Weather and Climate Earth-system Prediction  

Over the last decade or so, predicting the weather, climate and atmospheric composition has emerged as one of the most important areas of scientific endeavor. This is partly because the remarkable increase in skill of current weather forecasts has made society more and more dependent on them day to day for a whole range of decision making. And it is partly because climate change is now widely accepted and the realization is growing rapidly that it will affect every person in the world profoundly through high-impact climate and weather events.

Hence one of the important challenges of our societies is to remain at the cutting-edge of modelling and predicting the evolution of the fully coupled environmental system: atmosphere (weather and composition), oceans, land surface (physical and biological), and cryosphere. This effort will provide an increasingly accurate and reliable service across all the socio-economic sectors that are vulnerable to the effects of adverse weather and climatic conditions, whether now or in the future. This emerging challenge was at the center of the World Weather Open Science Conference (Montreal, 2014).The outcomes of the conference are described in the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) book: Seamless Prediction of the Earth System: from Minutes to Months, (G. Brunet, S. Jones, P. Ruti Eds., WMO-No. 1156, 2015). It is freely available on line at the World Meteorological Organization website. We will discuss some of the long term goals of this effort and provide examples of Earth-system modelling and prediction from urban scales to global scales.    

About  Gilbert Brunet

Gilbert Brunet obtained his PhD in meteorology at McGill University (1989). He is Director of the Meteorological Research Division (MRD), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) since 2006, including a secondment as Director Weather Science at the Met Office (2012–15), United Kingdom. He was awarded the 2010 Patterson Distinguished Service Medal for distinguished service to meteorology in Canada for his contributions in the field of meteorology. He was Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the World Weather Research Program (WWRP), World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), 2007–14. In that role, he has contributed to several international strategic planning activities in weather and climate science.

From a scientific research perspective, he has been recognised as an expert in weather and climate dynamics since his post-doctoral work at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (Cambridge University, UK, 1989–91) and Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (École Normale Supérieure, Paris, 1991–93). His work covers analytical and empirical studies of wave processes from regional to planetary scale, and numerical weather prediction from minutes to seasons. He has co-authored more than fifty peer reviewed papers and has co-supervised the theses of ten graduate students as Adjunct Professor at the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, and at the Département des Sciences de la Terre et de l'Atmosphère, UQÀM.





Previously in 2017:

Dr. Richard Dewey

Ocean Networks Canada, University of Victoria

   Presentation Topic:
   Recent Pacific Anomalies: Oscillations, El Nino, and    The Blob

The Pacific Ocean has exhibited a number of major anomalies during the last few years, generally responding to large scale atmospheric patterns. Some of these patterns have been seen before, including the Pacific Oscillation dating back over nearly a century. However, recent occurrences have been detected under the shadow of climate change and in the presence of enhanced observing and forecast systems. Our ability to detect, characterize, and correlate these patterns continues to advance, while our ability to predict and understand the causes and linkages remains somewhat limited. In this overview of major events dating from 2012 through to the end of 2016, we will piece together some of the puzzle, or puzzles, peculiar to the northeast Pacific to reveal what we know and don’t know about this critical region    

About Richard Dewey
Richard Dewey is an Oceanographer, with degrees in Physics and Oceanography from the Universities of Victoria and British Columbia, respectively. He built his career as a sea-going observationalist, with stop-overs in Corvallis and Seattle before returning to UVic in 1995. As one of the original architects of the VENUS and NEPTUNE ocean observatories, he now manages the interdisciplinary science programs enabled by the comprehensive systems operated by Ocean Networks Canada, in Victoria. A thirty year member of CMOS, he is proud to represent Canada’s leading role in the world of cabled ocean observatories. With observing comes the demand for explaining strange signals, as was the case in 2014 when anomalously warm waters showed up in the northeast Pacific.                   



Previously in 2016:

 Francis Zwiers, 
Director of the Pacific Climate Impacts 
  Consortium,  University of Victoria
  Francis Zwiers
Presentation Topic:
Changing extremes - is it real, or just imagined? 
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. 
In the aftermath of such devastation, media raise questions over whether extreme events are more frequent and intense than in the past, 
whether human activity is a driving force behind long-term changes, and most inevitably, if the particular event just passed was caused by human influence on the climate. 
All three of these questions will be discussed, and an overview will be given on the latest answers that climate science can provide

The talk is available in the CMOS Webinar Webpage
 Prof. Ronald Stewart 
University of Manitoba

Ronald Stewart
Presentation Topic: 
Hazardous Near 0°C Precipitation 

Winter precipitation affects all of us in Canada and it is often leads to hazardous conditions. This certainly applies to the precipitation falling near 0°C (including freezing rain, ice pellets and wet snow) but there is still considerable uncertainty regarding its characteristics, formation, detection and simulation. This limits our monitoring efforts as well as our predictive capability at all time scales. Such issues will be reviewed in this presentation.


  Previously in  2015:

Kumiko Azetsu-Scott,
SIC Subgroup 2 - Bedford Institute of Oceanography
   Kumiko Azetsu-Scott
Presentation Topic:
About 1/4 of carbon dioxide (CO2) released by human activities to the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s has been taken up by the oceans.  This service has slowed down the accumulation of CO2 in the Atmosphere, but there is a price to pay.  CO2 dissolves in the surface water and forms carbonic acid. This carbonic acid has caused a decrease of ocean pH by 0.1 units over the past 200 years, which is equivalent to a 30% increase in acidity.  If global emissions of CO2 continue at the present rate, ocean pH is predicted to fall an additional 0.3 units by 2100.  The oceans have not experienced such a rapid pH change or one of this great a magnitude for at least the last 55 million years, raising serious concerns about the ability of the ecosystems to adapt. “Ocean Acidification” has become a focus of active research over the last decade.  Accelerated efforts to understand the extent and impact of ocean acidification are underway.  Mechanisms of ocean acidification, possible impact on marine organisms and ecosystems, climate feedback and issues related to Canadians will be discussed.

  Dr. Charles Hannah, Dr. Charles Hannah
Presentation Topic:
An overview of the oceanographic component of the World Class Tanker Safety Initiative
The World Class Tanker Safety Initiative is a major program of the Government of Canada to improve the overall regime under which oil tankers operate in Canada. Oceanography plays a small but vital role in this initiative. This presentation will provide an overview of the oceanographic program for the North Coast of British Columbia. This includes results from deployments of a new low-cost satellite-tracked surface drifter, current meter moorings, observation of flow over a shallow sill, and the development of a high resolution circulation model for the fjord system of the North Coast of BC.

Link to the presentation given at CMC Dorval.  (Windows and Mac). 
  Short Biography:
Dr. Kumiko Azetsu-Scott is a research scientist at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Nova Scotia, where she leads the carbon and tracer group.  She is also an adjunct in the Department of Oceanography at Dalhousie University.  Her research interests include climate change and carbon cycles in the ocean, ocean acidification, ocean circulation and freshwater dynamics in polar oceans.  Her research focuses on the uptake and storage of atmospheric carbon in the deep ocean through deep convection in the Labrador Sea and carbon fluxes to waters downstream.  In addition, she investigates air-sea interactions, water mass formation and ventilation ages using transient tracers, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).  Dr. Azetsu-Scott also studies freshwater composition and fluxes in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and the North Atlantic using multiple chemical tracers including oxygen isotope composition (δ18O), nutrient ratios and salinity.  Although ocean acidification is a global issue, polar oceans are inherently more vulnerable to ocean acidification than temperate or tropical oceans and Canada is one of the first countries in the world to have experienced indisputable impacts of ocean acidification.  Dr. Azetsu-Scott coordinates ocean acidification programs at DFO to understand temporal and spatial variability and their controlling factors in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and the North Atlantic.  In collaboration with biologists, she is also studying biological responses to ocean acidification.  She is a lead author of the report on the Arctic Ocean Acidification to the Arctic Council (Arctic Monitoring Assessment Programme), a member of Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) and the Canadian representative for Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP).  Finally, she is an associate editor of the journal Environmental Reviews.
Email: Charles.Hannah@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Phone: (250) 363-6269
Region: Pacific
Office: Institute of Ocean Sciences
Short Biography:
Charles Hannah received his PhD from the University of British Columbia for modelling the circulation of the north coast of British Columbia. He then worked as a research scientist at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth NS, for 20 years, where he worked on ocean circulation modelling, and the application of ocean models to a wide variety of problems including benthic habitat modelling, larval drift, and polynyas in the Canadian Arctic. In 2013 he returned to British Columbia and the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney BC. He is the lead on the oceanographic component of the World Class Tanker Safety System for the north coast of British Columbia.  His career has completed the full circle back to the location of his PhD research.

 Previously in 2014:

Charles Thomas (Tom) McElroy, York University

Charles Thomas McElroy
T.McElroy with a double-monochromator Brewer Ozone Spectrophotometer. (Photo courtesy Environment Canada)

TITLE :  Ozone Science: From Discovery to Recovery - and Beyond 

ABSTRACT :  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.


Professor McElroy, Ph. D., FCMOS, FRSC, holds the CSA/ABB/NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Atmospheric Remote Sounding in the Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering at York University in Toronto.  Tom moved to York after retiring from a 36-year career at Environment Canada (EC) in 2011. 

His research at the University of Toronto and EC included the first differential, visible-light measurements of nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere, the co-invention of the Brewer Ozone Spectrophotometer and the UV Index, now in use in 25 countries worldwide.  He designed and built instruments flown by two Canadian astronauts on the US space shuttle and is the designer and Principal Investigator of the MAESTRO (Measurement of Aerosol Extinction in the Stratosphere and Troposphere Retrieved by Occultation) instrument on the Canadian Space Agency's SCISAT satellite, still operating on orbit in its 11th year.  Tom is an author or co-author on more than 120 peer-reviewed publications.

(l to r) Clive Midwinter, Mareile Wolff and Tom McElroy installing diode array spectrophotometers at -35C on the roof of the PEARL laboratory at 80N on Ellesmere Island. (Photo courtesy of Pierre Fogal, University of Toronto)
Contact Information:

Professor C. Thomas (Tom) McElroy, Ph.D., FCMOS, FRSC
153 Petrie Science & Engineering Building
4700 Keele Street
York University
North York, Ontario, Canada  M3J 1P3

Tel: 416 736 2100 x22113
Cell: 416 570 5183
Fax:416 736 5817

EMAIL: TMcElroy@yorku.ca or C.T.McElroy@gmail.com
CSA/ABB/NSERC/YorkU Industrial Research Chair in Atmospheric Remote Sounding

Past Tour Speakers

Year Name Topic
2014 Tom McElroy Ozone Science: From Discovery to Recovery - and Beyond
2013 Denis Gilbert Oceans and Climate Change /  Océans et changements climatiques
2012 Eyad Atallah Where's the rain? A talk on the connection between tropical cyclones in the North Pacific and drought in Western Canada
2011 Thomas F. Pedersen Climate Change and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions: Blending Science, Social Science, Politics and Opportunity
2010 Jim Drummond Our PEARL Near the Pole: Atmospheric Research at 80oN
2009 Ken Denman Climate Change: a Collision of Science, Politics, Economics and Ethics / Le changement climatique : un choc d'idées scientifiques, politiques, économiques et éthiques
2007-2008 Ed Hudson Arctic Weather / Le Temps arctique
2006-2007 Fraser J.M. Davidson &  Dan Wright * Ocean Forecasts for Canadians: Improving safety at sea through prediction of ocean behaviour
2005-2006 Phil Chadwick Weather through the Eyes of Canadian Artists Featuring Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven
2005 Maurice Levasseur Testing the Iron-DMS-Climate Connection in the Subarctic Pacific  / Tester la relation fer-DMS-climat dans le Pacifique subarctique
2004 M.A. Jenkins Coupled Wildfire-atmosphere Modelling / Modélisation couplée feux de forêt/atmosphère
2003 Geoff L. Holland The Challenges, Past, Present and Future of Ocean Observing Systems
2002 Michel Jean Non-traditional Applications of Meteorological Modelling
2001 Howard J. Freeland Argo Armada - a Global Array of Profiling Floats
2000 Robert S. Schemenauer Fog and Fog Collection - Exploring this Hidden Water Resource
1999 Greg Flato The Cryosphere and Climate Change
1998 Natalie Gauthier The interMET Project: Using the Internet to Improve the Teaching of Meteorology in Quebec High Schools
1996-1997 William Hsieh Neural Networks for Short-Term Climate Prediction
1995-1996 Ambury Stuart How to Establish a Small Scientific Consulting Business
1994-1995 J.R.N. Lazier The North Atlantic Oscillation versus the Cold Fresh Fishless Labrador Sea
1993 A. Staniforth Numerical Forecasting of the Atmosphere
1992 Jim Gower Satellite Images - Where are we after 20 years?
1991 J.-P. Blanchet Global Climate Modelling
1990 M.I. El-Sabh * The International Decade for Natural Hazard Reduction - A Challenge for Canadian Meteorologists and Oceanographers
1989 David Phillips
Peter Zwack *
Canadian Weather Legends - Facts, Fallacies  and Fables
1988 Trevor Platt The Role of Marine Plant Life
1987 M. Khandekar - W. Canada
L.A. Mysak - E. Canada
Asian Monsoon Droughts and Floods
Ocean Wave Modelling
1986 D. Farmer Uses of Acoustic Techniques in Meteorology and Oceanography
1985 R. Portelli, B. Weisman  
1984 Warren L. Godson * Diagnosis and Prognosis of Atmospheric Science Controversies
1983 R.O. Ramseier * Passive Microwave Remote Sensing of Sea Ice
1982 P.A. Taylor Wind Power in Canada - Some Meteorological Aspects
1981 G.L. Austin, W.J. Emery  
1980 M. Glanz  
1979 A. Fraser  
1978 D.S. Davison  
1976 J. Maybank *   
1975 P.E. Merilees  
1974 A.G. Davenport  
1973 W.R. Frisken  
1972 M.B. Danard *  
1971 F.K. Hare *  
1970 T.R. Oke  
1969 K.M. King  

* = Deceased

Note:  For many years these Tour Speakers were supported by AES and DFO.