Mini-Science 2016: Weather and Climate - Going to Extremes

Mini-Science is a unique lecture series featuring McGill geographers, biologists, geologists, epidemiologists, and atmospheric scientists. This series focuses on how global weather patterns and climate changes impact both planetary and human health.

Production : Université McGill

Année de Production : 2016

Durée : 60 min

Thématique abordée


Climate change and the tropics

Canada has repeatedly missed its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and failed to take significant action to address climate change. The election of a new federal government, the decision of Alberta’s government to tackle climate change and the collaboration between Quebec and Ontario might substantially change Canada’s positioning on climate change. In the context of this possible transition towards a low-carbon economy, Professor Potvin will present ten key policy orientations that could allow Canada to engage in the transition towards a low-carbon economy were identified and will be presented and discussed. These policy orientations have been agreed upon by more than sixty Canadian scholars from across the country, with disciplinary backgrounds ranging from engineering and business to biology and sociology, who collaborated to produce a consensus on science-based, viable solutions.

A lecture by Prof. Catherine Potvin, Department of Biology.


Lundi 30 octobre 2017 à 01:30

Mercredi 01 novembre 2017 à 04:00

Vendredi 03 novembre 2017 à 02:30

Samedi 04 novembre 2017 à 02:00

Air pollution, climate and health in the Tibetan Plateau

Almost half the world’s population, primarily in developing countries, cooks and heats their homes with highly-polluting biomass and coal fuels in traditional stoves. The resulting air pollution is a major anthropogenic source of regional air pollution and leading contributor to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Mountainous regions like the Tibetan Plateau are particularly vulnerable to the environmental and climate impacts of air pollution from biomass and coal burning. I will present information air pollution and cardiovascular health that we have collected over the past several years in villages on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau where burned biomass in traditional stoves for cooking and heating. I will also discuss our work investigating the climate and environmental impacts of traditional stoves use and use of cleaner-burning stoves and fuels in this vulnerable region of the world.

A lecture by Prof. Jill Baumgartner, Institute for Health and Social Policy & Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Occupational Health.


Lundi 06 novembre 2017 à 01:30

Mercredi 08 novembre 2017 à 04:00

Vendredi 10 novembre 2017 à 02:30

Samedi 11 novembre 2017 à 02:00

How weather and climate work

“Weather is what you get; climate is what you expect.” This oft-used expression is the launch for our discussion of defining weather and climate. We provide examples of extreme weather, examine how they occur, and explore the questions and issues that link them to global climate variability.

A lecture by Prof. John Gyakum, Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences.


Lundi 13 novembre 2017 à 01:30

Mercredi 15 novembre 2017 à 04:00

Vendredi 17 novembre 2017 à 02:30

Samedi 18 novembre 2017 à 02:00

Arctic climate change

The challenge of controlling, managing, or possibly reversing the impacts of human activities on our planet has an increasingly visible other dimension that has been given little attention, i.e., the actions of a stakeholder community whose interests lie with “business as usual” or that hopes to benefit from environmental change. These issues are playing out now in the Arctic, as it shifts from white, ice-bound, to a seasonally ice free, blue, and resource-accessible state. There are many environmental, socioeconomic and sociocultural arguments for restoring and sustaining a year-round, ice-covered white Arctic. At the same time, there are growing interests in the opening up of a blue Arctic Ocean. In this presentation, we will review recent changes in Arctic sea ice cover, possible causes for the rapid changes that are presently occurring in the Arctic and timescales (political, technological and physical) for the potential restoration of sea ice.

A lecture by Prof. Bruno Tremblay, Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Science.


Lundi 20 novembre 2017 à 01:30

Mercredi 22 novembre 2017 à 04:00

Vendredi 24 novembre 2017 à 02:30

Samedi 25 novembre 2017 à 02:00

Deep time climate change

Between 720 and 635 million years ago, Earth descended into a pair of glaciations so severe virtually the entire surface of the globe froze over and remained frozen for millions of years. These glaciations occurred at a time of extraordinary changes in Earth’s environment, as a supercontinent broke apart, oxygen first permeated the oceans, and eukaryotes became established in the biosphere. This lecture will present geological evidence for the severity of these glaciations, climatic models to explain them, and discuss their potential causes and effects on the rapidly evolving environment of that epoch. Although it is unlikely that another snowball Earth event will occur, these climatic disasters in Earth’s ancient history provide valuable lessons on the behaviour of the Earth system.

A lecture by Prof. Galen Halverson, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences.


Lundi 27 novembre 2017 à 01:30

Mercredi 29 novembre 2017 à 04:00

Vendredi 01 décembre 2017 à 02:30

Samedi 02 décembre 2017 à 02:00

Climate change and preserving cold carbon

The countries participating in COP21 in Paris, December 2015 agreed to take steps to emissions so that the global mean annual temperature increase would not be more than 2ºC of the pre-industrial mean. To accomplish this goal there needs to be a massive (> 50%) and rapid (< 50 years) reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The most recent 2015 global carbon budget released by the Global Carbon Project shows emissions of CO2 have increased little over 2014 and 2015. The same report indicated that 90% of the CO2 emissions are from fossil fuels while 10% is due to CO2 release during land-use change. Most people focus on reducing fossil fuel emissions to obtain our climate objectives, but we will also have to reduce the source of greenhouse gases that come from land-use change. Until now most land-use change has been in the temperate and tropical regions and in the conversion of forests to agriculture. However, well over 40% of all terrestrial carbon still remains in relatively undisturbed ecosystems in Boreal, Subarctic and Arctic regions. The necessity is clear — we cannot afford to duplicate the emissions of greenhouse gases from land-use change that have occurred over the past 100 years, for the next 100 years and maintain global temperature increases below 2ºC. We have the knowledge and hopefully the awareness to develop innovative strategies and safeguards to sustain land carbon storage.

A lecture by Prof. Nigel Roulet, Department of Geography.


* Cet épisode n'est plus diffusé
au cours de cette période

How can we adapt to climate change?

It is now widely accepted that the global climate is changing and that societies will need to adapt. In addition to efforts to reduce global emissions, adapting to existing and future impacts represents a grand challenge this century. Indeed, global funds to support adaptation have begun to be disbursed, with $20-64 billion in fast-tracked funding already being invested. This will increase to $100 billion annually by 2020, as per the 2015 Paris Agreement. Canada is among the largest adaptation donors to these funds. This growth in global finance for adaptation underscores the urgency with which to understand how and where adaptation is needed and is feasible, and monitor the use of adaptation funds. Are we adapting, to what, and how? This presentation will explore the challenge of global human adaptation to climate change, and explore efforts and opportunities to systematically track and evaluate progress on adaptation policy and practice.

A lecture by Prof. Lea Berrang Ford, Department of Geography.


* Cet épisode n'est plus diffusé
au cours de cette période


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