Hi everybody so hello and welcome to today’s webinar with Ocean Networks, Canada. So my name is Luisa Sarmiento and i will be your moderator today. We also have Tessa Owens, who will help with the interactivity and the Zoom chat and just popped.
We have Dr Kate Morin, who will be our speaker today, so it’s really nice to see so many people here. I’m really happy, but first let me introduce the Ocean Network’s Canada summer webinar series, which is this – the aim of this series, is to offer free online interactive events featuring ocean related topics.
This series introduces both scientific and indigenous approaches to understand ocean changes and their importance nowadays. So, as you can see on the screen, there is still one live event left in two weeks, so make sure that you register for that event, using the same zoom registration link that you used for today’s event.
So now let’s, see how you can participate in today’s event. So, as you can see on the screen, you can participate using mentimeter, so you simply have to go to mendy.com and enter the following code. The one you can see uh on the screen so 967445 and you can either use your smartphone use a different browser tab or you can also download the application mentimeter.
So if none of that is possible to you don’t worry, you can always put your answers in the zoom chat or you can simply watch so now i’m gonna invite all of you to try it out and let’s, see uh! Where are you particip participating from today? Okay, wow? A lot of answers already that’s, really great um.
So i see we have people from victoria from british columbia, obviously from sydney, sydney, bc, huh, langford bc, los angeles. Also from vancouver from home that’s, nice um from oceanography that’s, also nice, i guess – and from uk i hope i pronounced it correctly: okay um! So i guessed uh 19 of you have figured this out nice! Oh, we have from the philippines that’s, exciting great, so it must be evening or tomorrow already perfect.
Okay, so um we’ll. Leave it like that nice to see all of you. I’m, really happy to have so many people from different places and um. Yes, so um! So now i i really. I’m really honored and i’m, really happy to introduce our speaker today.
Uh dr kate morin. So um uh kate is joined. Ocean networks. Canada in 2011 has the ceo from 2009 and 2011. She was appointed as assistant director at the white house office of science and technology policy.
She also collect the first deep water drilling operation in the arctic ocean recovering the first paolo climate record from this region. Currently she’s. Still a professor at the university of victoria and the university of rhode island.
I’m, really honored to give the floor to you, kate. Thank you so much louisa. Let me just uh begin by sharing my screen and play. Let me first uh by uh recognizing and acknowledging and respect the songhees, esquimalt and wasanich peoples on whose traditional territories the university stands and whose historical relationships continue to this day, and i hope all of you who, wherever you are, can also um thank your host nations.
Wherever you’re located as we begin, the presentation um, this is a this – is a presentation about basics, about climate change, but what we’ve learned from recent time and from deep time. So i’m just going to first.
This is just a list of what i’m, going to be talking about a little bit about me explaining the greenhouse effect. What causes climate to change? I’m, going to talk a little about that drilling expedition that louise had mentioned in the introduction.
Then i’m, going to talk about the three options we have in terms of our future climate mitigation adaptation and, of course, there’s, hopefully not too much suffering. This is a very busy slide on on the left.
You’ll, see uh the answers to my questionnaires. I won’t, read them out loud to you, but you can actually just see some of the things about me by my answers to to the proof’s questionnaire and some of the things i like to do.
This is a picture of first of me as a baby with my two sisters, i was the youngest in the photo and some of the things i like to do. I like to hike, especially with my dogs, the poodles just see on the upper left.
I have done a lot of backcountry skiing. This is a the picture you see is from the illicillawick glacier and uh. I love backcountry canoeing, so i’ll start with the greenhouse effect, because let’s. I’m, going to turn it over to louisa for um a mentee moment.
Yes, so um we’ll, get some interactivity already going. We’re, going to ask you yes or no. The four main greenhouse gases are, so you have different choices. You can go ahead and enter the meantime code, the code 96745 and let’s, see okay, great.
We have a lot of participants. Okay, it seems that uh it’s. Getting uh averaged, let’s, wait a little bit more okay. So while we get some more answers, uh, maybe kate – you can start commenting on that already yeah.
I think some of the some of the some of the folks out there have gotten a few of them quite correct, so we’ll, see that in a moment, okay, so uh, let’s, turn it back to the presentation. Okay. So i left it by um talking about greenhouse gases, and so this is just an image showing you the fact that there’s there’s gases in the atmosphere that actually allow heat to come through the atmosphere and there’s gases that that also lead allow us to leave heat in the atmosphere, but there’s.
Greenhouse gases that are in the atmosphere and those greenhouse gases are special because they’re, loosely bonded atoms and those loosely bonded atoms vibrate. When they uh, then when they absorb heat and that vibration takes a long time to stop and that’s by once, the vibration stops that that heat is released.
So the greenhouse gases, don’t, keep the heat in the atmosphere forever. But they keep them for certain lengths of time based on how loosely bonded they are, and so there are the the major ones that some of you got right.
Methane of course, but it all has a short lifetime of vibration before it releases that heat 12 years out and then, of course, there’s, nitrous oxide, that you got right. That has a longer time period in the atmosphere there’s.
Water vapor, but that just comes and goes so that’s, a rapidly coming and going greenhouse gas, and, of course we all know carbon dioxide. What’s important here? Is carbon dioxide has a long lifetime, so we water, vapor comes in and out, so we don & # 39.
T really think about that too much methane is a very powerful, the most powerful, but it’s. A short short life lifetime, nitrous oxide, is less powerful than methane and less powerful than carbon dioxide, so those are the greenhouse gases.
Now, how do we know about the greenhouse effect? It started with physics as physicists langley in the late 1800s calculated the surface temperature of the moon by measuring the incoming infrared radiation and then other scientists in this case arrhenius.
They became more interested in that effect and use that same work to estimate atmospheric cooling of the potential future co2 decrease because they were worried if we were going to have another ice age or not at that time long time ago.
So, as i mentioned, arenas also calculated the doubling of co2 that would cause global warming, and so that was a very early prediction in the 1800s and so um. He also took into account uh that about water vapor, but determined that uh that we could have warming.
If we doubled co2 in the atmosphere, so this was quite a long time ago, and it was in the news. It was in the news in the early part of last century, early early parts in these two news articles and, of course it’s, been in the news, but, most importantly since 1988, that i’ll speak about so jim’s, james hansen, who was the head of nasa goddard lab, testified the us congress in 1988 and basically making the case that we were warming our planet and we had to do something about it, and people were listening and he used some of the data from His modeling to forecast how warm we would get and, as you can see from this red dot, he was pretty close in what we where, where we would be by 2010 and even now, by by 2020.
. So he had it right even back then. Meanwhile, charles keeling also uh, he was a chemist who started who actually devised a device to measure atmospheric co2, and so he started measuring carbon dioxide and notice that it changed seasonally.
As we know it changes seasonally because of there’s. A lot of vegetation in the northern hemisphere, so what you’re, actually pulling out co2 at that time. When there’s growth and then it’s, less less when it during the winter months in the northern hemisphere.
But then you started to see that those jaggedy up and down seasonal variations are actually on a very, very steep increase over time, and that is because of the increase in those greenhouse gases that i mentioned the ones that vibrate and capture heat – and this is a This is the latest plot from the keeling curve.
This is measurements from from hawaii it’s, it’s, run by scripps institution of oceanography and that’s. How we know that there’s, co2 increasing in the atmosphere. So let me talk about climate, forcing what causes it to change astronomical cycles, volcanic events, tectonics and, of course, us – and so let me turn it over to louisa for a minty moment.
We we want to ask all of you if you know this, although it’s, a tricky question: let’s, see during which season is the earth closest to the sun in the northern atmosphere, hemisphere. Sorry um, let’s, see okay, winter and summer.
So far, so remember that you can uh participate using uh, the mentimated chord 96745, and i see a lot of you got that right, great okay, so i think we have a clear uh average between winter and summer.
What do you think of that kate? Well, i think that it’s, a tricky question because uh you’d, think if the earth is closest to the to the sun, it would be. It would be the summer time, but in fact it’s.
The winter time and it’s because of the fact it’s, not really the the distance. It’s. Really the angle of the of the of the earth, whether it’s facing towards or away from the sun, that causes the the warmth or cooling in the atmosphere.
So let me talk to you about why that is and why we know about from the past yeah next slide. So milenkovic was an astronomer and he calculated earth’s, orbital shapes and frequencies, and they change how much celebration radiation comes into the earth and it & # 39.
S been proven to be stable for millions of years. In terms of these changes in the orbital, what’s called the orbital parameters? Next slide, i’ll, show you a picture of it, so these are called milankovic cycles and there’s.
Three parts to it. There’s, how the the elliptical uh pathway, changes, get goes straight longer or short or rounder, if you will and how the tilt of the earth changes very small amount, but it tilts, and so, as i did as that that question you just answered.
Uh showed it’s, really that tilt’s very important, and then it’s. It’s. How and what direction is that axis moving in which is called precession, and so these change over predictable time periods. 100, 000 years for electric eccentricity 40, 000 years for for the about for the tilt in around 20 000 years procession, and so these because they’re, changing they’re.
Changing solar input to the earth and changing our climate next slide. So this is a very busy slide and it’s. It’s, showing you on the from now back to uh to a thousand thousand years ago, and it’s, showing uh that there’s.
Variations in the parameters of procession of liquid and electricity eccentricity, so what you can see here, i just want to take that busyness out. All those changes and parameters changes the variation in how much solar energy comes to the earth.
What you can see is when there’s, low, solar energy, you actually get an ice age, it’s cold and and when it, when it’s high, you get you’re in interglacial, so that’s, how we know from the sediment records that you see there’s.
One exposed here in the mountains on the right. Have i’ll explain in a minute have fossils in them that can tell when it was hot or cold in the past, and because of that we know that milankovitch was right about all of those cycles.
So we & # 39. Ll talk about volcanic eruptions, it’s, a beautiful picture. That picture was a pinatubo and what you can see here is a volcanic eruption, put particles in the atmosphere that helped reflect energy, and so that then causes temporary cooling of the planet.
So you can see in this slide. It’s going from the last century to to close to today, and you can see that there’s. There’s decreases in in the temperature in the planet because of that cooling and then, of course, there’s tectonics and we call it.
Mountain building is called orogeny and if you & # 39, ll see mountain uplift, they cause mass, wasting and and erosion of those mountains that causes rock fragmentation and that causes weathering and weathering actually is a reaction that removes co2 from the atmosphere and it causes the Planet to cool, but it takes a long long long time so, for example, the himalaya uplift caused cooling, but over over many many many millions of years, and so of course, the biggest forcing the experience now is us – and this is just showing you uh – how much Of the things we do cause carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, so, for example, transportation, electricity and heating, our homes, other kind of burning that happens, industrial uh activities cause 85 of the carbon dioxide put in the atmosphere and agricultural and other activities increase the methane.
So we are really forcing the climate in a major way more than uh, perhaps in any other natural forcing that we know about on earth. So let me tell you about how i’ve learned more about this through that expedition.
That louisa introduced me on which was uh an art expedition, and i’ll stop here to let louisa have a mental moment. So now let’s, see um. If you all know what uh poly climatology is, so you can go ahead right now and answer the question um.
You can once again just put on your browser, www.menti.com and use the code 967445, okay, okay, so so far, okay, two answers so far very interesting. Very interesting, okay, i see we have big tendency here um.
What do you think kate? I think i already gave away the answer so that’s, correct it’s. Really, the study of past climates, i mean we use tools like fossils and trying to use our understanding of past climates to to learn about how we can optimally live on the planet.
But it really is the study of past climates, oh uh. Let me talk about paleoclimate geology. We can extract the past climate by using proxies so tree rings when the rings are wider. It means that the temperature was warmer and wetter when they’re thinner.
They were drier and cooler, so you can reconstruct temperature from from tree rings and corals and some other other proxy measurements ice cores from greenland, particularly in antarctica. They capture the atmosphere of the planet at the time that the the snow formed on these glaciers, so by coring it and then analyzing those gases.
You can tell what the past uh greenhouse gas concentrations were in in on the planet and that that goes back over 800 000 years. So tree rings is only a few thousand ice cores go back at least 800 000 years and then sediment cores from the bottom of the ocean capture fossils that have a record of climate in them and they can go back hundreds of thousands to millions of years.
So we can put all these species together to stretch back in time to reconstruct the past climate. These are just images from the fossils, so these fossils, these particular ones – form shells calcareous shells when they’re living and when they die.
Some of them live on the surface of the water. Some of them live deep in the ocean when they die. They capture an essence of the atmosphere, a ratio of oxygen isotope that varies depending on the temperature of the planet, for example, and then they fall to the sediment and are captured, and when we reconstruct that that that that, when we recover that core sediment core record, We can then reconstruct climate, so this is a these are two very detailed plots and so on on the the one that says time millions of years um it’s, going back over 65 million years, so the top of the plot is now, and It’s going back 65 million years and what the graph is showing you is a reconstruction reconstruction from a scientist, um, jim zachos and others uh using those fossils and the measurements in those fossils to reconstruct the temperature on the planet.
Average temperature from a whole lot of sediment cores from the bottom of the ocean. Now what you see is that there’s been long-term trends of variations in temperature. I’m, going to show you this plot again later, but it’s, go on the on the right.
It’s hot on the left. It’s cold, and so you can see now we’re kind of what would someone we call it a relatively cold period from in contrast to the past, but if you just blow up that upper um five and a half uh 5.
5 million years you can actually see that we began starting glacial cycles that i had explained to you earlier um at about two and a half to three million years ago. So that’s and that’s that uh the astronomical forcing tripped us into a into a glacial cycles in and out of glaciers.
Now, if you took 100 parts per million co2 out of the atmosphere like you do during interglacials, you could form a giant thick ice sheet that had been right here in canada, thick ice sheets on on on our on our landmass next level.
So that tells you a lot. It tells you that co2 putting more in there out is really the dial that changes the temperature on the planet. It’s as simple as that it’s, a almost a direct relationship. So i’ll turn it over to lisa for the next minty moment very, very interesting.
So far, so uh let’s see now. What can you tell us about if you had a chance to visit the north pole? How would you get there so you can simply entered let’s say, for example, by car, if you feel like going by car or any other way.
Okay, very interesting, dark, sled submarine, oh wow, okay, i would swim good luck boat in 20 years. I think someone has a plan icebreaker sailing boat, the frame uh. Okay, it’s, got a lot of kayak, maybe orca interesting teleportation, maybe charter flight.
I would bike okay, very, very ambitious um. So what can you tell us, kate about a few of these methods to get to the north pole? Well, almost all of them will work. I don’t know about teleportation. That sounds very magical, but um most of them would work depending on the season.
So in the winter you could walk because it’s frozen. It is still frozen in the winter where it’s, getting less and less solidly frozen in the summer, so walking or using any kind of uh vehicle on the ice.
It would be difficult. It’s great, that everyone knows that the arctic is an ocean that’s great, because some people don’t don’t realize that, but that’s. All those are all terrific answers. Okay, great so uh i’ll.
This is a a bathymetric chart of the arctic ocean and you can see there’s, a ridge in the middle of it called the laminate ridge and so that expedition i talked about. We went there. Uh, quite a long time ago now and had three three ships that i’ll show you in a moment to actually recover a paleoclimate record from the middle of the arctic ocean next slide, and so this is an acoustic image of that ridge.
And you can see there’s there’s like a layer cake on top and that’s, the sediment. We know that from acoustic imaging of the seafloor, so that’s, a cross-section of the ridge, and that is a layer cake on the top.
And our goal was to try to recover that sediment record in the middle of the arctic ocean. Where there’s, a lot of ice, and so what we wanted to do so you saw this before and you can see in the past the reconstruction of our past climate, that we had a greenhouse world quite a long time ago, where there was No ice on the planet and it switched to an ice house world.
Where then, we began to see ice on the planet. Our goal was to try to recover that record which, previous to our expedition, the records only went back 1.5 million years so that’s. What our goal was and we were successful.
We also wanted to understand the petm okay. So there’s, an excursion, a warning event that’s very important in the paleo record, called the paleocene asian thermal maximum. I sometimes call it the big heat.
It was a release of greenhouse gases from uh from i don’t have time to explain why, but they were, they were released and it caused warming and mass extinction events, and when you look at these, as sometimes proxies of what possibly could be Happening now, and so we had three ships uh, because we had to stay on location because the ice is moving and it could drive us off location.
So, at the top of the of the image that you can see of the ice, that’s. The same as the background of my slide is a russian russian oops russian icebreaker, the middle one that broke big ice into smaller pieces.
Then there’s, a swedish icebreaker that took those smaller pieces and made them like slush, so that the the one on the bottom, the drilling vessel, could stay on location because we needed to stay there multiple days in a row to recover that sediment Record so it was a big challenge and we were able to do it, and so we recovered that record and it had a lot of publications from many of the scientists on board and they were showcased in and i’ll just so.
There were four wake up calls so hit one button in the upper, so we’re going again from now until the past 65 million years ago, we recovered sea ice in the in the upper part of the record that demonstrated that the sea ice, The summer and winter sea ice in the arctic ocean has been around for 17 million years a long time.
It may be going away in a short amount of time within the next 20 years, possibly in the summer time. We also discovered that there was earlier ice earlier than that that three million years i showed you earlier so there’s, a lot of consequences to this.
It means that the there was a lot of uh happening both at the north pole and the south pole. At the same time, when antarctica was freezing, we had early ice in the arctic. We also had a time period where the arctic ocean was fresh water and it we know that, because we recovered what you see here, which is a zola which is duckweed.
We have that in our gardens today and duckweed absorbs a huge amount of co2 dies and falls to the ocean floor. So we think it was the reaction to excess co2 in the atmosphere from those warming events i talked to you about and finally, we recovered the big heat, the paleocene, the paleozoic thermal maximum and based on the analysis, the the chemistry analysis of some of the the Residue from that from that sample, we were able to show not me personally, but the scientists in that who published this, that the p e t m was 24 degrees, c temperature average temperature at all.
We’re very close to the north pole, which which to us was the beginning of us understanding that there’s amplification there’s more warming at the poles during these greenhouse gas events than other parts, and that’s, what we’re seeing today, so we had an early indication of this from this paleo record, and so the other part of the palestinian eoc thermal maximum event in blue.
You’ll, see the rate at which the greenhouse gases were released during the palestinian thermal maximum or the big heat, and the red is how fast we’re, releasing greenhouse gases today. So what we’re, seeing is something more extreme even than that big extreme climate event that happened during the polisseni thermal maximum 56 million years ago.
So simply put this is a quote from my previous boss. When i was in washington dc, we basically have three choices: mitigate climate, adapt to the changes or suffer, but we have to do some of all three.
So the more mitigation we do, the better. We are the less adaptation we have to do and the less suffering so mitigate. What do we do and mitigate well here at ocean networks, canada, we’re, coordinating an international team to actually develop what’s called a negative emission technology.
Now this slide is showing you today 2020, the greenhouse gases, that we need to reduce our emissions in order to mitigate the climate. So we need to rapidly decrease our emissions. We all know that, but we also know now, because we’ve increased.
So many we’re, also going to have to pull co2 out of the atmosphere in addition to our rapid reduction of emissions, so that’s. What’s called negative emission technologies and don’t. Get me wrong: we need to reduce emissions there’s.
No ex negative emission technologies is no excuse for reducing our emissions. That’s. Our number one goal, but we’re, going to have to develop technologies to pull co2. The atmosphere to keep the planet habitable for us so that’s.
Our goal with a project called solid carbon. You can learn more about it. At solidcarbondate.ca, we’re. Trying to do is pull the technology developed in british columbia, with carbon engineering capture co2 and then on on a floating platform in the ocean pump it through the water column and inject into the sub-sea floor in ocean basalt ocean crust that’s formed Uh in the ocean, through another tectonic process, now why basalt is important is because icelandic scientists and engineers demonstrated that by pumping co2 into basalt ocean crust, it turned into rock in a very short amount of years several years, so it becomes a what we call solid Carbon, a rock solid solution for permanently removing co2, so we’re.
Doing a desk study right now. We’re, currently funded by the pacific institute for climate solutions. To actually look at these three research areas. What kind of platform will we have to build? How fast and rapidly would we? What would this happen in ocean basalt in the ocean itself, and then what are the regulatory aspects and the social aspects of how we can move forward with this negative emission technology? There are other negative emission technologies like, for example, planting trees and blue carbon, but we need to have every tool in the toolbox in order for us to get to a place where we have a habitable climate and what about adaptation? How do we deal with the with the warming that’s already in the atmosphere, so for those of you from british columbia in 2013? 14.
- I think those were the years there was a warming two-degree sea warming in this in this north-central uh pacific ocean and scientists called it the blob and it caused a huge amount of impact on north america because of the change that changed that big change in the Ocean temperature – and so we were able to measure this at ocean networks, canada, but first i’ll, show you.
The satellite data on the left is 1997, an el nino. Those are cyclic happen on a regular basis that warm the surface ocean. You’ll, see that the area uh in in the in where the blob was was an extreme event.
That’s, showing you here in july 2015.. What you can see here is at ocean networks, canada. We we measure rate, we measure uh real time, data in locations off of bc, some in the arctic and now some on the east coast.
But most of our measurements are offshore british columbia, and this is at a site that’s close to shore and what you’re. Seeing during that warm blob event, we had almost a two degree sea warming in the coastal environment, which means it impacts things like aquaculture.
So these are the kinds of uh events that we’re, going to have to adapt to. We’re, also going to have to adapt to ocean acidification, so we need to be making these measurements, so we can help aquaculture industry and how do we? We actually protect both the farmed animals in the ocean and the natural animals in the ocean suffering.
There was a paper that just came out last week that scientists are now able to demonstrate that it’s undeniable. Now that climate change is causing human injury to us, i mean we had uh, we had evidence of it, but it wasn’t documented in a peer-reviewed way in scientific literature and here in british columbia.
We also know that we’re, going to have lots of impacts from from sea level rise and extreme water levels and salt, water intrusion and those are things that will cause us to to be suffering. They’re already happening in.
In other parts of the eastern east coast of north america, where, where they’re having to move homes and infrastructure inland because of the effects and the impacts of sea level rise, and that’s, what we have to adapt to.
We have to have plans to adapt to what we already have in the atmosphere, so here’s, the takeaways from the presentation. Today we’ve known about greenhouse gases, a lot greenhouse gas and their effect along for a long long.
Long. Long time and it’s been documented many times by scientists over and over, in a variety of different ways. There are several things that i’ve showed you that actually force or change the climate, but right now we’re doing the largest, forcing at the moment we we’re, the ones that are forcing the climate, the most From the arctic paleoclimate record, it demonstrates that our human, forcing is even faster than even some of the most extreme events that we’ve learned about in the paleo record.
So again we have three choices: we better get on them, but let’s. Put a lot of effort into mitigation. Let’s, make sure we adapt to what we already know is going to impact our societies so that we don’t slowly cause the minimal amount of suffering.
So some of the individual actions that you can take are just shown in this in this slide, and so i’m sure you all have looked at some of these things that you can do, but in addition to these actions, the most important thing You can do is educate others who, who you know, who don’t know as much as you do about climate change, explain to them about what you know and what what you can share with them and also be sure to vote and vote for Climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Thank you, wow kate. This has been such an interesting talk. Um. Thank you. Thank you. So i hope you all learned something today and you took much with you. Um we’re gonna have a q a in just two minutes, but for those that have to go now, we would like for you to keep in touch with us, so you can use our website www.
oceannetworkscanada.ca or you can also use our ocean Data portal, as you can see, on the screen uh, but you can also stay through social media. So you can you look at our youtube. We have many many videos there, twitter, instagram facebook and, of course you can also email us at learning.
oceanetroscanada.ca. Make sure that you keep in touch with us, so you can see the upcoming fall series that we’re going to have and a special thank you to our funders ocean networks. Canada is funded by the canada foundation for innovation, the government of canada, natural resources, canada, fisheries and ocean canada, canary the government of british columbia, the university of victoria and many more.
So, thank you and please stay for the q, a so the q. A is really simple: we’re, going to also use mentimeter, so you can go to www.menti.com and use the following code. If by any any means you don’t, have you don’t want to go to mentimeter? Then you can simply put your questions into zoom chat and tessa will read them.
We’ll input them in the multimeter or i will read them out loud, so um another. Oh yes! So we have someone from the audience that says check out our climate action on youtube, so you can go ahead and click that, if you want also if you, if you have to leave right now, please take two minutes to complete our short survey, which is available In the zoom chat right now so uh kate, i think we have a very um very interesting and strong question.
How is climate change affecting uk? Well just talk a bit a little bit about some of my i’m. Not i’m the president and ceo now ocean networks, canada, so i i don’t have the the privilege of going out to sea and being in the arctic, but um for sure climate change.
If i were continuing my arctic research um, the climate change is affecting the arctic in in tremendous ways. We’re having great loss of sea ice. We actually measure sea ice thickness, um at one of our sites at ocean networks, canada and that’s.
Changing um the way that scientists are able to study the arctic ocean, and so, for example, they can no longer rely on going out in the summertime and actually working on the ice and because they they could they could it’s.
It can be dangerous so that’s affecting uh arctic scientists and other scientists uh, who are who do research, especially my personal life. Right now i live in victoria and uh victoria has doesn & # 39.
T have two that has doesn’t have too many extreme events at the moment, but um when i lived in rhode, island um on that, when i was there, climate change was impacting rhode island directly. That’s. I mentioned in the talk: there are some historic homes on the southern shore, rhode island, that had to be moved inland about a kilometer because of sea level, encroachment and erosion along that coast, wow.
That’s, a very insightful answer. Thank you. We have someone in the zoom chat, who’s. Asking is climate change due to the poles changing, which will eventually flip no okay um? Why was the climate so much hotter in the deep past during the green greenhouse earth period? Yes? Well, it was because so um our the planet has evolved over time in terms of the changes in the in the atmosphere, so that there is a re um, basically, a reduction of what’s greenhouse gases over time.
That was during those long periods of time, and it was on these long trends that that uh, that that you know slowly changed the planet’s, climate um, the species adapted um. I should also say that there are other kind of extreme events like meteorite impacts like there was a really bad day, 65 million years ago, where a meteorite hit the earth and caused the you know: extinction of species and dinosaurs, so that’s.
Why it was just because of the greenhouse gases, and then when it, when those the co2 greenhouse gases reduced slowly over time, then um the glacier cycles kicked in. It was like a flip switch, they started to kick in and then that’s.
When this the the um, the the astronomical forcing caused glaciers to form and melts and glaciers to form and melt okay wow very interesting – i did not know that um. How can we have scientists bridge the gap between what research tells us and governmental policy that’s? A great question um? I can say that um, one of the best one of the most important work that i’ve.
Well, i’ve had a really great career and i’ve been lucky to be in places, but participating in science policy is really critical. So when i was in washington dc, i worked under the obama administration’s.
White house office of science and technology policy and policy really can change the world. It can force things like regulatory issues to come to light and when scientists are involved in policy, you can possibly move that faster.
So there’s a in canada. There’s, an annual conference called the canadian science policy conference, it happens in the fall and it’s really important to contribute to that from a scientific perspective, so that it can policymakers go there and listen and it can help change Things faster: we need to move the government faster than it’s, going right now that’s for sure.
Yes, that’s very true um, we’ll, go to a zoom question that we have um. How are indigenous being affected by climate change? Quite a deep question. Yeah i mean there’s, um, like in canada, many of the indigenous peoples, first nations inuit metis, live on the coast and have been making their living through harvesting and fishing on the coast, and so, as i mentioned with that blob that impact the Blob warm the ocean cause less nutrients means there was less food for salmon.
Then it impacts the food supply for coastal indigenous communities. It’s, also changing the coastline, so in in tactic duck in the north. There’s, encroachment of sea level rise on the on the communities themselves in the northwest of alaska.
There’s, several communities, indigenous communities that have to have had to move because their coastline is eroding and it’s not eroding in a way that is intuitive. It’s eroding because of the fact that ice is forming later in the fall and the storms come in.
So previously the ice formed early and it protected. It was a protective coat on the on the coastline and thus, when the storms came, the ice was there to protect it. Now the ice has come later and those storms are coming in.
So it’s. These combinations of climate uh that that really no one would have forecasted and really have a big impact, and so at ocean networks. Canada um the mayas team, who is helping us with these presentations.
Um have are working with indigenous communities to understand, first of all, uh what information do they need in order to plan their futures, and so we are really interested in those conversations, because we need to bring indigenous knowledge together with our scientific knowledge, to help these communities And right now, most of it is to help adapt very, very uh, good answer.
Thank you, kate. Um. Before we go to the next question, someone asked: can you repeat the name of the conference where politicians can learn about climate? The one you mentioned, uh, oh about policy, so this is a canadian uh canadian science policy conference uh.
Can we i we can probably post it somewhere? Yes, so this is about canadian policy makers who come together with the scientific community to help push policy in the right direction. Okay, perfect! I will put in the zoom chat and uh.
Just as a side note, i will send notes from this presentation. We have a very interesting question from um abiodun who says: do you do you do collaborative research at international level? If, yes, how can can one engage in this? Oh, yes, uh! So atlas networks, canada.
We are uh. We have. We deliver data internationally to anyone in the world, so if you want to be uh, just go to oceannetworks.ca and um there’s. The first thing: if you’re a scientist out there and want to work with us um, you just have to go to our staff list at ocean edwards, sca and click on staff scientists and our staff.
Scientists are the interface between the scientific community and our operations and for solid carbon, for example, that’s, a special project we’re doing so it’s at solidcarbon.ca that negative emission technology.
We are open to any people who want to collaborate with us because we know that negative emission technologies, that is a big challenge doable, but the more people we can have on the international stage working together the faster we can actually make that happen.
Thank you. Um tessa, just posted more information on that question, so feel free to read it in the zoom chat. So now we have a optimistic question: how can we stay optimistic as individuals when we see leaders internationally, who are not taking climate change seriously? Yeah it can? It can be a bummer.
I know um well here’s, how i stay optimistic um. You know. I talked about the big heat palestine biasing thermal maximum, so that was a time when there are no people on the planet and we’re here now and we’re.
Pretty we’re, pretty amazing species. I mean we have done a lot of climate impact um, but i think we are at a you know. We’re at a turning point now and there’s, so many people working on climate action and yesterday one of the big oil companies vp, made a commitment to stop being an oil and gas company, and i read in the news I hope this was correct that at that meeting of the shareholders, when the ceo made that announcement, the shareholders stood up and applauded, even though, in the short term, they’re, going to lose money.
Yes, so those are the kind of things you got to look at those things on a regular basis to keep yourself optimistic because we are pretty in in. We have ingenuity as a species. Oh very optimistic! Thank you, kate.
Um. Thank you for the wonderfully informative presentation. I’ve heard that climate change influences tropical cyclones. Can i ask about the process behind this yeah i mean so one of the things uh that’s really interesting about hurricanes and tropical cyclones is that they’re, a mechanism for the planet to cool the surface of the ocean right.
So when a hurricane goes by and you have you have satellite imagery of the temperature of the ocean – you & # 39, ll, see the hurricane going by and then the water is much cooler on the other side. So it’s really heat that drives those cyclones, and so because the the temperature of the ocean is warming.
We’re going to see scientists. I think say that um, what we’re going to see is bigger. More intense, maybe not in the more numbers but more intense, and that’s. There’s, anecdotal evidence of that. You know hurricane sandy, all the tropical cyclones in the pacific recently so again that’s, a place where we’re, going to have to be sure to adapt, make sure our cities are can be uh can can withstand the impacts of These of these cyclones as they hit the coastline.
We have to build back more resiliently to be to be able to um to to to to be to be able to protect ourselves from these. These impacts. Yes, um. Somehow similar, we have a question in the zoom chat detail more about the source of the blob.
Is it old warmer water from ocean currents that has risen? No, i think that the answer now richard dewey is richard speaking in two weeks: uh. Yes in two weeks: yes, so richard is an expert on the blog, but i will try to answer and if i got it wrong, he’ll.
Correct me in two weeks um, but my understanding about the way the blob worked. Was that what happens in the in the winter times in the pacific ocean is that there’s, storms that causes mixing, and so it it? If you have those storms, you don’t get the warming surface of the ocean, and so there were very limited amounts of storms uh that that caused that warming to occur.
Now some people actually think that this the lack of storms was related to the reduction in sea ice and the arctic ocean. That’s, another that’s, another presentation, but the what’s? What happens in the arctic? Doesn’t say in the arctic and it can influence the over all weather patterns on the planet, but it was the reduction of storms that didn’t al that allowed the the the warming of the surface ocean thanks, kate and yes, So in two weeks we’ll have richard who will be discussing a lot about the blob so make sure that you subscribe or sorry that you registered for that talk um.
So now we have another question. Canada is warming at twice the global rate of warming. Should canada be considered disproportionately impact so that’s, largely uh, because of when i presented the paleocene thermal maximum and should we show that it was the average temperature in the arctic ocean was 24 dc.
Uh average modelers previously had had estimated that at that time, during the ptm, the surface temperature would have been 15 degrees. So we had a big difference based on our measurements, which means the arctic and and the the poles are are having um.
Are there’s, an amplification of warming at the polls? The rest of canada is going to be. I mean there’s there. I would guess that there’s, going to be um less of an impact than in areas that are closer to the equator.
Just because of the fact that we are really a cold nation in general, and we will have we may have. We may have less of an impact. I’m, not an expert on that, but i would say the arctic is going to be impacted, as i mentioned already more disproportionately, but most of the population of canada lives.
You know within 200 kilometers of the u.s border, so okay, um, okay, so more personal, uh question: what’s, your favorite back country, ski area? Well, i i loved uh, the the some of the backcountry areas.
Just if you go um, if you drive up on the transcanada rogers pass, and you just go out the back door of of that motel if it’s still there, it’s, some of the most spectacular backcountry stain right just right.
There that’s, i’d, say that’s, one of my favorite spots: oh nice, okay, so maybe an activity to do in the next few months, yeah well in the winter. Yes in the winter um. Can you say a few more words about the next steps with the solid carbon project which specific efforts are being spearheaded by onc? Okay, so this is right.
Now we’re funded by the pacific institute for climate solutions and they’re. Also a partner in this, and we have three areas of research um, trying to understand what kind of so the technology that that is required to pull this negative emission technology together exists.
So we have a uh current crawford from the university of victoria, and an engineer is putting is looking at all the different kind of configurations of these six six six technologies that could be put together to make uh make this.
Basically, a new industry uh here at ocean networks, canada, i’m, leading the team that is developing what’s called the plan for a demonstration project, so ocean networks, canada. We have real-time monitoring out of ideal the most ideal location on the planet to test this in the ocean at a place called cascadia basin.
So we’re developing that plan to do a demonstration off our coast and we’re seeking funds to do that demonstration. We just submit another proposal to the federal government to to actually uh fund that demonstration project, and then we’re, also participating in uh the social science aspects of it, the regulatory aspects of it.
We need to make sure that we we’re in parallel, ensuring that we we follow all the regulatory legal efforts and with the business school here we’re partnering, that with them to understand better investor acceptance, and so one of the Things, if you go to swiss re swiss re is one of the biggest reinsurance companies in the world and they are making a commitment to investing in negative emission technologies and they have some wonderful videos on their site to explain why they are pushing from a reinsurance Perspective for industry to invest in negative emission technologies.
So i think that that that’s, that’s. Another optimistic trend where we’re, seeing uh the big industries of the world, seeing that these investments have to be made, that’s. Uh very interesting and i have to admit, from my perspective, solid uh the solid carbon project in onc.
It’s quite innovative, and i’m really impressed by it. So i’m looking forward. What are your views on canada, expanding trade through the northwestern passage? Is it a sustainable idea for the arctic? Well, i think the northwest passage um, so the northeast passage along the russia coast is already being used for trade.
It’s, going to be it’s, going to be more accessible sooner or there already is in some ways. I think it’s inevitable that um. If there’s a shorter route, then it’s better for trade to go shorter if they release less greenhouse gases um.
So we have a question from william in the zoom chat. Um ken posted the mentee, no problem, william um. How does climate change affect the spread of infectious disease such as kodi 19? Yes, i think one of this is not my area, but i’ve read a little bit about it, and my understanding is that, in addition to the climate, the climate is changing rapidly, but we’re, losing biodiversity in a major way And i don’t fully understand these links, but scientists who study biodiversity are suggesting that the loss of biodiversity makes the risks of infectious disease spread higher.
So I think I’d, leave other experts to explain those details, but that’s, my understanding and so uh. It’s. I think that bill gates um may be the best expert on this in terms of he’s been warning about this for many years that we need as a species to be ready for the the kind of uh pandemic.