Events Archive

A 100% renewable electricity system for New Zealand

October 12, 2011 - 9:30am to 10:30am

New Zealand’s electricity system is dominated by hydro generation (54%), augmented with about 31% fossil-fuelled generation plus contributions from geothermal, wind and biomass resources. In order to explore the potential for a 100% renewable electricity generation system with substantially increased levels of wind penetration, fossil-fuelled electricity production was removed from a historic three year data set (2005-2007) and replaced by modelled electricity production from wind and geothermal resources.

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Evaluating the informational value of pressure-based proxies for past storm activity

September 21, 2011 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Air pressure readings and their variations are commonly used to make inferences about storm activity. More precisely, it is assumed that the variation of annual and seasonal statistics of several pressure based proxies describes changes in the past storm climate qualitatively -- an assumption that has yet to be proven. We present a systematic evaluation of the informational content of two classes of pressure-based proxies for storm activity. First, we concentrate on the assessment of four proxies for storm activity that are usually based on single-station observations of air pressure.

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Engaging BC in sustainability education

September 14, 2011 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Join us on September 14, 2011 to learn more about the “hows and whys” of sustainability education. Dr. David Zandvliet of SFU offers case studies of how environmental education—including topics on climate change—is being successfully infused into current curriculums. Dr. Alejandro Rojas from UBC highlights the innovative “Think & Eat Green @ School” research project, which investigates food security and climate change issues with Vancouver schools’ students, parents, staff and administrators.

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Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

June 27, 2011 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

oreskes_0.jpgFind out why people mistakenly believe the science of climate change is unsettled. In Merchants of Doubt, Oreskes and co-author Erik Conway revealed how a group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over issues including acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, DDT, and the harms of tobacco.

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Resilient Communities: Preparing for the Climate Challenge

June 14, 2011 (All day) to June 15, 2011 (All day)

Despite international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, our global climate will continue to change significantly over the coming decades and possibly centuries. Warmer temperatures, more frequent extreme precipitation events, continuing sea level rise and reduced summer river flows are examples of what lies ahead for BC. What does this mean for our communities and, importantly, our food supply?

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Climate change: why do we know what we know?

June 7, 2011 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Join us for this free public lecture by world-leading Swiss climate scientist, Dr. Thomas Stocker. Dr. Stocker holds one of the most prestigious jobs in the scientific world as Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I which assesses the physical science basis that underpins our understanding of climate change and global warming. He also heads the Division of Climate and Environmental Physics at The University of Bern, which is at the cutting edge of climate research.

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Climate change and its impacts: fire and rain

April 27, 2011 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Join us on April 27 for a discussion about critical climate change impacts facing our country: How is precipitation changing, and does this impact forest fires in Canada? Dr. Phil Austin from UBC will provide a presentation on the atmospheric side of precipitation and drought, looking in par¬ticular at satellite observations and climate model forecasts. Dr. Charmaine Dean from SFU will follow with “Climate Change Impacts on Forest Fires in Canada.” She will talk about testing for possible climate change-caused impacts in forest fire ignitions.

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The climate fix: what scientists and politicians won’t tell you about global warming

April 20, 2011 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

The world’s response to climate change is deeply flawed. The conventional wisdom on how to deal with climate change has failed and it’s time to change course. To date, climate policies have been guided by targets and timetables for emissions reduction derived from various academic exercises. Such methods are both oblivious to and in violation of on-the-ground political and technological realities that serve as practical “boundary conditions” for effective policy making. Until climate policies are designed with respect for these boundary conditions, failure is certain.

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When are the Americans coming? Prospects for the WCI and a brief structural comparison with the EU-ETS

April 8, 2011 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

When started in 2007, the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) looked poised to become North America’s largest and most comprehensive greenhouse gas emission cap and trade system. However, political, economic and legal challenges have slowed its development and its status is far from certain. Two key questions must be asked: Will the WCI develop into a working trading system and, if so, will linkage with the European Union Emission Trading System (EU-ETS) be possible?

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The machinery of climate anti-science

April 7, 2011 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

The battle of truth versus disinformation is nowhere better demonstrated than in the distortion of climate science. More than 97 percent of practicing climate scientists support the fact that global warming is happening and caused by humans, yet the public often thinks that scientists are seriously divided on this issue.

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