Lab Canada

$2.7M for weather and environmental services research

Montreal, QC – The federal government has announced $2.7 million in funding that will support 14 projects involving research in the areas of weather and environmental services.

Projects receiving funding are as follows:

Project Title: Provision of Avalanche Safety Programs in Canada. Recipient: Canadian Avalanche Centre. Project Funding: $225,000. Project Description: To provide avalanche forecasts within Canada, to increase and improve public awareness and understanding of snow avalanche hazards and risk assessment; and to increase the utility, dissemination and effectiveness of this information and to foster better informed public safety decision-making by promoting the exchange and dissemination of snow avalanche information among experts, communities, non-government organizations, industry and the general public.

Project Title: Contribution to the WMO Executive Council Panel of Experts on Polar Observations, Research and Services (EC-PORS) Trust Fund. Recipient: World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Project Funding: $250,000. Project Description:  The funding received will help advance the implementation of the Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW) to address the need for a sustained, robust end-to-end cryosphere observing and monitoring system, for Polar-regions, the Third Pole (Himalayas-Karakorum) and other Alpine regions. Activities will include the establishment of reference sites and pilot or demonstration projects such as CryoNet, a GCW “Snow Watch” pilot project, further expansion of the Antarctic Observing Network (AntON) and international coordination amongst 13 space agencies for space-based observations in the Polar Regions; providing expert advice to the Steering Group for Long-Term International Polar Initiatives (IPI) and more.

Project Title: Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) Project. Recipient: Farm and Food Care Foundation. Project Funding: $375,000. Project Description: EC’s contribution shall enable the recipient and its partner organizations to more comprehensively and effectively monitor weather, water and climate conditions in Canada through the establishment of new volunteer weather observation sites and improved access to the data from those sites for users across Canada. This funding is an early contribution to help establish and expand the program and to leverage contributions from provinces and other private/not-for profit organizations. This initiative compliments EC’s Network of Networks project and addresses a priority observational gap identified by partner organizations that require high quality snowfall, rainfall and snow cover information. Other partner organizations providing funding are: Province of Manitoba, Province of Saskatchewan, Glacier Media, CoCoRaHS USA, CoCoRaHS Canada Board Leadership and Administration.

Project Title: Canadian Ice Island Drift and Deterioration Database (CI2D3). Recipient: Carleton University. Project funding: $128,000. Project Description: To facilitate basic research on ice island drift and deterioration, observations of ice island drift tracks and corresponding horizontal ice island dimensions will be derived using the Canadian Ice Service RADARSAT Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery archive. This data will be incorporated into a geodatabase that will reside on a server in Carleton University’s data center so that it can be shared with other researchers.

Project Title: Analysis of factual (contextual evaluation) and subjective (cognitive evaluation) aspects of hydrometeorological and climatic risks stressors in a multi-level and multi-risk warning system for severe weather and climate conditions. Recipient: University of Ottawa. Project Funding: $200,000. Project Description: The funding will contribute to supporting the research initiatives of the McLaughlin Research chair on psychosocial aspects risk and health, Dr. Lemyre, at the University of Ottawa. The chair has conducted high-level research over more than 10 years in the field of psycho-social management of risks (how people feel, think and behave when confronted with a risk), which includes the factual (contextual evaluation) and subjective (cognitive evaluation) aspects of risk stressors, and risks anticipation and prevention. These are foundational building blocks and an indispensable knowledge to increase the efficacy of warning systems for meteorological, water, and climate services which are essential to support risk management decision making and hydro meteorological disaster risk reduction.

Project Title: Impact reduction and weather risk management – Summer School. Recipient: Université du Québec à Montréal. Project Funding: $50,000. Project Description: The funding will contribute to the organization of a summer school program (spring/summer 2015) on “La réduction des impacts et la gestion des risques météorologiques” (“Impact reduction and weather risk management”). This project is aimed at developing multidisciplinary training in order to meet a growing need in the area of hydrometeorological risk management, expressed in both the academic community (training and research) and in the receiving environment (application and operationalization of knowledge) such as Environment Canada’s Meteorological Service.

Project Title:Communication and risk management associated with climate and hydrometeorological hazards – Phase II. Recipient: Université du Québec à Montréal
Project Funding: $240,000. Project Description: The objective of the project is to improve the effectiveness of the communication of risks associated with hydrometeorological and climate hazards. The work and research will cover the entire communication process and the approaches of which it consists, as well as the determination of the most efficient communication channels for each of the various phases of the process.

Project Title: Multi-Format Environmental Information Dissemination: aids for the compilation, translation and presentation of information. Recipient: Université de Montréal. Project Funding: $75,000. Project Description: Since 2008, through the laboratory of Applied Research in Computational Linguistics (RALI), the Université de Montréal has been supporting the research and development of an automatic translation system for public weather warnings, and a prototype that enables the presentation of environmental information. The submitted project comprises two main parts: The first consists of an evaluation of the adaptability of the automated translation of information into other useful contexts required in urgent or significant situations, as supported by Environment Canada. The second aspect of the project concerns interoperability between various organizations.

Project Title: Impacts of climate change on water supply in the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River basin-Phase II. Recipient: Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique. Project Funding: $180,000. Project Description: The work generated by this research is a contribution to the characterization of the weather and climate system of the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence (GLSL) system in order to permit a better interpretation of modelling results (hydrological cycle, components and large-scale and regional factors, etc.) realized and obtained by the other project partners (Environment Canada/Meteorological Service of Canada for the Quebec Region, Ouranos, Quebec’s center of hydrological Expertise, Hydro-Québec) and thus better explain and use the anal
yses on the impacts of climate change (CC) on future water levels (vs. current levels).

Project Title: Using regional climatic scenarios to advance knowledge of future climatic conditions in the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence basin. Recipient: Ouranos. Project Funding: $270,000. Project Description: Research to be conducted on future climatic conditions of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence (GLSL) basin. This involves producing regional climatic scenarios for this region in order to support several research efforts of the scientific communities aimed at improving the understanding of the potential consequences of climate change on the water supplies of the GLSL. The work will be carried out at Ouranos’ Montréal offices during the years covered by the agreement.

Project Title: Conference support for: Trending Now: Water – 7th International Scientific Conferences on the Global Energy and Water Cycle and Associated Meetings: 3rd Pan-GEWEX Meeting, 1st Pan-CLIVAR Meeting, and GEWEX Summer Sessions. Recipient: University of Saskatchewan. Project Funding: $15,000. Project Description: The 7th International Conference on the Global Energy and Water Cycle and associated meetings will set the stage for the next phase of research addressing the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). The theme of the conference is “Trending Now: Water” and is based on the increasing demand for fresh water and the impacts of climate change on water availability and extreme events, which highlight why water is a current major global concern and is “trending now.” The conference will provide access to the top international researchers working in the climate field and their current work. Major outcomes of the Conference will be used to define the observations, research, modeling, and analysis priorities for WCRP activities and their affiliated network of international projects in the future.

Project Title: Global Integrated Polar Prediction System (GIPPS). Recipient: World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Project Funding: $250,000. Project Description: To improve the understanding of the requirements for, and evaluate the benefits of, enhanced prediction information and services in Polar Regions. Establish and apply verification methods appropriate for Polar Regions. “Provide guidance on optimizing polar observing systems, and coordinate additional observations to support modelling and verification. Improve representation of key processes in models of the polar atmosphere, land, ocean and cryosphere.” Develop data assimilation systems that account for the unique characteristics of Polar Regions. Develop and exploit ensemble prediction systems with appropriate representation of initial condition and model uncertainty for Polar Regions. Determine predictability and identify key sources of forecast errors in Polar Regions. Improve knowledge of two-way linkages between polar and non-polar regions.

Project Title: Studies for improving coupled atmosphere-ocean-ice prediction. Recipient: Météo-France. Project Funding: $450,000. Project Description: Studies for improving coupled atmosphere-ocean-ice prediction systems. These systems are the future of atmospheric, oceanic and ice predictions for navigation, environmental emergencies, search and rescue and oil spills. Météo-France and its affiliated research groups develop world-class scientific innovations for improving environmental predictions (weather, ice, oceans) for time scales ranging from minutes to seasons. The primary objective of these studies is to put in place new scientific methods for improving ocean/ice data assimilation systems. Data assimilation systems are critical and complex elements in numerical prediction systems for weather and environmental conditions. They make it possible to generate tri-dimensional oceanic conditions that will initiate future prediction systems for weather services.

Project Title: Canadian contribution to open science initiatives under the World Weather Research Program including polar, seasonal and extreme weather. Prediction. Recipient: World Meteorological Organization. Project Funding: $20,000. Project Description: Supports an international collaborative approach on open science, by providing an initiative to World Meteorological Organization (WMO) partners to focus and accelerate improvements in the accuracy of 1-day to 2-week weather forecasts. The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) trust fund was established in 2003 to enable international projects to address weather research and forecast problems whose solutions are accelerated through international collaboration among academic institutions, operational forecast centres and users of forecast products. The contribution will support three major initiatives on international collaboration on polar prediction, sub-seasonal to seasonal prediction (supporting climate services on short time scales) and high impact weather (dealing with extreme weather).