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Air quality and climate change the focus of funded projects


Montreal, QC – Two research projects at McGill University are receiving a total of $526,000 in funding from the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS). The projects will advance efforts to prepare for the effects of climate change.

The two projects address the effects of climate change in different ways. Dr Hai Lin, department of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, will lead a project that seeks to improve Canada’s medium and extended range weather forecasting capability. The outcome of this work will improve forecasting for extreme weather events that have far-reaching social and economic effects.

The second project, led by Dr Irene Gregory-Eaves of the department of biology, will provide estimates of the fate of Arctic permafrost during the next century, as well as to assess the performance of climate models. The project will lead to a better understanding of permafrost, which will be vital when it comes to policy development regarding mitigation and adaptation to the effects of climate change. It will also allow for improved forecasting of future permafrost distribution, enabling researchers to improve existing infrastructure and engineering design of such projects as northern pipelines and other installations that will become increasingly important as the Arctic opens up.

“These projects are a perfect fit for the goal of this competition, which focuses on research that will give decision-makers the scientific tools they need to face future challenges,” said Gordon McBean, chair of CFCAS. “This is the sort of information that must be built into sound public policy, innovation and strategic development, moving us forward into an era of mitigation and adaptation to climate change and associated factors.”

“Good science is crucial to the development of informed, effective public policy,” said Denis Thrien, vice-principal (research and international relations) at McGill University. “Investment in the work of our highly-skilled researchers, like this funding from CFCAS, is Canada’s best hope for addressing important issues such as climate change and air quality.”

This funding is part of the $5.5 million recently awarded by CFCAS to promote research across Canada on increasing knowledge and training in air quality, extreme weather, climate sciences or marine environmental prediction.