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Drought-prediction modelling project gets $300,000 boost


Saskatoon, SK – Talisman Energy CEO Dr Jim Buckee has made a $300,000 donation to the University of Saskatchewan’s Saskatchewan Isotope Laboratory (SIL). The funding, which creates the Jim Buckee Research Support Program, enables the universitys isotope researchers to delve deep into the details of climate variation.

By unraveling historical climate change, we begin to understand both the natural and unexpected climates that have occurred in the past, says Dr Buckee. The importance of this is not only how it places current changes within normal climate fluctuations, but also its impact on how we should react.”

The research is expected to lead to the most detailed quantitative climate reconstruction of the western provinces to date. SIL scientists intend to better predict regional climate change by creating a model of temperature, rainfall and snowpack to assist farmers, energy suppliers, wildlife managers and transporters.

Arguably, there is no issue of greater scientific significance than gaining an understanding of the earths climate system, says Dr William Patterson, geological science professor and SIL director. It is critical to all aspects of human society, and to the health of global and regional ecosystems, that we gain an understanding of past climates to understand and prepare for future climates.

Dr Chris Holmden, whose work led to the creation of the SIL in 2000, notes that the lab, the only one of its kind in Canada, is recognized globally as a leader in climate record research. The SILs innovative chemical and robotic sampling methods recover environmental records from items such as clams, trees and fish ear stones.