USask study says more snow, earlier melt will challenge Arctic communities in future

Centre for Hydrology Director, John Pomeroy (left) and past student Sebastian Krogh (right).

University of Saskatchewan researchers with the Global Water Futures (GWF) program have provided the first detailed projections of major water challenges facing Western Arctic communities such as Inuvik and transportation corridors such as the Dempster Highway by the end of this century.

“There will be a tipping point reached over the next few decades, putting at risk communities whose infrastructure was designed for 20th century climate and hydrology,” said Dr. John Pomeroy (PhD), senior author of a recent paper in the American Meteorological Society’s prestigious Journal of Hydrometeorology.

“Humanity has to act quickly and decisively to avert such a future, and that will involve reducing greenhouse gas concentrations and improving infrastructure to better withstand the extreme events that are coming,” said Pomeroy, director of the USask Centre for Hydrology and director of the USask-led GWF, the largest freshwater research program in the world.

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Centre for Hydrology student wins Cryosphere Student Innovation Award from AGU at the Washington DC Fall Meeting

Congratulations to Caroline Aubry-Wake who won a Cryosphere Student Innovation Award from the American Geophysical Union at its Fall Meeting in Washington DC last week. The $1000 USD prize was for her proposal of an innovative method to determine debris cover thickness on glaciers. Great work Caroline!

Caroline Aubry-Wake, the winner of the Cryosphere Student Innovation Award, conducting fieldwork.

U of S & Natural Resources Canada Sign 5-Year MOU

At a ceremony last month, the University of Saskatchewan and Natural Resources Canada signed a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen the country’s commitment to manage its freshwater resources.

U of S Professor John Pomeroy is the Canada 150 Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change, Director of the Centre for Hydrology at the U of S, and the Director of the USask-led Global Water Futures Program, which is the world’s largest university-led freshwater research program.

To read more visit: https://discovermoosejaw.com/local/u-of-s-natural-resources-canada-sign-5-year-mou

 

Mandryk: Politicians need to understand climate change has big local cost

“I think we are going to fail to address it in a meaningful way.” Centre for Hydrology Director, John Pomeroy speaks to the Regina Leader-Post about the local costs of climate change after the recent release of Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) report.

To read more visit: https://leaderpost.com/opinion/columnists/politicians-need-to-understand-climate-change-has-big-local-costs

Wildfire season: Is this the new normal?

More than 500 wildfires were still burning in B.C. in September, with the Yukon, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and parts of the Atlantic provinces all experiencing one of the worst fire seasons in history. Globally, wildfires in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Sweden and Australia are burning at an alarming rate.

Ash and soot from the western wildfires are coating the Athabasca Glacier in the Rocky Mountains. Credit: Greg Galloway

According to John Pomeroy, Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change and director of the University of Saskatchewan-led Global Water Futures Program (GWF), this is a horrific year for wildfires not only in Canada but around the world.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-09-wildfire-season.html

C4H Director John Pomeroy named Fellow of RSC

John Pomeroy has been named as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada for his outstanding research efforts that have changed the field of hydrology. The Royal Society of Canada is the highest honour a scholar can achieve in the arts, humanities and sciences in Canada.

 

To learn more visit: https://news.usask.ca/articles/research/2018/record-number-of-royal-society-of-canada-fellowships-for-u-of-s—.php

Canadian water laws due for revision: expert

One of Canada’s leading experts on fresh water management says political leaders need to review laws and regulations that govern water use in the country.

John Pomeroy, the Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change at the University of Saskatchewan, says federal and provincial water laws need to be updated to ensure that Canada is prepared for pressing water issues that will become more apparent as climate patterns continue to change.

To continue reading the full article: https://www.producer.com/2018/09/canadian-water-laws-due-for-revision-expert/ 

Five years after the June 2013 Flood

It has been 5 years since the devastating flood of June 2013 that impacted communities across British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. It was one of the costliest natural disasters in Alberta’s history and cost billions in total damages. CH researchers talked to media about the flood event, what has been learned and the continued research efforts to understand the future frequency and severity of such events.

CH Remembers Ric Janowicz

From John Pomeroy:

Ric Janowicz was Senior Hydrologist for Yukon Environment, a Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Hydrology, research collaborator with the Global Water Futures and the Changing Cold Regions Network research programs and hydrology graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, University of Alaska and UBC.  He had been phasing into retirement after a long career as the principal Hydrologist for Yukon since 1985.  Rick was the iconic Northern Hydrologist – he conducted northern water and climate research with a unique flair, making many discoveries and many dozens of publications, promoting research in the North through the establishment of Wolf Creek Research Basin in 1992 and by hosting many conferences in Yukon such as the Northern River Basins in 1991, IP3 in 2009, the Wolf Creek 5th and 25th Anniversary Workshops, and several River Ice Workshops.  In research, Ric was not bothered about severe weather or adversity, he would be visiting field stations, stream gauging or snow surveying at very remote locations in weather conditions that most scientists would not be able to cope with.  He also knew how to get back safely at the end of the day.  He cut through impediments to research that could be logistical, administrative or other and simply got things done as he thought they should.  Ric was particularly well known for his famous hospitality to any scientist who wished to conduct research in the Yukon.  He would welcome them to Whitehorse, invite them to his house for gourmet supper, tell them about local races, skiing and music opportunities, and possibly an evening around the fire, take them up into remote mountain locations that required expert local knowledge and direct them towards research topics that were important to understanding, conserving, protecting and predicting Yukon’s water resources. Rick promoted and contributed to the development of hydrological models suited for the North and for cold regions hydrology so as to better assess and predict the water resources of the North.  He also communicated science results to the public very effectively, often in an urgent flood forecast.  He designed the dyke that protects Dawson City and advised much of the current road, industrial and community infrastructure in Yukon so that it is safer from flooding and climate change.  One of his legacies is the new Yukon flood forecasting system – developed at his insistence and with his guidance.  He was especially renowned for assessment of climate change impacts on hydrology, river ice breakup mechanics and for a remarkably successful record of predicting floods in Yukon.  The understanding of climate change impacts on Yukon’s water, snow and permafrost has had substantial contributions from his research and his early recognition of the massive threat that climate change posed to the North.  Rick was recently honoured by the Yukon Legislature http://www.legassembly.gov.yk.ca/hansard/34-legislature/42.pdf for his accomplishments in running Wolf Creek for a quarter century of science and his general contributions to Northern Hydrology.  His hundreds of colleagues from across Canada and around the world respected him greatly and will miss him.  They do not make hydrologists like Ric any more.  As for the future of cold regions hydrology?  It must carry on to honour his memory by taking the best advice from Ric himself – “there is no holding back now”.

A celebration of life is scheduled for June 21.

In the news:

Colleagues remember Yukon hydrologist Rick Janowicz – Yukon News

Yukon loses respected flood forecaster – Whitehorse Daily Star