New Article- What Canada’s melting glaciers tell USask researchers

Chris Morin
University of Saskatchewan News
Jan 8, 2021

It may seem unfathomable, but these masses of ice are melting at an alarming rate. Canadian glaciers have shrunk 15 per cent since 1985, and estimated glacier loss in the Rockies could rise to 100 per cent by the end of the century, according to University of Saskatchewan (USask) hydrology PhD candidate Caroline Aubry-Wake.

One of the areas that Aubry-Wake conducts research at is the Peyto Glacier in Banff National Park and the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park. It’s an area that’s a cause for alarm—not just the immediate region, but also those areas downstream—and a look at the region’s rapid ice loss makes this clear.

Read the full article at: https://news.usask.ca/articles/research/2021/what-canadas-melting-glaciers-tell-usask-researchers.php

New Journal Article – Isotope analysis of subalpine forest water sources

A δ18O and δ2H stable water isotope analysis of subalpine forest water sources under seasonal and hydrological stress in the Canadian Rocky Mountains

Lindsey E. Langs, Richard M. Petrone and John W. Pomeroy

Hydrological Processes
Volume 24, Issue 26
December 18, 2020
https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13986

Abstract:
Subalpine forests are hydrologically important to the function and health of mountain basins. Identifying the specific water sources and the proportions used by subalpine forests is necessary to understand potential impacts to these forests under a changing climate. The recent “Two Water Worlds” hypothesis suggests that trees can favour tightly bound soil water instead of readily available free‐flowing soil water. Little is known about the specific sources of water used by subalpine trees Abies lasiocarpa (Subalpine fir) and Picea engelmannii (Engelmann spruce) in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. In this study, stable water isotope (δ18O and δ2H) samples were obtained from S. fir and Engelmann spruce trees at three points of the growing season in combination with water sources available at time of sampling (snow, vadose zone water, saturated zone water, precipitation). Using the Bayesian Mixing Model, MixSIAR, relative source water proportions were calculated. In the drought summer examined, there was a net loss of water via evapotranspiration from the system. Results highlighted the importance of tightly vadose zone, or bound soil water, to subalpine forests, providing insights of future health under sustained years of drought and net loss in summer growing seasons. This work builds upon concepts from the “Two Water Worlds” hypothesis, showing that subalpine trees can draw from different water sources depending on season and availability. In our case, water use was largely driven by a tension gradient within the soil allowing trees to utilize vadose zone water and saturated zone water at differing points of the growing season.

Read the full article here.

 

Virtual Gallery Opening – Canada, Russia and the UK collaborate

Global Water Futures and Rossotrudnichestvo (Russian Culture House) invite you to:

Cold Regions Warming
Documenting Circumpolar Climate Change and Impacts on Freshwater

Join us for the virtual gallery opening of the Cold Regions Warming Exhibition at Rossotrudnichestvo, London.

Thursday, 17 December 2020
10-11 am MST | 11-12 am CST | 12-1 pm EST | 5-6 pm GMT

The Cold Regions Warming exhibit is a collaboration between artist Gennadiy Ivanov, John Pomeroy, Director of Global Water Futures programme, and Trevor Davies, University of East Anglia. The exhibit presents an art-science perspective on climate change threats to the vast cold regions shared by Russia and Canada.

This event will feature remarks by:
His Excellency, Mr. Andrei Kelin, Russian Ambassador to UK
Her Excellency, Madam Janice Charette, the High Commissioner for Canada to UK
Anton Chesnokov, Director of Russian Culture House UK
Distinguished Prof., John Pomeroy, Director of Global Water Futures Programme
Gennadiy Ivanov, Norwich Art Gallery, UK
Prof. Trevor Davies, University of East Anglia

Register Here

About the Cold Regions Warming Exhibition

Cold Regions Warming presents an art-science perspective on the climate change threats to the vast cold regions shared by Russia and Canada. The burning forests, thawing permafrost, melting glaciers and declining snow and ice cover are damaging the natural capital of the vast boreal and arctic ecosystems that support our economies and the Arctic Ocean. A rescue will require an immediate mobilization for a great common endeavour, on a scale that vastly exceeds that for any previous great cause in human history.
“Gennadiy Ivanov’s paintings have a distinctive communicative power. Within the raw energy of colour and motion, Gena captures his subject with elements of pure stillness – an absolute likeness suggesting sensations or emotions that are instantly recognisable. This immediacy gives Ivanov’s work an unusually broad appeal, as audiences are drawn to paintings that are brilliantly beautiful and perfectly legible.”

– Representative office of the Rossotrudnichestvo in Great Britain

Cold Regions Warming Exhibit Catalogue

Event Contact:
Event Logistics: Stephanie Merrill, Global Water Futures Programme: stephanie.merrill@usask.ca
General Inquiries: Stacey Dumanski, Global Water Futures Programme: stacey.dumanski@usask.ca

New Article – Fort McMurray residents still cleaning, considering options after spring flooding

Dr. John Pomeroy was interviewed in a recent article relating to the spring 2020 flooding in Lethbridge Alberta and it’s aftermath:

Lethbridge News Now
December 5, 2020

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — More than seven months ago, Cora Dion and her husband fled Fort McMurray for the second time in four years as a spring flood threatened their home in northern Alberta.

They returned to a soggy mess in the basement, a dispute with their insurance company and the near-foreclosure of their home in the city’s downtown.

“We’re home,” Dion said in an interview earlier this week. “Our basement is still naked, but we have hot water and we have a furnace.”

Dion is one of 13,000 residents who were forced to flee the city in late April when ice jams led to major flooding by causing the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers to overflow their banks.

Read the full article with Dr. Pomeroy’s insights here.

New Article – ‘It’s been a pretty wild ride’: USask course attracts students from around the world, demonstrates innovation in teaching and learning

By Shannon Boklaschuk
College of Arts & Science News
December 3, 2020

The first university course Dr. Martyn Clark (PhD) ever taught is memorable for many reasons.

First, Clark started teaching the University of Saskatchewan (USask) graduate geography course—GEOG 825—in September 2020, when most USask classes moved online due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Second, because the course was offered remotely, students from more than a dozen countries around the world signed up. Third, Clark employed innovative teaching and learning practices in the course, including cloud computing, super-computing and hands-on model development.

As a result, teaching GEOG 825 involved a lot of “learning by doing,” said Clark, a professor in the Department of Geography and Planning in USask’s College of Arts and Science and the associate director of the Centre for Hydrology. “It’s been a pretty wild ride,” he said.

Read the full article here.

New Article – Monitoring climate change at Trail Valley Creek Arctic Research Station

By Nick Skinner
Laurier Campus Magazine
Fall 2020

Nearly 4,000 km northwest of Wilfrid Laurier University’s southern Ontario campuses, where mainland Canada meets the Arctic Ocean, lies Trail Valley Creek Arctic Research Station. Located between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, it is Laurier’s northern-most research station and this year marks its 30th anniversary.

Now the longest-running hydrologically focused Arctic research station in Canada, Trail Valley Creek has become a productive field site for Laurier’s Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science, which maintains more than 50 research sites north of Ontario’s Ring of Fire. It is also central to the university’s decade-long partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories. Dedicated to understanding and predicting environmental changes near the treeline in the western Canadian Arctic, the research station is an interactive training ground for Laurier students and hosts international collaborators from organizations including NASA and the University of Edinburgh.

Read the full article here.

 

Upcoming Webinar- Climate Change and Future Flooding: A Case Study of Calgary’s Bow and Elbow River Basins

Natural Resources, Canada
Presenter: Dr. John Pomeroy

Friday, December 11, 2020
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. MST (12:00 p.m. – 13:00 p.m. CST)

Abstract:
While increases in precipitation and temperature have been observed across Canada in the last half-century and are predicted for the future as climate change proceeds, there is still little understanding of how climate change will affect future streamflow and flooding in Canada due to the complexity of meteorological, hydrological, and water management aspects of flooding. This project modelled the historical and future changes in the flow frequencies of the Bow and Elbow river basins above Calgary to better understand how natural processes and reservoir management contribute to river flow and flood frequency estimates and how they can be expected to change with a changing climate through the 21st C. In this webinar geared toward technical experts, Dr. John Pomeroy will present the case study and methodology for incorporating climate change into flood frequency and water supply estimates, including a blueprint for applying these lessons in river basins across Canada.

For more information and to register for this workshop, go to: https://climateriskinstitute.ca/2020/05/20/webinar-climate-change-and-future-flooding-a-case-study-of-calgarys-bow-and-elbow-river-basins/

View the poster here.

Cold Regions Warming – art exhibit virtual tour

Climate change: art with Russian roots helps Canadian scientists
Representative Office of Rossotrudnichestvo in Great Britain

An exhibition of art by Gennady Ivanov opened in London, as part of an international multimedia project “Transitions”. The artist, born in Russia and raised in Belarus, presented works that help viewers visualize the impact of climate change on the cold regions of Russia and Canada. The project also includes a meeting with climate scientists John Pomeroy and Trevor Davis. Both the artist and the scientists emphasize that human-induced climate change is a greater challenge to humanity than the Covid-19 pandemic.

View the full article and watch the tour here.

 

New Article – John Pomeroy’s love of place fuels world-leading scientific work

Bryn Levy
Star Phoenix, November 19, 2020

“Maybe it sounds silly, but I really have to love a place to understand it scientifically as well.”

Growing up downwind of Lake Erie may have helped steer John Pomeroy toward a career in water science.
“I was always taught ‘never touch lake water,’ ” he says of his childhood in northern Ohio.

“The area I lived in was very polluted. The river nearby would catch fire because of the heavy oil slicks on it. Lake Erie was dying at the time and the stench of dead fish off it was awful,” Pomeroy, now 60, says from his home just outside Saskatoon.

Pomeroy currently serves as Canada research chair in water resources and climate change at the University of Saskatchewan, as well as director of the school’s Global Water Futures Programme and the University of Saskatchewan Centre for Hydrology.

Read the full article here.