skyscraper view of traffic lights and Vancouver tower

Air Pollution in the Time of COVID-19

– By D.G. Steyn, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., and Kyle Howe, Air Quality and Climate Change, Metro Vancouver Regional District, Burnaby, B.C. –

The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting many aspects of society globally, nationally and locally. The most direct effect is the human health tragedy of increased morbidity and mortality caused by the disease. Beyond that, the legislated curtailment of human movement to slow the spread of the virus has resulted in economies being placed in what has been called a “medically induced coma”. Closely associated with the sharp slowdown in economic activity has been the reduction in fossil fuel consumption from most source sectors.

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Visibility Forecast in Wildfire Smoke: An August 2018 Case Study

– By Yimei Li, Canadian Meteorological Aviation Centre, Environment and Climate Change Canada –

In recent years, wildfire smoke has become an increasingly alarming natural disaster in Western Canada. In 2017 and 2018, the British Columbia provincial government declared a state of emergency for two consecutive summers in response to the wildfire situation (1). These were the third and fourth declarations in history and the previous ones were in 1996 and 2003.

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Blue Sky Blues or the Three Degrees of Aircraft Pollution

– By Phil Chadwick –

The title of this 2012 painting below, numbered 1260 in my artistic journey, is “Three Degrees”. That title might sound cryptic. Let me explain.

All air traffic was grounded over North America for three or four days after the terror attacks of 9/11 on September 11th, 2001. A couple of curious meteorologists investigated the impact of grounding those aircraft. They discovered that the skies were much clearer and that temperatures responded correspondingly.

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Open pit mine at night with excavators

Toward Quantifying Area-fugitive Greenhouse Gas
(GHG) Emissions from Open-pit Mines

– By Amir Nazem, Md. Rafsan Nahian, Ryan Byerlay, Manoj K. Nambiar, and Amir A. Aliabadi-

Conventional techniques to quantify area-fugitive Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from an open-pit mine have serious drawbacks. The bottom-up approach is based on inventory estimates, in which the emissions from different stationary sources across a mining facility are combined. This approach does not include the atmospheric measurements of GHGs or meteorology and relies on assumptions of the strength of each GHG source within a facility that may not be up-to-date.

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MOPITT – Measuring Pollution in the Troposphere for 20 Years

– By Prof. James R. Drummond, FRSC, Department of Physics & Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University –

Most scientific projects run for a few years and then the people involved move on to something else. The Measurements Of Pollution in The Troposphere (MOPITT) project has been running for over 30 years and on December 18th, 2019 we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the launch of the MOPITT satellite instrument.

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Comparison of wind forecasts and observations at Lake Saint-Charles, Quebec: Results from 2018

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Photo shows a smiliing Bob Kochtubajda, caucasian man, balding with glasses, for his article on the 2014 wildfire season in the NWT

Extreme 2014 wildfire season in the Northwest Territories

– By Bob Kochtubajda1, Ron Stewart2, Mike Flannigan3, Barrie Bonsal1, Charles Cuell4, and Curtis Mooney1

1. Environment and Climate Change Canada; 2. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB; 3. University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB; 4. CHMR Climate Resilience Consulting, Kaslo, BC.

Media reports around the world have highlighted the extreme and unprecedented nature of wildfires in recent years (e.g. Chile 2017, Portugal 2017, Greece 2018, California 2017 and 2018). In Canada, the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire was the third largest in Alberta’s history and became the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history,

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Banner Image for Gilbert's article on the origins of PM2.5 into Quebec shows a sunset skyline with smokestacks

Using Back-Trajectories to Trace the Origins of Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5)

– By Jean-Philippe Gilbert, Richard Leduc, and Nathalie Barrette, Geography Department, University of Laval

Air pollution in the province of Québec, Canada is monitored daily to allow for a rapid response to public health issues. However, there are few studies concerning the long-distance trend of pollutants, and those studies that do exist focus on a small area of study. The objective of this paper is to determine the sources of certain pollutants coming in to Québec,

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