Providing Regional Climate Services to British Columbia

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Francis Zwiers

Director, President and CEO

Dr. Francis Zwiers is director of the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC) at the University of Victoria. His former roles include chief of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis and director of the Climate Research Division, both at Environment and Climate Change Canada. As a research scientist, his expertise is in the application of statistical methods to the analysis of observed and simulated climate variability and change. Dr. Zwiers is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Meteorological Society, a recipient of the Patterson Medal and President’s Prize, has served as an IPCC Coordinating Lead Author of the Fourth Assessment Report and as an elected member of the IPCC Bureau for the Fifth Assessment Report.

  • PhD, Department of Mathematics (Statistics), Dalhousie University
  • MSc, Department of Mathematics (Statistics), Acadia University
  • BMath, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Waterloo
Selected Publications: 
Refereed and Equivalent Publications
  • Teufel, B., G.T. Diro, K. Whan, S.M. Milrad, D.I. Jeong, A. Ganji, O. Huziy, K. Winger, E. Montero, J.R. Gyakum, R. de Elia, F.W. Zwiers, L. Sushama, 2016: Investigation of the 2013 Alberta Flood from a weather/climate perspective. Climate Dynamics, doi:0.1007/s00382-016-3239-8.
  • Weller, D., S.-K. Min, W. Cai, F.W. Zwiers and D. Lee, 2015: Human-caused Indo-Pacific warm pool expansion. Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1501719.
  • Whan, K. and F.W. Zwiers, 2016: The impact of ENSO and the NAO on extreme winter precipitation in North America in observations and regional climate models. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3148-x.
  • Kumar, S., F.W. Zwiers, P.A. Dirmeyer, D.M. Lawrence., R. Shrestha, and A. Werner, 2016: Terrestrial Contribution to the Heterogeneity in Hydrological Changes under Global Warming. Water Resources Research, doi:10.1002/2016WR018607
  • Schar, C., N. Ban, E.M. Fischer, J. Rajczak, J. Schmidli, C. Frei, F. Giorgi, T.R. Karl, E.J. Kendon, A.M.G. Klein Tank, P.A. O'Gorman, J Sillmann, X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, 2016: Percentile indices for assessing changes in heavy precipitation events. Climatic Change, doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1669-2.
  • Ribes, A., F.W. Zwiers, J.-M. Azais, P. Naveau, 2016: A new statistical approach to climate change detection and attribution. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3079-6.
  • Mueller, B., X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, 2016: Historically hottest summers projected to be the norm for more than half of the worlds population by 2034. Environmental Research Letters, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/044011.
  • Sun, Y., X, Zhang, G. Ren, F.W. Zwiers, T. Hu, 2016: Contribution of urbanization to warming in China. Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/NCLIMATE2956.
  • Najafi, M.R., F.W. Zwiers, N.P. Gillett, 2016: Attribution of the Spring Snow Cover Extent Decline in Northern Hemisphere, Eurasia and North America to Anthropogenic Influence. Climatic Change, doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1632-2. 21 September 2016.
  • Whan, K., F.W. Zwiers, J. Sillmann, 2016: The influence of atmospheric blocking on extreme winter minimum temperatures in North America. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0493.1.
  • Salimun, E., F. Tangang, L. Juneng, F.W. Zwiers, W.J Merryfield, 2016: Skill evaluation of CanCM4 for seasonal climate forecast over Malaysia during the early and late winter monsoon periods. International Journal of Climatology, 36, 439-454, doi:10.1002/joc.4361.
  • Stott, P.A., N. Christidis, F. Otto, Y. Sun, J.-P. Vanderlinden, G.J. van Oldenborgh, R. Vautard, P. Walton, P. Yiou, F.W. Zwiers, 2016: Attribution of extreme climate events. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Climate Change, 7, 23-41, doi:10.1002/wcc.380.
  • Kumar, S., R.P. Allan, F.W. Zwiers, D.M. Lawrence, P.A. Dirmeyer, 2015: Revisiting Trends in Wetness and Dryness in the Presence of Internal Climate Variability. Geophysical Research Letters, accepted, doi:10.1002/2015GL066858.
  • Whan, K., F.W. Zwiers, 2015: Evaluation of extreme rainfall and temperature over North American in CanRCM4 and CRCM5. Climate Dynamics, accepted, doi:10.1007/s00382-015-2807-7.
  • Seneviratne, S.I., F.W. Zwiers, 2015: Attribution and Prediction of Extreme Events: Editorial on the special issue. Weather and Climate Extremes, 9, 2-5, doi:10.1016/j.wace.2015.08.003.
  • Seiler, C., F.W. Zwiers, 2015: How will climate change affect explosive cyclones in the extratropics of the Northern Hemisphere? Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-015-2791-y
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. DOI:10.17226/21852. (Zwiers was a committee member).
  • Kim, Y.-H., S.-K. Min, X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, L.V. Alexander, M.G. Donat, Y.-S. Tung, 2015: Attribution of extreme temperature changes during 1951-2010. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-015-2674-2.
  • Asrar, G., S. Bony, O. Boucher, A. Busalacchi, A. Cazenave, M. Dowell, G. Flato, G. Hegerl, E. Kallen, T. Nakajima, A. Ratier, R. Saunders, J. Slingo, B.-J. Sohn, J. Schmetz, B. Stevens, P. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, 2014: Climate Symposium 2014 - Findings and Recommendations. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., doi:10.1175/BAMS-D- 15-00003.1.
  • Mueller, B., M. Hauser, C. Iles, R. Rimi, F.W. Zwiers, H. Wan, 2015: Potential increase in wheat and maize production due to human-induced changes in growing season length. Weather and Climate Extremes, doi:.10.1016/j.wace.2015.04.001.
  • Ribes, A., N.P. Gillett, F.W. Zwiers, 2015: Designing detection and attribution simulations for CMIP6 to optimize the estimation of greenhouse-gas induced warming. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00691.1.
  • Najafi, M.R., F.W. Zwiers. N.P. Gillett, 2015: Attribution of Arctic Temperature Change to Greenhouse Gas and Aerosol Influences. Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/NCLIMATE2524.
  • Zhang, X., F.W. Zwiers, 2015: Observed and Projected Changes in Temperature and Precipitation Extremes. in Dynamics and predictability of large-scale high-impact weather and climate events, Jianping Li, Richard Swinbank, Hans Volkert and Richard Grotjahn, eds., Cambridge University Press, in press.
  • Wan, H., X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, S.-K. Min, 2014: Attributing Northern high-latitude precipitation change over the period 1966-2005 to human influence. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2423-y.
  • Christidis, N., P.A. Stott, F.W. Zwiers, 2014: Fast track attribution assessments based on pre-computed estimates of changes in the odds of warm extremes. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2408-x.
  • Sun, Y., X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, L. Song, H. Wan, T. Hu, H. Yin, G. Ren, 2014: Rapid increase in the risk of extreme summer heat in Eastern China. Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/NCLIMATE2410.
  • Tencer, B., A.W. Weaver, F.W. Zwiers, 2014: Joint occurrence of daily temperature and precipitation extreme events over Canada. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 53, 2148-2162, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-13-0361.1.
  • Sillmann, J., M.G. Donat, J.C. Fyfe, F.W. Zwiers, 2014: Observed and simulated temperature extremes during the recent warming hiatus. Environmental Research Letters, 9, 064023 (8pp), doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/6/064023.
  • Accompanied by a perspective - Wehner, M.F., 2014: A temporary hiatus in warming of extreme temperatures is not unusual, nor inconsistent with model simulations of human-induced climate change. Environmental Research Letters, 9, 071001 (3pp), doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/7/071001.
  • Zwiers, F.W., G.C. Hegerl, X. Zhang, Q.H. Wen, 2014: Quantifying the Human and Natural Contributions to Observed Climate Change. In Statistics in Action: A Canadian Outlook, J.F. Lawless, ed., Chapman & Hall/CRC, ISBN: 9781482236231, pp349-370.
  • Stott, P.A., G.C. Hegerl, S.C. Herring, M.P. Hoerling, T.C. Peterson, X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, 2014: Introduction to explaining extreme events of 2013 from a climate perspective. In Explaining Extremes of 2013 from a Climate Perspective, Herring, S.C., M.P. Hoerling, T.C. Peterson, and P.A. Stott, Eds., Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 95, S1-S2.
  • Sillmann, J., V.V. Kharin, F.W. Zwiers, X. Zhang, 2014: Evaluating model simulated variability in temperature extremes using modified percentile indices. International Journal of Climatology, 34, 33043311, doi: 10.1002/joc.3899.
  • Shrestha, R.R., M.A. Schnorbus, A.T. Werner, F.W. Zwiers, 2014: Evaluating hydro-climatic change signals from statistically and dynamically downscaled GCMs and hydrologic models. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 15, 844-860, doi:10.1175/JHM-D-13-030.1.
Books, Chapters, Short Communications and Similar Publications
  • Zhang, X., F.W. Zwiers, 2015: Observed and Projected Changes in Temperature and Precipitation Extremes. in Dynamics and predictability of large-scale high-impact weather and climate events,
    Jianping Li, Richard Swinbank, Hans Volkert and Richard Grotjahn, eds., Cambridge University Press, in press.
  • Zwiers, F.W., G.C. Hegerl, X. Zhang, Q.H. Wen, 2014: Quantifying the Human and Natural Contributions to Observed Climate Change. In Statistics in Action: A Canadian Outlook, J.F. Lawless, ed., Chapman & Hall/CRC, ISBN: 9781482236231, pp349-370. 
  • Zwiers, F.W., L.V. Alexander, G.C. Hegerl, T.R. Knutson, J. Kossin, P. Naveau, N. Nicholls, C. Schär, S.I. Seneviratne and X. Zhang, 2013: Challenges in Estimating and Understanding Recent Changes in the Frequency and Intensity of Extreme Climate and Weather Events. In (Climate Science for Serving Society: Research, Modelling and Prediction Priorities, G. Asrar and J. Hurrell, eds.), 339-389, doi:10.1007/978-94-007-6692-1 13.
  • Kirtman, B., S. Power, et al (Zwiers is listed as a Review Editor), 2013: Near-term Climate Change: Projections and Predictability. In Working Group I Contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Chapter 11, T. Stocker, et al., eds., Cambridge University Press.
  • Collins, M., et al (Zwiers is listed as a member of the Advisory Board), 2013: Atlas of Global and Regional Climate Projections. In Working Group I Contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Annex I, T. Stocker, et al., eds., Cambridge University Press.
  • Zhang, X, F.W. Zwiers, 2013: Statistical indices for the diagnosing and detecting changes in extremes. In In Hydrologic extremes in a changing climate: detection, analysis and uncertainty (AghaKouchak, A., D. Easterling, K. Hsu, S. Schubert, and S. Sorooshian, eds.,), Springer-Verlag, pp 1-14, doi:10.1007/978-94-007-4479-0 1.
  • Zwiers, F.W. and H. von Storch, 2012: Regional Climate Services Workshop 2011. EOS, 93, doi:10.1029/2012EO230009.
  • Seneviratne, S.I., N. Nicholls, et el (Zwiers is listed as a Contributing Author), 2012: Changes in climate extremes and their impacts on the natural Physical environment. In: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation [Field, C.B., V. Barros, T.F. Stocker, D. Qin, D.J. Dokken, K.L. Ebi, M.D. Mastrandrea, K.J. Mach, G.-K. Plattner, S.K. Allen, M. Tignor, and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, and New York, NY, USA, pp. 109-230.
  • Zwiers, F.W. and G. Bürger, 2012: Climate change scenarios for impacts assessment. In Encyclopedia of Environmetrics, 2nd Edition [El-Shaarawi, A.H. and W.W. Piegorsch (eds.)], ISBN: 978-0-470-97388-2.
  • Zwiers, F.W., M.A. Schnorbus and G.D. Maruszeczka, 2011: Hydrologic Impacts of Climate Change on BC Water Resources: Summary Report for the Campbell, Columbia and Peace River Watersheds. Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium. Available at Zwiers.H....
  • Hegerl, G.C., F.W. Zwiers, and P.A. Stott, 2011: Detection and Attibution of Climate Change. In Encyclopaedia of Climate and Weather, 2nd Edition, S.J. Schneider and M. Mastendrea, Eds. Oxford University Press. e-reference edition available at entry?entry=t323.e133.