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, the American Geophysical Union and 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.

  • DSc (Honourary), Western University
  • PhD, Department of Mathematics (Statistics), Dalhousie University
  • MSc, Department of Mathematics (Statistics), Acadia University
  • BMath, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Waterloo
Selected Publications: 
  • Huang, W., A. Monahan and F.W. Zwiers, 2021: Estimating Concurrent Climate Extremes: A Conditional Approach. Accepted, Weather and Climate Extremes.

  • Wang, J., C. Li, F.W. Zwiers, X. Zhang, G. Li, Z. Jiang, P. Zhai, Y. Sun, Z. Li and Q. Yue, 2021: On the optimal design of field significance tests for changes in climate extremes. Geophysica Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2021GL09283.

  • Sun, Q., X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, S. Westra and L.V. Alexander, 2021: A global, continental and regional analysis of changes in extreme precipitation. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0892.1.

  • Li, C., F.W. Zwiers, X. Zhang, G. Li, Y. Sun and M. Wehner, 2021: Changes in annual extremes of daily temperature and precipitation in CMIP6 models. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-1013.1.

  • Zwiers, F.W., 2020: On the role of science in informing adaptation policy. In Statistics, Science and Public Policy XXIV, Edited by A.M. Herzberg, Queen’s University, in press.

  • Cannon, A.J., D. Il Jeong, X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, 2020: An Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change on Climatic Design Data in Canada. Environment and Climate Change Canada, Gatineau QC, ISBN 978-0-660-36478-0.

  • Ben Alaya, M.A., F.W. Zwiers and X. Zhang, 2020: A bivariate approach to estimating the probability of very extreme precipitation events. Weather and Climate Extremes, doi: 10.1016/j.wace.2020.100290.

  • Sun, Q., F.W. Zwiers, X. Zhang and G. Li, 2020: A comparison of intra-annual and long-term trend scaling of extreme precipitation with temperature in a large-ensemble regional climate simulation. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0920.1.

  • Ben Alaya, M.A., F.W. Zwiers and X. Zhang, 2020: An evaluation of block-maximum based estimation of very long return period precipitation extremes with a large ensemble climate simulation. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0011.1.

  • Li, C., Y. Sun, F.W. Zwiers, D. Wang, X. Zhang, G. Chen and H. Wu, 2020: Rapid warming in summer wet bulb globe temperature in China with human-induced climate change. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19- 0492.1.

  • Tan, Q., F.W. Zwiers, S. Yang, C. Li and K. Deng, 2020: The role of circulation and its changes in present and future Atmospheric Rivers over western North America. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0134.1.

  • Ben Alaya, M.A., F.W. Zwiers and X. Zhang, 2020: Probable maximum precipitation in a warming climate over North America in CanRCM4 and CRCM5. Climatic Change, doi:10.1007/s10584-019-02591-7.

  • Ben Alaya, M.A., F.W. Zwiers and X. Zhang, 2019: Evaluation and comparison of CanRCM4 and CRCM5 to estimate probable maximum precipitation over North America.Journal of Hydrometeorology, doi:10.1175/JHM-D- 18-0233.1.

  • Li, C., F.W. Zwiers, X. Zhang, G. Chen, J. Lu, G. Li, J. Norris, Y. Tan, 2019: Larger increases in more extreme local precipitation events in a warming climate. Geophysical Research Letters, doi: 10.1029/2019GL082908
  • Sillmann, J., C.W. Stjern, G. Myhre, B.H. Samset, O. Hodnebrog, O. Boucher, P. Forster, A. Kirkevag, J.-F. Lamarque, D.J. Olivie, D. Shindell, A. Voulgarakis and F.W. Zwiers, 2019: Extreme wet and dry conditions aected dierently be greenhouse gases and aerosols. In press, NPJ Climate and Atmospheric Science, doi:10.1038/s41612-019-0079-3.
  • Curry, C.C., S.U. Islam, F.W. Zwiers, S.J. Dery, 2019: Atmospheric Rivers Increase Future Flood Risk in Western Canadas Largest Pacific River. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2018GL080720.
  • Islam, S. Ul, C.L. Curry, S.J. Dery and F.W. Zwiers, 2019: Quantifying projected changes in runo variability and ow regimes of the Fraser River Basin, British Columbia. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, doi:10.5194/hess-23-811-2019.
  • Werner, A.T., R.R. Shrestha, A.J. Cannon, M.S. Schnorbus, F.W. Zwiers, G. Dayon and F. Anslow, 2019: A long-term, temporally consistent, gridded daily meteorological dataset for northwestern North America. Scientific Data, doi:10.1038/sdata.2018.299.
  • Kirchmeier-Young, M.C., N.P. Gillett, F.W. Zwiers and A.J. Cannon, 2019: Attribution of the in uence of human-induced climate change on an extreme fire season. Earth's Future, doi:10.1029/2018EF001050.
  • Li, C., F.W. Zwiers, X. Zhang, G. Li, 2019: How much information is required to well-constrain local estimates of future precipitation extremes?. Earth's Future, doi:10.1029/2018EF001001.
  • Kharin, V.V., G.M. Flato, X. Zhang, N.P. Gillett, F.W. Zwiers, K. Anderson, 2018: Risks from climate extremes change dierently from 1.5C to 2.0C depending on rarity. Earth's Future, doi:10.1002/2018EF000813.
  • Teufel, B., L. Sushama, O. Huzly, G.T. Diro, D.I. Jeong, K. Winger, C. Garnaud, R. de Elia, F.W. Zwiers, J.R. Gyakum, D. Matthews, V.-T.-V. Nguyen, 2018: Investigation of the mechanisms leading to the 2017 Montreal flood. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-018-4375-0.
  • Mueller, B.L., N.P. Gillett, A. Monahan, F.W. Zwiers, 2018: Attribution of Arctic sea ice decline from 1953 to 2012 to in uences from natural, greenhouse-gas and anthropogenic aerosol forcing. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0552.1.
  • Curry, C.L. and F.W. Zwiers, 2018: Examining controls on peak annual stream ow and oods in the Fraser River Basin of British Columbia. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., doi:10.5194/hess-2017-531.
  • Li, G., X. Zhang, A. Cannon, T. Murdock, S. Sobie, F.W. Zwiers, K. Anderson, B. Qian, 2018: Indices of Canada's future climate for general and agricultural adaptation applications. Climatic Change, doi:10.1007/s10584-018-2199-x.
  • Ben Alaya, M.A., F.W. Zwiers, X. Zhang, 2018: Probable maximum precipitation: its estimation and uncertainty quantification using bivariate extreme value analysis. Journal of Hydrometeorology, doi:10.1175/JHM-D-17-0110.1.
  • Wan, H., X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, 2018: Human influence on Canadian temperatures. Climate Dynamics. doi:10.1007/s00382-018-4145-z.
  • Kushner, P.J., L. Mudryk, W. Merryfield, J.T. Ambadan, A. Berg, A. Bichet, R. Brown, C.P. Dersken, S.J. Dery, A. Dirkson, G. Flato, C. Fletcher, J. Fyfe, N. Gillett, C. Haas, S. Howell, F. Laliberte, K. McCusker, M. Sigmond, R. Sospedra-Alfonso, N. Tandon, C. Thackeray, B. Tremblay, F.W. Zwiers, 2018: Assessment of Snow, Sea Ice, and Related Climate Processes in Canadas Earth System Model and Climate Prediction System. The Cryosphere, doi:10.5194/tc-2017-157.
  • Naveau, P., A. Ribes, F.W. Zwiers, A. Hannart, A. Tuel, P. Yiou, 2018: Revising return periods for record events in a climate event attribution context. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0752.1.
  • Sillmann, J., T.L. Thoranisdottir, N. Schaller, L. Alexander, G.C. Hegerl, S.I. Seneviratne, R. Vautard, X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, 2017: Understanding, modeling and predicting weather and climate extremes: Challenges and opportunities. Weather and Climate Extremes, doi:10.1016/j.wace.2017.10.003.
  • Li, C., X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, Y. Fang, A.M. Michalak, 2017: Recent very hot summers in northern hemispheric land areas measured by wet bulb globe temperature will be the norm within 20 years. Earth's Future, doi:10.1002/2017EF000639.
  • Shrestha, R., A.J. Cannon, M.A. Schnorbus, F.W. Zwiers, 2017: Projecting future nonstationary extreme stream ow for the Fraser River, Canada. Climatic Change, doi:10.1007/s10584-017-2098-6.
  • Najafi, M.R., F.W. Zwiers and N.P. Gillett, 2017: Attribution of Observed Stream ow Changes in key British Columbia Drainage Basins. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2017GL075016.
  • Pingree-Shippee, K., F.W. Zwiers, D. Atkinson, 2017: Representation of Canadian Coastal Storm Activity by Six Global Reanalyses. International Journal of Climatology, doi:10.1002/joc.5235.
  • Stott, P.A., D.J. Karoly, F.W. Zwiers, 2017: Is the choice of statistical paradigm critical in extreme event attribution studies? Climatic Change, doi:10.1007/s10584-017-2049-2.
  • Kirchmeier-Young, M., F.W. Zwiers, N.P. Gillett and A.J. Cannon, 2017: Attributing Extreme Fire Risk in Western Canada to Human In uences. Climatic Change, doi:10.1007/s10584-017-2030-0.
  • Seiler, C., F.W. Zwiers, K.I. Hodges, J.F. Scinocca, 2017: How does dynamical downscaling aect model biases and future projections of explosive extratropical cyclones along North Americas Atlantic coast? Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-017-3634-9.
  • Zhang, X., F.W. Zwiers, G. Li, H. Wan, A.J. Cannon, 2017: Complexity in estimating past and future extreme short-duration rainfall. Nature Geosciences, doi:10.1038/NGEO2911.
  • Najafi, M.R., F.W. Zwiers and N.P. Gillett, 2017: Attribution of the Observed Spring Snowpack Decline in British Columbia to Anthropogenic Climate Change. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0189.1
  • Kirchmeier-Young, M.C., F.W. Zwiers, N.P. Gillett, 2017: Attribution of Extreme Events in Arctic Sea-Ice Extent. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0412.1.