Providing Regional Climate Services to British Columbia

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Engineering in a Changing Climate

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Dr. Paul Kushner
April 27, 2022 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

This talk was held over Zoom Meetings.

A recording of this talk can be found, here.

Traditional applied climate-change research, as reflected, for example, in the Working Group structure of the IPCC, separates foundational climate science from engineering analysis of climate-change impacts and GHG mitigation. Bridging the gap between climate science and engineering presents signficant challenges and rich opportunities for advancing both disciplines. In this talk I will survey research and educational activities undertaken at the recently established University of Toronto Centre for Climate Science and Engineering. Several of our research projects make use of an earth system modelling approach comprising a global climate model that focuses fine grid resolution over a target region of Southern Ontario. I will briefly discuss the technical rationale for this modelling approach. I will then outline how it has contributed to the study of design winds for built infrastructure, of evolving cold conditions controlling the duration of the operability season for biodiesel fuels, and of combinations of cold and warm extremes that affect battery electric vehicle (BEV) range and BEV-related electrical demand on the electrical power grid. This research illustrates potential interactions of mitigation strategies with ongoing anthropogenic climate change. Our joint work has also prompted us to think about how to retool education and training for researchers and practitioners.

Watch a recording of the talk.