Skip to main content

Gordon McBean – 1998

April 8, 1998 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Osgoode Hall Law School, Moot Court

Title: Forecasting: Today's Weather to Next Century's Climate.

Abstract: Science has developed enhanced capability to forecast weather, water, climate and state of the atmosphere and this gives us, in a sense, a new relationship with the future. Society is now able to see into the future with some confidence and also to see how their own collective activities affect parts of the future.

The role of the Atmospheric Environment Program is to provide Canadians and their governments with information and warnings on the future states of the atmosphere and related components of our natural environment. These range from warnings of tornadoes in the next hour, to a severe ice storm, air pollution episode or flood in the next few days, to next season’s warm spell due to El Nino, through to climate change in the next century. These forecasts rely on global observing systems, high-powered computers and highly trained professionals, linked by telecommunications, and are based on scientific understanding of the atmosphere and the coupled earth system.

The lecture will focus on this scientific basis, founded in physics, chemistry and other sciences, the concepts of time and space scales and how these lead us to incorporate expanding components of the earth system as the forecast period extends, and how uncertainties in our observations and knowledge and the fundamentals of our chaotic earth system limit our forecasts. Brochure

Updated on August 7th, 2014.