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Cold Region Atmospheric and Hydrologic Studies. The Mackenzie GEWEX Experience

Volume 1: Atmospheric Dynamics

by Ming-ko Woo(ed.)
Cold Region Atmospheric and Hydrologic Studies. The Mackenzie GEWEX Experience by Ming-ko Woo
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ThegeographyofCanadamakesitoneofthebestlocationsintheworld for cold regionatmosphericand hydrologic studies:its high latitudeand high mountains,proximity to oceans in theArcticand cold temperate zones,a broadassemblage of landscapeand vegetation,and numerous lakesand rivers.Foryears,Canadians have conducted research on cold regions,either individually or in small groups, thusaccumulating rich experienceandample expertisein the farNorth.Creation of theGlobal EnergyandWaterCycleExperiment(GEWEX),undertheauspicesofthe WorldClimateResearchProgram,providedanexternalimpetusforlar- scale collaborative research. Canada responded to this initiativeby creatingtheMackenzieGEWEXStudyorMAGSthatfocusedonthecold region.ItwasrecognizedattheearlystageofMAGSthattheatmosphere andthehydrospherearestronglylinked.Aconcertedeffortofatmospheric andhydrologicscientistsisbeneficial,ifnotessential,toasuccessfullarge research program.In thisregards,investigation conducted bya groupof scientistsandengineersofMAGSwasentirelyrelevantandtimely.This study,carriedoutbetween1994and2005,hadtheresearchobjectivesof (1)understandingandmodelingthehigh-latitudeenergyandwatercycles that playroles in the climate system,and (2)improving ourability to assess the changestoCanada ?swaterresourcesthatarisefrom climate variabilityandanthropogenicclimatechange. So vast a world region that isunderthe influence of intense and persistent coldness cannot be covered by a contingent of Canadian researchersoveradecadaltimehorizon.TheMackenzieRiverBasinand its vicinity in northwestern Canada, occupying an area of about two millionsquarekilometers,wasadoptedasthepreferredresearchlocation. It offersa wideassemblage of environments, including mountainsand plains,tundraandforests,lakesandwetlands,andwinterslandscapesof snow, ice and frost. Its climatic continentality is accompanied by pronounced external influences,notably from the Pacific Ocean. The Mackenzie area presents a diversity of atmospheric and hydrologic conditionswiththeirattendantresearchproblemstochallengetheMAGS investigators. With increasing pressureofdevelopment, the previously neglected northernareas in many circumpolar nations havecome to the fore.The coldregionwithitspermafrost,snowandicethataresensitivetoclimate v warming,andwithitsecosystemthatisvulnerabletodisturbances,must be developed in a considered fashion toenable environmental sustainability.Information needstobegatheredand sound knowledge should be available for proper planning and operationalpurposes. Furthermore, the cold region isacknowledged to be highlysensitive to variationsandchangesintheclimate.Theeffectsofitsatmosphericand hydrologicfeedbackextendwellbeyondtheconfinesofthehighlatitudes to influence the globalmovements of waterand energy.Therearelarge uncertaintiesregarding howthe cold region respondsto the impetus of changesimposedbynatureandhuman.Progressincoldclimateresearch wouldcontributetoimprovedunderstandingofhowthesystembehaves, henceenablingbetterpreparationforandappropriateadaptationtothese changes. MAGSattempted toincreaseour knowledge of the North. All its projectsplacedanexplicitorimplicitemphasisonimprovingthecurrent understanding of the cold regionatmosphericand hydrologic processes.
Springer Berlin Heidelberg; January 2008
490 pages; ISBN 9783540739364
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Title: Cold Region Atmospheric and Hydrologic Studies. The Mackenzie GEWEX Experience
Author: Ming-ko Woo
 
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