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SFU joins in climate change initiative

February 7, 2008

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SFU researchers will play a key role in the new Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions announced last month by the provincial government.

The $94-million institute will be a joint collaboration among B.C.’s four research universities. SFU researchers from a diverse number of faculties and schools – from resource and environmental management (REM) to health – are already conducting research in numerous areas related to climate change.

For example:
  • REM’s energy and materials research group (EMRG) is one of the world’s leading research units studying the cost of greenhouse gas reduction. EMRG developed the Canadian Integrated Modeling System (CIMS), one of the key models used by the federal government to examine options for meeting greenhouse-gas targets.
  • REM’s Forest Ecology Lab is addressing issues such as adaptive silviculture – how to grow forests to meet a broad range of management objectives, such as biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

Fisheries researchers in REM, alongside biological scientists, are examining how freshwater and marine species are responding to climate change and how adverse effects might be mitigated.

Biologist Isabelle Côté is studying the impact of climate change on the world’s valued coral reefs.

Karen Kohfeld, a Canada Research Chair in Climate Resources and Global Change, is studying how climate and land surface conditions influence the production of dust emissions, and how dust affects carbon assimilation through the marine food chain.

Earth sciences professor Gwenn Flowers holds a Canada Research Chair in glaciology and is studying the rate at which glaciers and icecaps are responding to global warming.

SFU’s Adaptation to Climate Change (ACT) initiative is developing policy recommendations for sustainable adaptation to climate change.

Researchers in the Faculty of Health Sciences are focusing on the impact of climate change on human health, which includes investigating climate variability and its impact on population and public health and changing patterns of disease.

The Centre for Sustainable Community Development is addressing climate adaptation and governance in a variety of projects that include how to relieve pressure on climate through construction methods and materials, and devising strategies that value both community sustainability and investment for community infrastructure (e.g. transportation, water and sewage) to help communities implement sustainable community plans.
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