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These are the slides from our May 23, 2014 Friday Forum workshop entitled 'Predicting and projecting the frequency of extreme marine events on time scales of days to decades with a focus on coastal flooding' led by Dalhousie University Professor Keith Thompson.
The marine environment presents humankind with great economic opportunity but also major risks. It is a dangerous place to extract resources, and a particularly challenging environment for transportation, construction and human development. Our relationship with the marine environment is evolving due to climate change (e.g., global sea level rise, reduced pack ice in the Northwest Passage) and also shifts in economic and societal use (e.g., deep ocean drilling, marine recreational activities). In 2012 a new national network was established to bring together researchers and partners in a multi-sectoral partnership in order to improve Canada’s capabilities in Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response (MEOPAR). In this talk Keith first provided an overview of this new network and then described some of its research, focusing mostly on coastal flooding. He then described how MEOPAR is making extended-range predictions of east coast storm surges, and the probability of coastal flooding, with lead times of hours to about 10 days. He also described a new statistically-based method for estimating the probability of coastal flooding over the next century, taking into account uncertainty in projections of sea level rise and storminess.
Keith Thompson is a Professor at Dalhousie University with a joint appointment in the Department of Oceanography and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Marine Prediction and Environmental Statistics. His research interests include ocean and shelf modelling, data assimilation, sea level variability, the analysis of extremes. New interests include the Madden Julian Oscillation and the Kuroshio Extension current system. He is presently a theme lead for the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) network, a large national network established recently to help Canada respond more effectively to marine emergencies and change.