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THE QUEBEC REGION BULLETIN
APRIL - MAY 2010/VOLUME 13/NUMBER 2
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RISING SEA LEVELS
MELTING GLACIERS OR OCEAN WARMING?

The satellites that have been measuring sea levels since 1992 show the average level of the planet’s oceans to be gradually rising at a pace of about 3.2 cm per decade and that this pace has increased in comparison to previous decades. However, it is hard to know how much of this is attributable to melting glaciers, which add water to the oceans, or the warming of water already in the oceans, which expands as its temperature rises.  

A program to measure ocean temperature and salinity, launched in 2000 and known as the Argo project, allows us to estimate the pace at which the oceans are warming. A recent study undertaken by Fisheries and Oceans Canada researchers indicates that ocean warming alone has pushed the sea level upwards by 2.2 cm per decade between the early 1990s and the 2006-2008 period.

A scientific article presenting the results of this study was recently published in the journal, Atmosphere-Ocean, Number 47, by researchers Howard Freeland at the Institute of Ocean Sciences (Sidney, BC) and Denis Gilbert at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute (Mont-Joli, QC); both institutes are Fisheries and Oceans Canada research centres.

The Argo project
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is not responsible for information posted on outside sites.

Denis Gilbert
Science

MAGDALEN ISLANDS AND THE PILOTS
take centre stage on the 2010 tide tables

Canadian Tide and Current Tables, Volume 2In recent years, the Canadian Hydrographic Service has featured significant events that have marked maritime history or used photos of lighthouses to illustrate the covers of its Tide Tables. The 2010 edition pays tribute to the Corporation of Lower St. Lawrence Pilots, and the Magdalen Islands.

Volume 2 of the Canadian Tide and Current Tables covering harbours along the Gulf of St. Lawrence is illustrated by a Magdalen Islands lighthouse, the one at Étang-du-Nord. The Association touristique régionale des îles de la Madeleine contributed by submitting the photo,  taken by Pascal Arseneau, and the text that tells the tale of this lighthouse first built in 1874. This is fine opportunity to promote the charm of this group of islands located in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Canadian Tide and Current Tables, Volume 3In addition, Volume 3 of the Canadian Tide and Current Tables covering the St. Lawrence estuary and the Saguenay fjord bears the logo of the Corporation of Lower St. Lawrence Pilots which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2010. The cover shows a ship passing off the Prince Shoal lighthouse, a photo taken by Jean Cloutier, a pilot on this sector of the river. It was on May 19, 1860 that a federal bill was adopted by Parliament to ensure the safety of pilots and navigation on the St. Lawrence River. One hundred years later, under the terms of a federal charter, all the pilots were grouped within the corporation that still exists today. Nowadays, pilots use the latest electronic navigation technologies, combining modern technology with their thorough knowledge of the sector to assist the captains of ships travelling on the St. Lawrence and the Saguenay, beginning from their boarding station at Les Escoumins.

Copies of the Canadian Tide and Current Tables can be purchased from authorized dealers.

For more information about tides and water levels, consult the Web site at www.tides.gc.ca or call 1-877-775-0790.

Robert Dorais
Science

RESEARCH WORK FRONT AND CENTRE

The Fisheries and Oceans Canada Web site regularly offers new easy-to-read articles on research work conducted by the Department’s scientific teams throughout the country.

These articles – over one hundred – deal with a host of subjects connected to Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s activities and responsibilities. For instance, you can find out what research is being done in your region or elsewhere in Canada on subjects that are of interest to you.  

The following articles, dealing with projects taking place in Quebec, were added this winter:

New articles are added frequently. To make sure you don’t miss anything, come back regularly, or subscribe and you will be notified whenever a new article is posted!

List of Featured Science Articles