Rimouski hosts the annual congress of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
From June 1-5, 2014, Rimouski played host to the 48th annual congress of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS). This major scientific event attracted nearly 400 specialists from across Canada and beyond. CMOS is the premier Canadian scientific society dedicated to oceanic and atmospheric science. Its annual congress provides an excellent forum for exchanges between scientists from academia, government and the private sector.
The theme of the congress, Northern Exposure: The implication of changes in cold environments, was chosen to highlight recent research into climate change across Canada, with a particular focus on the North and on ice-covered seas. Not since the 2002 edition, also held in Rimouski, had the congress focussed specifically on northern science issues. The time was ripe to take stock of advancements in the field over the past dozen years.
A total of 340 oral and poster presentations covered general topics in oceanic and atmospheric science as well as a wide range of specialized topics, such as:
- atmospheric and ocean modelling and forecasting,
- coastal oceanography,
- sea-ice dynamics,
- trends and projections of aquatic climate change,
- storm surges and other extreme events,
- interactions between land, atmosphere, oceans and ice, and
- science policy and management.
Scientists Yvan Simard, Diane Lavoie, Nathalie Roy, Denis Gilbert, Peter Galbraith, Denis Lefaivre and Zhigang Xu, of the Maurice Lamontagne Institute, presented the results of their research on the monitoring of marine mammals, ocean climate evolution, operational oceanography services, as well as storm surge forecasts for the three maritime coasts of Canada.
Furthermore, a series of plenary lectures covered subjects as diverse as satellite remote sensing, permafrost dynamics, arctic biodiversity, ocean biogeochemistry, sea-ice physics, climate modelling, and the incorporation of Inuit traditional knowledge into scientific research.
A special evening debate on the exploitation of natural resources in the Gulf of St. Lawrence attracted a crowd of close to 250 concerned citizens from all walks of life.
Finally, during Teacher’s Day, researcher Denis Gilbert presented a seminar demystifying climate change to help teachers better explain the subject to their students. CMOS hopes that these exchanges will help teachers to stimulate the interest of young people in environmental issues.
The congress provided an excellent forum to discuss the rapid and important changes taking place in our northern environment. It also highlighted the role of science in helping society understand and adapt to these changes.