Environment, climate and energy

Francis Zwiers, an international expert on climate variability and change, leads the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, which promotes collaborative research on climate change impacts in the Pacific Northwest.

Oceanographer Roberta Hamme studies the ocean carbon cycle and what factors control it - essential information for predicting the progression of climate change.

Research by wildlife conservation biologist Chris Darimont is shedding new light on the importance of wolves and bears to coastal ecosystems and communities.

Sybil Seitzinger, an international expert on the causes of environmental change, heads the UVic-led Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions which is finding ways to help us mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Mechanical engineer Zuomin Dong, seen here collecting data from a hybrid electric ferry, is a member of UVic’s Institute for Integrated Energy Systems, which is a world leader in the development of clean energy technologies.

Groundwater is a critical resource for drinking water and agriculture yet the world is using it up faster than it can be replaced naturally, reveals an international study led by hydrogeologist Tom Gleeson.

Humanity’s biggest challenge

Warmer global temperatures, extreme weather events, melting Arctic sea ice and ecosystems in trouble—these are just some of the ways that climate change is altering the planet. At the same time, our expanding human footprint is threatening sensitive ecosystems and biodiversity around the globe.

UVic research on climate science, ecology, climate-ocean interactions, resource management, ecological restoration, clean energy systems, and the human dimensions of climate change seeks new ways of living within planetary boundaries and protecting and restoring biological diversity.

Meeting the ocean-climate challenge

Knowledge. Insight. Action.

The international agreement on climate change action reached in Paris in December 2015 is a promising step forward for the planet.

How can Canada reach its emissions reduction targets? What are the right policy and technology decisions to get us to a low-emissions, sustainable future? How do we adapt to climate change? And how do we take advantage of new economic opportunities?

The UVic-led Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) is a multi-university initiative that brings together experts from academia, government, industry and wider society to develop policy solutions for BC and beyond.

PICS activities span research, education and outreach. Research projects currently include carbon management in forests; integration of Western Canada’s electrical grid; energy efficiency in buildings; reducing transportation emissions; and maximizing the social value to BC of natural gas extraction while limiting emissions.

Bridging the knowledge gap

As Earth’s climate continues to change, stakeholders from government, industry and the public need accessible, high-quality climate information to support planning and decision-making, and help us all find ways to adapt.

The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC) is a regional climate service centre that provides data, analysis and interpretation to stakeholders in the Pacific and Yukon region of Canada, and beyond.

Building on strong partnerships with more than 40 public and private sector agencies and organizations, PCIC organizes its activities around three themes: regional climate impacts, hydrologic impacts, and climate analysis and monitoring.

“We’re working hard with our partners to develop even better services, including enhanced climate analysis tools, better ways of projecting changes in extremes, and more detailed streamflow modelling that includes the effects of glacier changes,” says PCIC director Francis Zwiers.

Powering the future

Energy is a crucial element of society—it’s essential for communities to work, play and grow. But our reliance on fossil fuels has a limited future. Canada and the world need a road map to a different energy future.

What energy sources are available? How can they best be used? How will use of these energy sources affect the environment and the economy? To make the right decisions, policy-makers, industry and investors need answers—now.

UVic’s Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic) is an international leader in research on sustainable energy solutions, including fuel cells; energy efficiency; alternative energy sources; and large-scale, long-term analysis of how policy and technology can work together.

IESVic research partners include utilities, car manufacturers, transportation planners, renewable energy device developers, First Nations communities, governments, and university researchers in more than 15 countries.