Dr. Andrew J. Weaver received his B.Sc (Mathematics and Physics) from the University of Victoria in 1983, a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Mathematics (Master of Advanced Study) from Cambridge University in 1984, and a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of British Columbia in 1987. He is the Lansdowne Professor and Canada Research Chair in climate modelling and analysis in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria. He has authored or coauthored over 200 peer-reviewed papers in climate, meteorology, oceanography, earth science, policy, education and anthropology journals. He was a Lead Author in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2nd, 3rd and 4th scientific assessments and is also a Lead Author in the ongoing 5th scientific assessment. He was the Chief Editor of the Journal of Climate from 2005-2009.
Dr. Weaver is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and the American Meteorological Society. Over the years he has received numerous awards including the E.W.R. NSERC Steacie Fellowship in 1997, the Killam Research Fellowship and a CIAR Young Explorers award as one of the top 20 scientists in Canada under the age of 40 in 2002, and the CMOS President¹s Prize in 2007. He was also a co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as a Team Member of the IPCC for their ground breaking analysis of climate science. In 2008, he was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, the Royal Society of Canada Miroslaw Romanowski Medal and was appointed to the Order of British Columbia. He won the A.G. Huntsman Award for Excellence in Marine Science in 2011.
His book, Keeping our Cool: Canada in a Warming World published in 2008 has re-energized discussions on climate change and sustainability. David Suzuki calls it "the final alarm that galvanizes us to move onto a different energy path of renewables and efficiency." His second recently published book, Generation Us: The Challenge of Global Warming, explains the phenomenon of global warming in clear and accessible language and also invites everyone to be part of the solution. Generation Us has received outstanding reviews and is a 2012 Green Earth Award Nominee.
The reality of global warming has long been accepted within the scientific community, yet it remains a hotly debated topic at the political and social level. Why? Is it because the ultimate effects of global warming will not be felt within our lifetime? Do we feel little responsibility for future generations?
This talk will present historical foundations of the science of global warming. A discussion of our present climate will be framed within the perspective of the Earth¹s climate over the last 800,000 years. The range of projections of climate change over the next century will be summarized and the public confusion arising from the media portrayal of the science and its entry into the political arena will be discussed. A review will also be given as to how the Kyoto Protocol and other potential international policy options fit within the framework of necessary actions required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
While technological solutions to mitigate global warming exist, many are currently costly. Behavioural barriers are also present. In recent decades many North Americans have not had to live in a world where duty and greater good are placed before personal entitlement and individual needs. I conclude the presentation with the suggestion that should society chose to deal with global warming, we must move away from a culture of fear and denial to one of excitement and empowerment. Modern society has the potential to enter an age of creativity and innovation unlike any it has experienced before.