In keeping with the “what really matters” theme, the next webinar in the Creative Solutions for a New World Climate and the Arts Series on Wednesday, April 21st (11 am - noon PST) will explore how much Cold Matters in terms of the roles in which snow, ice and permafrost play in the stabilization of the global climate system.
United Nations University Global Water Futures Chair and award-winning author, Bob Sandford, will share how winter snowfall extent, cover and duration impact water resources in Canada, and how important the Arctic is as a thermostat for weather not just in Canada but in the entire Northern Hemisphere. He will conclude with observations on the climate risk posed by permafrost thaw and the need for cooperation among all of the circumpolar nations, but especially between Canada and Russia, in addressing that risk.
Dr. Thomas Axworthy, one of the architects of The Arctic Council, a high-level intergovernmental forum that addresses issues faced by the Arctic governments and the Indigenous people of the Arctic, will outline concerns associated with accelerating permafrost thaw and its impact on northern peoples and cultures in Canada and throughout the Arctic. As well, he will explore the cooperation needed within Canada and between Arctic nations that will be critical if we are to prevent the combined effects of sea ice loss, changes in the behaviour of the Northern Hemisphere Jetstream, and rapidly rising methane releases as a consequence of permafrost thaw from preventing Canada from achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
One of the most remarkable elements of the Global Water Futures program is that it recognizes that art can make complex scientific issues relating to the value of water more compelling and understandable to the broader public. Joining in this webinar will be Dr. Louise Arnal, who is both a scientist and an artist, who together with her artist colleagues fuse art and science in the Virtual Water Gallery, officially launching on April 29th. In her session, Dr. Arnal will introduce artists who are building bridges between Canada and Russian with their portrayals of changing climate circumstances in the Arctic of both countries. She will then introduce an expert on permafrost thaw and an artist with whom she works directly with to make scientific research findings more understandable outside the climate science community.
In closing, there will be a brief follow-on discussion on how the theme Truth Matters can be applied to the challenges posed by accelerating permafrost thaw and other climate threats will be led by Washington, DC lawyer, Mace Rosenstein. Join us for this celebration of how we can use all the ways we have of knowing and caring to create the post-COVID world we want.