Australia and Okanagan Valley seeing similar patterns with water and drought
A visiting Australian scholar will work with researchers at UBC Okanagan to examine the recent record of climate change in the Kelowna area.
The opportunity, according to Prof. Bernard Bauer, who teaches Earth and Environmental Sciences and Geography at UBC’s Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, will allow researchers to compare the history and current conditions of the two regions.
“Areas of Australasia and the Okanagan are showing similar climate change impacts, particularly as they relate to changing precipitation patterns and recurring drought,” says Bauer. “Gaining access to the expertise of researchers from other parts of the world can help us better understand our own situation because the atmosphere and oceans are globally connected.”
Prof. Jamie Shulmeister is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Queensland and specializes in paleoclimatology (the study of past climate conditions using evidence found in glacial deposits, fossils, and sediments), glacial geology, and coastal evolution. His research has primarily been focused on Australia, New Zealand, and the Antarctic, as well as work in the Pacific Northwest.
“Understanding the climatic conditions of ages past provides researchers with a point of reference when looking the various contributing factors of today’s changing climate and forecasting what regions such as Okanagan might expect in the future,” says Shulmeister. “I look forward to working with local researchers to explore the similarities and differences in our experiences and determining what aspects of our common issues are being influenced by global conditions.”
Prof. Shulmeister’s trip to the Okanagan is partly sponsored by the Deputy Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished International Visitors Program. He will do field work with UBC Okanagan researchers, provide lectures to students, and host public discussions on aspects of his work as it relates to the local area.
Shulmeister will be holding a public discussion, Back to the Future: How New Zealand’s Ancient Glaciers Can Help Solve the Riddle of Canada’s Changing Climate, at the Vernon Science Centre on October 22 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Tickets are free.