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Agricultural Meteorology Then and Now: Paradigm Shift to Sustainable Science
November 20, 2019 @ 12:00 - 14:30$20
The development and evolution of Agricultural Meteorology in Canada in the 50s, 60s and 70s will be briefly reviewed and examples of some of the research done by some of the pioneers will be presented. Like in many areas of research, in the 80s and 90s, the research approach by small groups of agricultural meteorologists was eventually replaced by a multidisciplinary research approach. Examples from some of the large scale research projects that ensued, as well as some of the important findings, will be presented. These studies gave rise to a better understanding of the role of the major terrestrial ecosystems in the world on climate as well as the role of climate on these ecosystems.
The 2000s and 2010s brought a further shift away from Agricultural Meteorology to research on Climate Change with emphasis on Environmental Sustainability. I will present the findings by our research team of the estimates of the carbon footprint of agricultural products in Canada. Hopefully, this information will help producers and consumers make decisions that minimize the impact of the agriculture sector on climate change.
Raymond Desjardins, C. M., FRSC, PhD., is a graduate from the Universities of Ottawa, Toronto and Cornell. He has been Canada’s representative on the Commission of Agricultural Meteorology of WMO for the last 30 years. As micrometeorologist he has developed numerous techniques to measure mass and energy exchange using tower and aircraft-based systems as well as techniques to estimate greenhouse gas emissions for a wide range of ecosystems. Dr. Desjardins’ most recent research, which is focused on quantifying the carbon footprint of agricultural products, is helping Canadian farmers compete on the international markets. He co-authored books such as: “Health of our Air” and “Better Farming Better Air” which shed light on how efficient farming practices improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.