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The Ottawa Centre is comprised of about 90 CMOS members. The Centre holds monthly meetings downtown from September through May.  Our meetings are open to members and the public.  Meetings start with lunch followed by a presentation by an invited speaker and discussion. Occasionally our meetings are joint with partner groups or societies.  About every ten years, the Ottawa Centre hosts the annual CMOS Congress.

Outreach activities aimed at high school, university and post graduate students are a priority for the Ottawa Centre. We judge and provide prizes at regional science fairs in Ottawa and Gatineau.


Upcoming Luncheon Meeting - Wednesday 28 September 2016

SPEAKER:  Leonard Barrie, Professor Emeritus, Dept. Geosciences Stockholm University;
Adjunct Professor, Dept. Atmosphere and Ocean Science, McGill University, Montreal;
Fellow Royal Society of Canada

TITLE:  Arctic Air Pollution: Forty Years of Climate and Environment Research

ABSTRACT:  Forty years ago, little was known about pollutants in the Arctic atmosphere and their relevance to climate and the environment. Since 1976, the long range transport and potential impacts of a multitude of substances in the Canadian north has become better understood through cooperative research.

In chronological order, these substances include: aerosols laden with sulphate, organics and black carbon;  stratospheric ozone-destroying perfluorocarbons; persistent organic pollutants; mercury; and long lived greenhouse gases.  Each class of chemicals have been the target of research involving Canadian government and university research scientists, managers and diplomats that ultimately led to international UN-based agreements to limit their emission to the atmosphere and mitigate their environmental impacts. 

A brief history of almost everything related to Canadian Arctic air pollution and its impact on climate and the environment will be discussed along with some recent highlights of analysis of thirty five years of aerosol chemistry observations at Alert on Northern Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada.

PLACE:  Rideau Canal Junior Ranks Mess, 4 Queen Elizabeth Drive, Ottawa.  Side entrance, Palladium Lounge, 3rd flr (elevator available)

COST:  $25 non members; $20 members & their spouses; students $10

TIME:  12:00 noon, Wednesday 28 September 2016

MENU:  Atlantic Salmon: Atlantic salmon served with a basil pesto sauce. Served with your choice of salad and side Assorted squares.

PARKING:  On street parking in the vicinity

RSVP:  Please confirm your attendance by Friday 23 September by Doodle (click here)

Alternatively , please contact any of the following to be added to our list, or if you have problems
with Doodle:

Ann McMillan 613-831-5851; email: mcmillan@storm.ca
Paul Pestieau 613-990-6855; email:  Paul.Pestieau@canada.ca
Julien Racette 819-938-4562; email:  julien.racette@ec.gc.ca
Bob Jones 613-820-6336; email:  jonesb@ncf.ca
Daria Bradbury 613-949-9119; email:  Daria.Bradbury@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Wayne Richardson 613-851-7071; email:  wayne.rma@rogers.com
Tom Zagon: 613-992-8431; email:  tom.zagon@canada.ca

CANCELLATION:   If you need to cancel, please change your Doodle information as soon as possible or let a contact person know so we can cancel your food order.

NEXT MEETING:  20 October 2016, details to come


The Canadian Association for the Club of Rome (CACOR) (collaborator with CMOS Ottawa)


CACOR cordially invites you to a Round Table Debate 

Pathways to a low-carbon energy future for Canada 

Date: Wednesday October 12th 2016

Panelists: David Pollock, Robert Hoffman and Ralph Torrie

Time: 10:00 a.m.

Place: Army Officers' Mess, 149 Somerset Street West, Ottawa

Cost:  $30 general admission; $25 for members, their spouses and student guests. The downstairs ante-room and dining area will be open at 9:30 for those who wish to meet and greet friends and colleagues prior to lunch. 

Please confirm attendance by replying to this e-mail on or before Monday October 10th. Please remember that CACOR is responsible for payment of guests who have registered. If you register and need to change your commitment, please inform us as well before Monday October 10th. Thank you for your assistance in this matter. We unfortunately will follow up with an invoice for those who were not able to honour their commitment.

In order to accommodate all members, associates and guests please indicate your presence to this event as soon as possible. Please indicate as well your dietary needs: vegetarian, vegan or other.

About the debate:

CACOR is pleased to invite you to a Round Table Debate on October 16, a variant on its normal monthly lunches. This event will begin at 10 o’clock in the morning and conclude with lunch, with opportunity for spontaneous informal conversations and debate following lunch.

By low-carbon future we mean one in which our national greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to 100 - 200 Mt CO2 equivalent by 2050,

  • from current emissions of about 700 Mt, of which 600 Mt from the production and consumption of fossil fuels and 100 Mt from agricultural, waste and industrial processes.

This is what it would take for Canada to play its full part in reaching the 1.5 - 2.0°C limit in the Paris Agreement, a challenge much bigger than is generally recognized. 

  • At this session, we’ll deal primarily with energy.

This will be the first in a series of three or four sessions on global warming. On October 12, we propose to concentrate on the practical, technical feasibility of pathways to get Canada off carbon, an essential foundation for the formulation of sound policy, largely absent so far in Canadian policy.  

The panelists will be Robert Hoffman, David Pollock, and Ralph Torrie (mini CVs below). They have been invited to provide in advance to the moderator five propositions that they would like to debate with the participants. The moderator will identify two or three sub themes from the panelists’ propositions to guide the debate.

They agree to a format with five-minute introductions followed by a large number of short interventions and no long speeches. The moderator will invite the panelists to open the debate but at an early opportunity will seek to extend the panel by inviting short interventions from the floor.  Based on experience at CACOR events, this latter part should not be difficult!

Initial response from a couple of panelists suggests the following propositions for debate, subject to change as exchanges continue:

  1. A low-carbon future can be secured with the technologies that are already available.
  2. The critical technological issues are the generation of electricity and carbon-free energy supplies for transportation.
  3. Global warming is everyone’s business, but the primary onus in Canada is on the federal government.

Subsequent events, in 2017,will address other facets of global warming; the themes will depend on the findings of this first energy event, but may include: 

  • having framed the broad issue, specific technological options;
  • adaptation to the inevitable consequences of global heating;
  • how to secure action in a parliamentary democracy. 



Robert Hoffman is President of whatIf? Technologies Inc., a company that provides software technology and consulting services for systems models and simulation. 

whatIf? Technologies Inc. recently made a substantial contribution to the Trottier Energy Futures Project: Canada’s Challenge and Opportunity: Transformations for major reductions in GHG emissions, whose goal was to define one or more pathways to 2050 that would achieve an 80-per-cent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 1990 levels.

David Pollock has been a life-long advocate for social justice and environmental stewardship. He is a former Executive Director of the Pembina Institute, a non-profit think tank based in Alberta that advocates policies that reduce the use of fossil fuels and a transition to cleaner energy sources. He is a past Director of Sustainable Development Technology Canada and served on the Board of Climate Change Central, a multi-stakeholder organization of the Province of Alberta. 

Ralph Torrie played a central role in putting global warming on the international environmental agenda: he was the lead organizer of the Energy Workshop at the 1988 International Conference on the Changing Atmosphere in Toronto. It was this Workshop that proposed the first target: a 20 percent cut in 1988 levels of global carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2005.

Torrie Smith Associates subsequently developed the framework and conventions now used by local governments around the world to create climate change response strategies. He produced the first low-carbon scenario analysis for Canada, and continues to help public and private sector clients identify and pursue the opportunities being generated by the current global energy transition.


Ottawa Science Exchange and Partner Meeting Notices (notices closest to the current date are on top)




Ottawa Centre Archives - Please follow this link for past meeting notices, slides from recent lunch presentations, executive members, previous speakers by topic and year, minutes of executive meetings and much more.

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