Models and observations to study feedbacks to climate change.

The Climate Feedback Lab at St. Francis Xavier University uses models and observations to study feedbacks to climate change. The primary focus of the lab is developing new climate model components to improve future forecasts of climate change and its impacts on human societies. Current projects include contributions to the Zero Emissions Commitment Model Intercomparison Project (ZECMIP), exploring the permafrost carbon feedback to climate change, devising a fundamental understanding of the Transient Climate Response to Cumulative CO2 Emissions (TCRE), improving the representation of plant phenology in climate models, and adding nitrogen and phosphorus cycles to a climate model. See our research page for details. The Climate Feedback Lab is a member of the Climate & Atmospheric Sciences Institute (CASI)






People



Group Leader

Andrew MacDougall

Assistant Professor, Climate & Environment, St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada B2G 2W5
Phone: 902-867-3614
Email: amacdoug@stfx.ca
Office: 2021 Physical Sciences Complex


Education: PhD, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, 2014; MSc Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University, 2010; BSc Hon, Department of Earth Sciences, St. Francis Xavier University.




Graduate Student

Lynsay Spafford

MSc Candidate

Project: Global Vegetation Modelling




Graduate Student

Makcim De Sisto

PhD Student

Project: Modelling the Terrestrial Nitrogen Cycle and Coastal Land-Ocean Nutrient Coupling




Lab Alumni

Gilles Perrine

Current Position: MSc Student, Flux Lab

Former Position: Research Assistant

Project: Longterm climate impacts of agricultural CH4 and N2O emissions




Lab Alumni

Noah Barrett

Current Position: BSc Candidate

Former Position: Research Assistant

Project: Technical assistance for ZECMIP

Join the Team!

If you are interested in graduate studies and your research interests lie within the scope of climate science and Earth system modelling, please send an e-mail inquiry to Dr. Andrew MacDougall and include your CV and transcripts. Inquiries are welcomed from students of a variety of science backgrounds, including Earth sciences, physics, chemistry, biology, applied mathematics, and engineering.


Mabou, NS

Tower 2

St. George, NS

Tower 3

Research






A key assumption in the carbon budget framework is that once CO2 emission cease global temperature will approximately stabilize. The Zero Emissions Commitment Model Intercomparison Project (ZECMIP ) is a late addition to CMIP6 designed to test this assumption. The Climate Feedback Lab is participating in ZECMIP and will be the temporary host for model data [Will include link to data when submitted]. [will add ZECMIP protocol paper when formally up]

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Leaf phenology, the timing of climate-induced leaf life cycle events, is predicted to shift in mid to high latitude regions with warmer spring temperatures, influencing the precision of leaf lifespan representation in Dynamic Global Vegetation Models. We are monitoring the leaf phenology of boreal tree species distributed across dynamic climate transition zones in Nova Scotia using solar powered remote digital repeat photography stations.




Earth System Models (ESMs) are climate models which include a representation of the global carbon cycle. To develop these models further representations of Nitrogen and Phosphorus cycles are being added to ESMs. The Climate Feedback Lab is developing nitrogen and phosphorus components for the University of Victoria Earth System Climate Model. We are currently looking for a graduate student to take over this project.



MacDougall, A.H., 2017:

The oceanic origin of path-independent carbon budgets

MacDougall, A.H., 2017: The oceanic origin of path-independent carbon budgets, Scientific Reports, 7, 10373, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-10557-x.

MacDougall, A.H., N.C. Swart, R. Knutti, 2017:

The uncertainty in the transient climate response to cumulative CO2 emissions arising from the uncertainty in physical climate parameters.

MacDougall, A.H., 2017: The oceanic origin of path-independent carbon budgets, Scientific Reports, 7, 10373, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-10557-x.

Zickfeld, K., A.H. MacDougall, H.D. Matthews, 2016:

Is there a proportional relationship between global cooling and cumulative negative CO2 emissions?

Zickfeld, K., A.H. MacDougall, H.D. Matthews, 2016: Is there a proportional relationship between global cooling and cumulative negative CO2 emissions? Environ. Res. Lett. 11 055006

MacDougall, A.H., R. Knutti, 2016:

Projecting the release of carbon from permafrost soils using a perturbed physics ensemble.

MacDougall, A.H., R. Knutti, 2016: Projecting the release of carbon from permafrost soils using a perturbed physics ensemble. Biogeosciences, 13, 2123–2136.

MacDougall, A.H., 2016:

The Transient Response to Cumulative CO2 emissions: A Review.

MacDougall, A.H., 2016: The Transient Response to Cumulative CO2 emissions: A Review. Current Climate Change Reports, 2, 39–47, DOI:10.1007/s40641-015-0030-6

MacDougall, A.H., K. Zickfeld, R. Knutti, H.D. Matthews, 2015:

Sensitivity of carbon budgets to permafrost carbon feedbacks, non-CO2 forcings, and negative emissions.

MacDougall, A.H., K. Zickfeld, R. Knutti, H.D. Matthews, 2015: Sensitivity of carbon budgets to permafrost carbon feedbacks, non-CO2 forcings, and negative emissions. Environ. Res. Lett. 10 125003

MacDougall, A. H., and P. Friedlingstein, 2015:

The origin and limits of the near proportionality between climate warming and cumulative CO2 emissions.

MacDougall, A. H., and P. Friedlingstein, 2015: The origin and limits of the near proportionality between climate warming and cumulative CO2 emissions. J. Climate, 28, 4217–4230.

Publications



Spafford and MacDougall 2020:

Quantifying the probability distribution function of the Transient Climate Response to Cumulative CO2 Emissions

Spafford L.*, A.H. MacDougall, 2020: Quantifying the probability distribution function of the Transient Climate Response to Cumulative CO2 Emissions, Environmental Research Letters, 15, 034044, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab6d7b

Jones et al. 2019:

The Zero Emissions Commitment Model Intercomparison Project (ZECMIP) contribution to C4MIP: quantifying committed climate changes following zero carbon emissions

Jones, C. D., Frölicher, T. L., Koven, C., MacDougall, A. H., Matthews, H. D., Zickfeld, K., Rogelj, J., Tokarska, K. B., Gillett, N., Ilyina, T., Meinshausen, M., Mengis, N., Séférian, R., and Eby, M., 2019 The Zero Emission Commitment Model Intercomparison Project (ZECMIP) contribution to CMIP6: Quantifying committed climate changes following zero carbon emissions, Geoscientific Model Development, 12, 4375-4385, doi: 0.5194/gmd-12-4375-2019

MacDougall, A.H., 2019:

Limitations of the 1% experiment as the benchmark idealized experiment for carbon cycle intercomparison in C4MIP, Geoscientific Model Development

MacDougall, A.H., 2019: Limitations of the 1% experiment as the benchmark idealized experiment for carbon cycle intercomparison in C4MIP, Geoscientific Model Development, 12, 597–611, doi: 10.5194/gmd-12-597-2019

McGuire, AD, DM. Lawrence, C Koven, JS Clein, E Burke, G Chen, E Jafarov, AH MacDougall, S Marchenko, D Nicolsky, S Peng, A Rinke, P Ciais, Is Gouttevin, DJ Hayes, D Ji, G Krinner, JC Moore, V Romanovsky, C Schädel, K Schaefer, EAG Schuur and Q Zhuang, 2018:

Dependence of the evolution of carbon dynamics in the northern permafrost region on the trajectory of climate change

McGuire, AD, DM. Lawrence, C Koven, JS Clein, E Burke, G Chen, E Jafarov, AH MacDougall, S Marchenko, D Nicolsky, S Peng, A Rinke, P Ciais, Is Gouttevin, DJ Hayes, D Ji, G Krinner, JC Moore, V Romanovsky, C Schädel, K Schaefer, EAG Schuur and Q Zhuang, 2018: Dependence of the evolution of carbon dynamics in the northern permafrost region on the trajectory of climate change, PNAS, 115, 3882–3887, doi/10.1073/pnas.1719903115

MacDougall, A.H., 2017:

The oceanic origin of path-independent carbon budgets

MacDougall, A.H., 2017: The oceanic origin of path-independent carbon budgets, Scientific Reports, 7, 10373, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-10557-x.

MacDougall, A.H., H. Beltrami, 2017:

Impact of deforestation on subsurface temperature profiles: implications for the borehole paleoclimate record.

MacDougall, A.H., H. Beltrami, 2017: Impact of deforestation on subsurface temperature profiles: implications for the borehole paleoclimate record. Environmental Research Letters, 12, 074014.

MacDougall, A.H., N.C. Swart, R. Knutti, 2017:

The uncertainty in the transient climate response to cumulative CO2 emissions arising from the uncertainty in physical climate parameters.

MacDougall, A.H., N.C. Swart, R. Knutti, 2017: The uncertainty in the transient climate response to cumulative CO2 emissions arising from the uncertainty in physical climate parameters. Journal of Climate, 30, 813–827, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0205.1.

MacDougall, A.H., 2016:

Permafrost Carbon: Catalyst for deglaciation.

MacDougall, A.H., 2016: Permafrost Carbon: Catalyst for deglaciation. Nature Geoscience (New & Views), 9, 648–649, doi:10.1038/ngeo2802

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Lynsay Makes National News!

Lynsay recently took The National on a tour of our field sites, to teach the nation about the impact of climate warming on Fall Colours. Check out the segment below! …