Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences:
the coordinated voice for Canadian Earth Sciences

The Mission of CFES is to be the coordinated voice of the Earth science community in Canada, ensuring that decision makers and the general public understand the contributions of Earth sciences to Canadian society and the Canadian economy

What is CFES - what does CFES do?

CFES/FCST was established in 2006 as the successor to the Canadian Geoscience Council (CGC). CFES is an umbrella organization of 12 Canadian member societies and 2 cooperative groups (the list of member organizations is here). Our constituency represents industry (minerals, hydrocarbons, environmental/geotechnical), government (Provincial/Territorial Geological Surveys) and Academia, in total, an estimated 20,000 Canadian earth scientists.  CFES/FCST also closely cooperates with 4 observer organizations.

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News & Events

Aug 16, 2014

A new paper helps quantify how much of the global loss of glaciers can be attributed to human activity as opposed to natural variation in earth’s temperature. The study uses a mathematical model to compare the amount of glacier melt that would have been expected based on natural and man-made forcings to the actual amount.

For the overall time period of 1851 to 2010, the human contribution is hard to quantify, and is reported as 25 ± 35 per cent. However, the availability of better data in more recent decades allows a more detailed analysis for the period 1991 to 2010; here the human contribution is reported at 69 ± 24 per cent.

The model complements similar results obtained for global temperatures and sea levels.

Original research paper published in the journal Science on August 14, 2014.

Jul 28, 2014

Well-preserved fossil footprints provide the first trackway evidence that Tyrannosaurs may have travelled in packs.

The footprints were found in rocks from northeastern British Columbia and show three Tyrannosaurs travelling in the same direction at the same time, relatively close together. Until now, the evidence for the pack-like nature of Tyrannosaurs relied on the proximity of their bones and trackways of related species.

The footprints also provide important information about the gait of Tyrannosaurs.

Original research paper published in the journal PLoS ONE on July 23, 2014.

Jul 8, 2014

New data from trees preserved in lakes in the Taiga of northern Quebec show that eastern Canada experienced much colder than usual summers following distant volcanic eruptions in the 13th century, and again in the 19th century.

The so-called ‘Little Ice Age’ is well-documented in the historical and tree ring records worldwide, but the strength and duration of cold episodes following the large volcanic eruptions has remained a topic of debate and until now there was little data from eastern North America.

The authors note the abruptness of the shift to colder summers and suggest that eastern Canada may be particularly sensitive to the effects of volcanic eruptions.

Original research paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) on June 30, 2014.

Jun 27, 2014

On June 7th at the 17th Annual Meeting of Geoscientists Canada, Paul Rennick, P.Geo, took office as President 2014-2015, after serving a year as its President-Elect. Mr. Rennick resides in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where he is employed by the Ministry of Energy and Mines as its Manager, Promotion and Information Services. Geoscientists Canada, is the national organization of the 10 provincial and territorial licensing bodies/ordre that regulate the practice of geoscience in Canada.

Jun 25, 2014

Every 14 months, a ‘slow’ earthquake occurs beneath Vancouver island which last for 10 to 14 days; a new study helps explain why some slow quakes happen more frequently than others.

Occurring along faults around the world at a depth of 25-40 km, slow earthquakes are undetectable by humans, but they vary in frequency, with some happening as often as every six months. The study shows that the more silica there is in the continental crust, the faster ‘slow’ earthquakes will occur. Silica lets water flow more easily through the crust, lubricating the fault and making the earthquakes happen sooner.

While slow earthquakes are not dangerous, there is a slightly higher risk that a conventional earthquake could start during a slow earthquake.

Full paper from Nature
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