Dick and Ann Beamish at the Royal Society of Canada Gala Dinner in Victoria, November 2015. (Photo submitted)

Dick and Ann Beamish at the Royal Society of Canada Gala Dinner in Victoria, November 2015. (Photo submitted)

Panel discussion follows lecture series on Climate Change in Chemainus

Experts will be offering their insights into the impacts on local fisheries and forestry

A panel discussion will follow a series of three lectures on Global Warming at the Chemainus United Church.

The panel discussion on the impacts of global warming on local fisheries and forestry, with local and provincial government perspectives, takes place Friday, November 10 at 7 p.m. at the Chemainus United Church, 9814 Willow St.

Panelists include: Geoff Strong (Climatologist); Richard Beamish (Oceanographer); Erik Piikkila (Forest Ecologist and 4Seasons Eco School Developer); Jon Lefebure (Mayor, North Cowichan, and Chair, Board of Directors, Cowichan Valley Regional District) and Doug Routley (Member of the Provincial Legislature, Nanaimo-North Cowichan).

The Global Warming lecture series is part of Chemainus United Church’s Outreach Program and the first of several events on matters that are important to the community.

The first of the three lectures conducted by Strong dealt with global climate systems.

The second dealt with greenhouse gases, how they work, their historical presence in the atmosphere and recent accumulations.

For some 800,000 years carbon dioxide levels were stable. The levels have risen sharply from 300 parts per million to 400 in the last 50 years. The amount of methane being released from the Arctic tundra, as the permafrost melts, is also alarming, but measurements and research into the quantities locked in the tundra and the Arctic Ocean are not available due to a lack of funding.

The third lecture dealt with current impacts of global warming in the Arctic and the desertification in South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. There was also a discussion of the expected impact of a further rise of 2-4 C in global temperature.

About 50 people attended each of the lectures held in the church sanctuary.

“My hope is that the lectures and panel discussion will prompt the emergence of a group of concerned local residents who would promote/lobby for actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and give future generations a chance,” noted John Silins, who helped organize the sessions.