Tim Patterson

Last updated

Tim Patterson
Tim p.jpg
Alma mater Dalhousie University (BA, BSc), University of California, Los Angeles (PhD)
Known forClimate Change and Environmental Earth Sciences
Scientific career
FieldsMicropaleontology, Paleoclimatology, Paleolimnology, Paleoceanography, Environmental Earth Sciences
Institutions University of Southern California, Carleton University
Thesis  (1986)
Doctoral advisor Helen Niña Tappan Loeblich
Other academic advisorsDavid B. Scott, Franco S. Medioli, Alfred R. Loeblich Jr, Charlotte A. Brunner
Website carleton.ca/timpatterson/

R. Timothy Patterson is a Canadian professor of geology, Chairman of the Department of Earth Sciences [1] at Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and a researcher with specialization in paleolimnology, paleoceanography, and paleoclimatology. He founded and is co-Director of the Carleton Climate and Environmental Research Group (CCERG) [2] He has previously served as Director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre and as senior visiting fellow in the School of Geography, Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland. [3]



Patterson has made more than 400 scholarly contributions, including over 200 peer-reviewed journal publications and book chapters. [4] Patterson is also an international lecturer and media commentator, primarily contributing to increasing public awareness of environmental issues. He co-founded and served as Executive Editor (1997–2000) of Palaeontologia Electronica (PE). [5] Palaeontologia Electronica covers all aspects of palaeontology, and is the world's longest running open-access, peer-reviewed electronic journal. He also previously served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Foraminiferal Research (1995–2008), [6] and the journal Micropaleontology (1990–1997). [7]

Patterson works on a wide array of research subjects, most of which are based on analysis of marine and lake sediments to reconstruct past environments. [8] He uses many techniques to understand the history of marine and lake environments from the perspective of: 1) the influence of climate variability on aquatic ecosystem services (AES); 2) the impact of degradation resulting from human activities on AES, and 3) the degree to which remediation and mitigation efforts are successful in improving AES. [ citation needed ] He has developed technologies that permit extraction of very high-resolution paleoenvironmental records, and uses time series analysis techniques to recognize trends and cycles in the climate record. Other research focuses on assessing the impact of nutrient loading and road salt contamination on lake environments.[ citation needed ]

Views on climate change

Patterson has publicly opposed the scientific consensus on climate change which says that burning fossil fuels causes global warming. [9] He has promoted the view that changes in the Earth's climate are influenced less by carbon dioxide than by solar cycles, changes in the Earth's orbit around the sun, and cosmic rays. [9] Patterson is an advisor to Friends of Science, an organization that rejects the concept that climate change is caused by human activity. [9] He is associated with the Heartland Institute, another climate denial organization. [10] In a 2002 news conference sponsored by Imperial Oil and other companies, he argued against Canada ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. [11]

In June 2007 he authored an article in the Financial Post as part of its series on scientists who disagreed with the scientific consensus. [12] The article predicted general climatic cooling as the sun enters Solar cycle 25 about 2018, [12] which did not occur.

Environmental research

More recently he led a research team that investigated the long term viability under a changing climate of the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road (TCWR), the world’s longest longest heavy haul ice road, that extends 588 km north from the start point in Yellowknife Northwest Territories (NT). Statistical downscale climate model projections produced by the team suggest that under a projected future warming scenario that there is a trend towards thinner lake ice and a reduced time window when lake ice is at sufficient thickness to support trucks on the ice road. [13] It was also recognized during this work that further complications are presented by the cyclic influences of climate teleconnections such as El Niño, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, as well as variability in solar forcing. [14] [15] [16] Considering the importance of this ice road to the economy of the NT the work highlighted the need for planners and policy makers to consider future changes in climate when planning annual haulage along the TCWR. The work is of practical application to industry, which under the Mine Site Reclamation Policy for the Northwest Territories requires that mine operators plan for closure and cleanup of mine sites before operations even begin. The realization that limnological conditions in lakes adjacent to new mine sites may naturally vary considerably through the life cycle of a mine contributed valuable information for the environmental assessment process. [17] [18] [19] [20] Tim Patterson is presently co-team lead, together with professors Francine McCarthy and Martin Head of Brock University, in the effort to have Crawford Lake within the Crawford Lake Conservation Area, Milton, Ontario, designated as the Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the proposed Anthropocene Epoch, with a start point in the mid-20th century. The annually deposited varves recovered with freeze corers from the lake provide a perfectly preserved record of the post WWII Great Acceleration and nuclear testing, which are key requirements for the Anthropocene GSSP. [21] [22]

Select publications

Academic group memberships

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Climate</span> Statistics of weather conditions in a given region over long periods

Climate is the long-term weather pattern in a region, typically averaged over 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from months to millions of years. Some of the meteorological variables that are commonly measured are temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, and precipitation. In a broader sense, climate is the state of the components of the climate system, including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere and biosphere and the interactions between them. The climate of a location is affected by its latitude, longitude, terrain, altitude, land use and nearby water bodies and their currents.

The Holocene is the current geological epoch. It began approximately 11,650 cal years Before Present, after the Last Glacial Period, which concluded with the Holocene glacial retreat. The Holocene and the preceding Pleistocene together form the Quaternary period. The Holocene has been identified with the current warm period, known as MIS 1. It is considered by some to be an interglacial period within the Pleistocene Epoch, called the Flandrian interglacial.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Little Ice Age</span> Climatic cooling after the Medieval Warm Period (16th – 19th century)

The Little Ice Age (LIA) was a period of regional cooling, particularly pronounced in the North Atlantic region. It was not a true ice age of global extent. The term was introduced into scientific literature by François E. Matthes in 1939. The period has been conventionally defined as extending from the 16th to the 19th centuries, but some experts prefer an alternative timespan from about 1300 to about 1850.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Climate variability and change</span> Change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns for an extended period

Climate variability includes all the variations in the climate that last longer than individual weather events, whereas the term climate change only refers to those variations that persist for a longer period of time, typically decades or more. Climate change may refer to any time in Earth's history, but the term is now commonly used to describe contemporary climate change. Since the Industrial Revolution, the climate has increasingly been affected by human activities.

The Younger Dryas, which occurred circa 12,900 to 11,700 years BP, was a return to glacial conditions which temporarily reversed the gradual climatic warming after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), which lasted from circa 27,000 to 20,000 years BP. The Younger Dryas was the last stage of the Pleistocene epoch that spanned from 2,580,000 to 11,700 years BP and it preceded the current, warmer Holocene epoch. The Younger Dryas was the most severe and long lasting of several interruptions to the warming of the Earth's climate, and it was preceded by the Late Glacial Interstadial, an interval of relative warmth that lasted from 14,670 to 12,900 BP.

The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is a weather phenomenon over the North Atlantic Ocean of fluctuations in the difference of atmospheric pressure at sea level (SLP) between the Icelandic Low and the Azores High. Through fluctuations in the strength of the Icelandic Low and the Azores High, it controls the strength and direction of westerly winds and location of storm tracks across the North Atlantic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Glossary of climate change</span> List of definitions of terms and concepts commonly used in the study of climate change

This glossary of climate change is a list of definitions of terms and concepts relevant to climate change, global warming, and related topics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">West Greenland Current</span> Weak cold water current that flows to the north along the west coast of Greenland

The West Greenland Current is a weak cold water current that flows to the north along the west coast of Greenland. The current results from the movement of water flowing around the southernmost point of Greenland caused by the East Greenland Current.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Climate system</span> Interactions that create Earths climate and may result in climate change

Earth's climate system is a complex system having five interacting components: the atmosphere (air), the hydrosphere (water), the cryosphere, the lithosphere and the biosphere. Climate is the statistical characterization of the climate system, representing the average weather, typically over a period of 30 years, and is determined by a combination of processes in the climate system, such as ocean currents and wind patterns. Circulation in the atmosphere and oceans is primarily driven by solar radiation and transports heat from the tropical regions to regions that receive less energy from the Sun. The water cycle also moves energy throughout the climate system. In addition, different chemical elements, necessary for life, are constantly recycled between the different components.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nir Shaviv</span> Israeli-American astrophysicist

Nir Joseph Shaviv is an Israeli‐American physics professor. He is professor at the Racah Institute of Physics of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bond event</span> North Atlantic ice rafting events

Bond events are North Atlantic ice rafting events that are tentatively linked to climate fluctuations in the Holocene. Eight such events have been identified. Bond events were previously believed to exhibit a roughly c. 1,500-year cycle, but the primary period of variability is now put at c. 1,000 years.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Iron Age Cold Epoch</span> Period of unusually cold climate in the North Atlantic region

The Iron Age Cold Epoch was a period of unusually cold climate in the North Atlantic region, lasting from about 900 BC to about 300 BC, with an especially cold wave in 450 BC during the expansion of ancient Greece. It was followed by the Roman Warm Period . Gill Plunkett and Graeme T. Swindles of Queen's University Belfast used volcanic ash layers and radiocarbon dating to constrain the start of Iron Age climate deterioration in Ireland to 750 BC.

This is a list of climate change topics.

The Kanguk Formation is a geological formation in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Canada whose strata date back to the Late Cretaceous. Dinosaur remains are among the fossils that have been recovered from the formation.

Palaeontologia Electronica is a triannual peer-reviewed open-access scientific journal published by Coquina Press covering paleontology. It was established in 1998 and is the oldest fully open-access electronic journal of paleontology. The journal is sponsored by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, the Paleontological Society, the Palaeontological Association, and the Western Interior Paleontological Society. The editors-in-chief are Julien Louys and Andrew Bush. In 2000, the first taxonomic names published electronically under new rules in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature were published in the journal by Scott et al. (2000) for three new species of fossil foraminifera: Eggerella matsunoi, Haplophragmoides hatai, and Haplophragmoides nishikizawensis.

The Homeric Minimum is a grand solar minimum that took place between 2,800 and 2,550 years Before Present. It appears to coincide with, and have been the cause of, a phase of climate change at that time, which involved a wetter Western Europe and drier eastern Europe. This had far-reaching effects on human civilization, some of which may be recorded in Greek mythology and the Old Testament.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Medieval Warm Period</span> Time of warm climate in the North Atlantic region lasting from c. 950 to c. 1250

The Medieval Warm Period (MWP), also known as the Medieval Climate Optimum or the Medieval Climatic Anomaly, was a time of warm climate in the North Atlantic region that lasted from c. 950 to c. 1250. Climate proxy records show peak warmth occurred at different times for different regions, which indicate that the MWP was not a globally uniform event. Some refer to the MWP as the Medieval Climatic Anomaly to emphasize that climatic effects other than temperature were also important.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Amelia E. Shevenell</span> American marine geologist

Amelia E. Shevenell is an American marine geologist who specializes in high-latitude paleoclimatology and paleoceanography. She is currently an Associate Professor in the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida. She has made notable contributions to understanding the history of the Antarctic ice sheets and published in high-impact journals and, as a result, was awarded full membership of Sigma Xi. She has a long record of participation in international ocean drilling programs and has served in leadership positions of these organizations. Shevenell is the elected Geological Oceanography Council Member for The Oceanography Society (2019-2021).

Graeme Swindles is a geoscientist from Northern Ireland, currently a Professor of Physical Geography at Queen's University Belfast.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anil Kumar Gupta (scientist)</span> Indian scientist

Anil Kumar Gupta is a scientist and researcher from India who serves as a Professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. He was also the former Director (2010–2017) of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, India. His teaching interests include applied micropaleontology, paleoceanography and marine geosciences.


  1. "Department of Earth Sciences".
  2. "Carleton Climate and Environmental Research Group (CCERG)". Invest Ottawa. 15 August 2014. Archived from the original on 2 January 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  3. "Biography". Carleton University. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  4. "Publications". Carleton University. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  5. "Palaeontologia Electronica". Coquina Press. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  6. "Journal of Foraminiferal Research". Cushman Foundation. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  7. "Micropaleontology". Micropaleontology Press. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  8. "Research Interests". Carleton University. 26 April 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  9. 1 2 3 Spears, T. (2007, Sep 16). The end is not near; Tim Patterson is one of few scientists who doesn't believe humans are warming the climate. The Ottawa Citizen via ProQuest
  10. "Who We Are - R. Timothy Patterson | Heartland Institute". www.heartland.org. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  11. Anti-Kyoto scientists dispute greenhouse claims: [final edition]. (2002, Nov 14). The Guelph Mercury via Proquest
  12. 1 2 R. Timothy Patterson (20 June 2007). "Read the sunspots". Financial Post. Archived from the original on 29 October 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2007.
  13. Mullan, Donal; Swindles, Graeme; Patterson, Tim; Galloway, Jennifer; MacUmber, Andrew; Falck, Hendrik; Crossley, Laura; Chen, Jie; Pisaric, Michael (25 May 2016). "Climate change and the long-term viability of the World's busiest heavy haul ice road". Theoretical and Applied Climatology. Springer. 129 (3–4): 1089–1108. doi: 10.1007/s00704-016-1830-x . S2CID   52250074.
  14. MacUmber, Andrew L.; Patterson, R Timothy; Galloway, Jennifer M.; Falck, Hendrik; Swindles, Graeme T. (13 January 2018). "Reconstruction of Holocene hydroclimatic variability in subarctic treeline lakes using lake sediment grain-size end-members". The Holocene. Sage. 28 (6): 845–857. doi:10.1177/0959683617752836. S2CID   52240991 . Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  15. Dalton, April S.; Patterson, R. Timothy; Roe, Helen M.; MacUmber, Andrew L.; Swindles, Graeme T.; Galloway, Jennifer M.; Vermaire, Jesse C.; Crann, Carley A.; Falck, Hendrik (28 June 2018). "Late Holocene climatic variability in Subarctic Canada: Insights from a high-resolution lake record from the central Northwest Territories". PLOS ONE. 13 (6): e0199872. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199872 . PMC   6023164 . PMID   29953559.
  16. Gregory, B.R.B.; Patterson, R.T.; Galloway, J.M.; Reinhardt, E.G. (2021). "The impact of cyclical, multi-decadal to centennial climate variability on arsenic sequestration in lacustrine sediments". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 565: 110189. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2020.110189. S2CID   233850746.
  17. "NRCan funds sustainable mining research at Carleton=Mining Magazine". 6 August 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  18. "How pulling frozen mud 'Popsicles' from N.W.T. lakes can help make mining cleaner". 6 August 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  19. "Carleton University gets influx of funding for green technologies". 7 August 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  20. "Indigenous Knowledge Puts Industrial Pollution in Perspective". 26 September 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  21. "Humans versus Earth: the quest to define the Anthropocene". 26 June 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  22. "The Geological Anthropocene – Crawford Lake Canada – Anthropocene Working Group". 11 May 2022. Retrieved 22 October 2022.