Providing Regional Climate Services to British Columbia

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Francis Zwiers

Director, President and CEO

Before becoming Director of the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, Dr. Zwiers served as a Research Scientist (1984-2006), Chief of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (1997-2006) and Director of the Climate Research Division (2006-2010), all at Environment Canada. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics of the University of Victoria and in the Dept. of Statistics and Actuarial Science of Simon Fraser University. His expertise is in the application of statistical methods to the analysis of observed and simulated climate variability and change. Dr. Zwiers is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Meteorological Society, a recipient of the Patterson Medal, has served as an IPCC Coordinating Lead Author of the Fourth Assessment Report, and is an elected member of the IPCC Bureau.

  • PhD, Department of Mathematics (Statistics), Dalhousie University
  • MSc, Department of Mathematics (Statistics), Acadia University
  • BMath, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Waterloo
Selected Publications: 
Refereed and Equivalent Publications
  • Salimun, E., F. Tangang, L. Juneng, F.W. Zwiers, W.J Merry eld, 2013: Skill evaluation of CanCM4 for seasonal climate forecast over Malaysia during the early and late winter monsoon periods. International Journal of Climatology, submitted.
  • Sillman, J., V.V. Kharin, F.W. Zwiers, X. Zhang, 2013: Evaluating model simulated variability in temperature extremes using modified percentile indices. International Journal of Climatology, submitted.
  • Shrestha, R.R., M.A. Schnorbus, A.T. Werner, F.W. Zwiers, 2013: Evaluating hydro-climatic change signals from statistically and dynamically downscaled GCMs and hydrologic models. Journal of Hydrometeorology, submitted.
  • Zhang, X., H. Wan, F.W. Zwiers, G.C. Hegerl, X. Min, 2013: Attributing intensi cation of precipitation extremes to human inuence. Geophysical Research Letters, submitted.
  • Fyfe, J.C., N.P. Gillett, F.W. Zwiers, 2013: The recent hiatus in global warming. Nature Climate Change, submitted.
  • Min, S.-K., X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, G.C. Hegerl, 2013: Replying to Ingram Human impact on heavy rain not sound. Nature, submitted.
  • Shrestha, R.R., M.A. Schnorbus, A.T. Werner, F.W. Zwiers, 2013: Evaluating hydro-climatic change signals from statistically and dynamically downscaled GCMs and hydrologic models. Journal of Hydrometeorology, submitted.
  • Wang, X.L., Y. Feng, G.P. Compo, F.W. Zwiers, R.J. Allan, V.R. Swail, and P.D. Sardeshmukh, 2013: Is the storminess in the Twentieth Century Reanalysis really inconsistent with observations? - A reply to the comment by Krueger et al. (2013). Climate Dynamics, doi: 10.1007/s00382-013-1828-3.
  • Min, S.-K., X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, H. Shiogama, Y.-S. Tung, M.F. Wehner, 2012: Multi-Model Detection and Attribution of Extreme Temperature Changes. Journal of Climate, doi:
  • Murdock, T.Q.M., S.R. Sobie, F.W. Zwiers, H.D. Eckstrand, 2012: Climate change and extremes in the Canadian Columbia Basin. Atmosphere-Ocean, accepted subject to minor revisions.
  • Kharin, V.V., F.W. Zwiers, X. Zhang, M.F. Wehner, 2013: Changes in temperature and precipitation extremes in the CMIP5 ensemble. Climatic Change, in press, doi:10.1007/s10584-013-0705-8.
  • Sillmann, J., V.V. Kharin, X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, 2013: Climate extreme indices in the CMIP5 multi-model ensemble. Part 1: Model evaluation in the present climate. Journal of Geophysical Research, 118, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50203.
  • Sillmann, J., V.V. Kharin, F.W. Zwiers, X. Zhang, 2013: Climate extreme indices in the CMIP5 multi-model ensemble. Part 2: Future climate projections Journal of Geophysical Research, in press, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50188.
  • Wan, H., X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, H. Shiogama, 2013: Effect of data coverage on the estimation of mean and variability of precipitation at global and regional scales. Journal of Geophysical Research, 118, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50118.
  • Westra, S., L.V. Alexander, F.W. Zwiers, 2013: Global increasing trends in annual maximum daily precipitation. Journal of Climate, in press, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00502.1.
  • Zwiers, F.W., L.V. Alexander, G.C. Hegerl, T.R. Knutson, J. Kossin, P. Naveau, N. Nicholls, C. Schär, S.I. Seneviratne and X. Zhang, 2013: Challenges in Estimating and Understanding Recent Changes in the Frequency and Intensity of Extreme Climate and Weather Events. In (Climate Science for Serving Society: Research, Modelling and Prediction Priorities, G. Asrar and J. Hurrell, eds.), in press.
  • Flower, A., T.Q. Murdock, S.W. Taylor, F.W. Zwiers, 2013: Using an ensemble of downscaled climate model projections to assess impacts of climate change on the potential distribution of spruce and Douglas-_r forests in British Columbia. Journal of Environmental Science and Policy, 26, 63-74, doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2012.07.024.
  • Murdock, T.Q., S.W. Taylor, A. Flower, A. Mehlenbacher, A. Montenegro, F.W. Zwiers, R. Alfaro, 2012: Pest outbreak distribution and forest management impacts in a changing climate in British Columbia. Journal of Environmental Science and Policy, 26, 75-89, doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2012.07.026
  • Christidis, N., P.A. Stott, F.W. Zwiers, H. Shiogama, 2012: The contribution of anthropogenic forcings to regional changes in temperature during the last decade. Climate Dynamics, 39,12591274, doi:10.1007/s00382-011-1184-0.8
  • von Storch, H., F.W. Zwiers, 2012: Testing ensembles of climate change scenarios for statistical significance. Climatic Change, 10.1007/s10584-012-0551-0
  • Vyushin, D.I., P.J. Kushner and F.W. Zwiers, 2012: Modelling and understanding persistence of natural climate variability. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, D21106, doi:10.1029/2012JD018240
  • Wang, X.L., Y. Feng, G. P. Compo, V.R. Swail, F.W. Zwiers, R.J. Allan, and P.D. Sardeshmukh, 2012: Trends and low frequency variability of extra-tropical cyclone activity in the ensemble of Twentieth Century Reanalysis, Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-012-1450-9.
  • Yu, B., F.W. Zwiers, G.J. Boer and M.F. Ting, 2012: Structure and variances of equatorial zonal circulation in a multimodel ensemble. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-012-1372-6.
  • Zwiers, F.W., G.C. Hegerl, S.-K. Min, X. Zhang, 2012: Historical Context. In "Explaining Extreme Events of 2011 from a Climate Perspective", P.A. Stott and T.C. Peterson, eds., Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00021.1.
  • Li, G., X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, and Q.H. Wen, 2012: Quantification of uncertainty in high resolution temperature scenarios for North America. Journal of Climate, 25, 3373-3389, doi:10.1175/JCLID-11-00217.1
  • Zhang, X., L. Alexander, G.C. Hegerl, P. Jones, A. Klein-Tank, T.C. Peterson, B. Trewin, F.W. Zwiers, 2011: Indices for Monitoring Changes in Extremes based on Daily Temperature and Precipitation Data. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Climate Change, doi:10.1002/wcc.147.
  • Hegerl, G.C., P.A. Stott, S. Solomon, F.W. Zwiers, 2011: Comment on Climate Science and the Uncertainty Monster by J. A. Curry and P. J. Webster. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2011, doi:10.1175/BAM-D-11-00191.1
  • Hegerl, G.C., F.W. Zwiers, C. Tebaldi, 2011: Patterns of change: whose fingerprint is seen in global warming? Environmental Research Letters, 2011, 6, 044025, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/044025.
  • Wang, X.L., H. Wan, F.W. Zwiers, V.R. Swail, G.P. Compo, R.J. Allan, R.S. Vose, S. Jourdain, X. Yin, 2011: Trends and low-frequency variability of storminess over western Europe, 1878-2007. Climate Dynamics, 37, 23552371, doi:10.1007/s00382-011-1107-0.
  • Yu B., G.J. Boer, and F. Zwiers, 2011: Surface heat flux feedback and SST variability. Trans. Atmos. Sci., 34, 1-7.
  • Hegerl, G.C., F.W. Zwiers, 2011: Use of models in detection and attribution of climate change, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Climate Change, 2, 570-591, doi:10.1002/wcc.121.
  • Hoegh-Guldberg, O., G. Hegerl, T. Root, F. Zwiers, P. Stott, D. Pierce, M. Allen, 2011: Reply to: "Overstretching attribution" by Parmesan et al. (2011). Nature Climate Change, 1, doi:10.1038/nclimate1107.
  • Min, S.-K., X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, G.C. Hegerl, 2011: Human contribution to more intense precipitation events. Nature, 470, 378-381, doi:10.1038/nature09763.
  • Zwiers, F.W., X. Zhang, J. Feng, 2011: Anthropogenic inuence on extreme daily temperatures at regional scales. Journal of Climate, 24, 881-892, doi:10.1175/2010JCLI3908.1.
  • Stott, P.A., G.S. Jones, N. Christidis, F.W. Zwiers, G.C. Hegerl, H. Shiogama, 2011: Single-step attribution of increasing probabilities of very warm regional temperatures to human inuence. Atmospheric Science Letters, doi:10.1002/asl.315.
Books, Chapters, Short Communications and Similar Publications
  • Zwiers, F.W., G.C. Hegerl, X. Zhang, Q. Wen, 2013: Quantifying the human and natural contributions to observed climate change. In Statistics in Action: A Canadian Perspective, J. Lawless, ed. Statistical Society of Canada, accepted.
  • Zhang, X, F.W. Zwiers, 2013: Statistical indices for the diagnosing and detecting changes in extremes. In In Hydrologic extremes in a changing climate: detection, analysis and uncertainty (AghaKouchak, A., D. Easterling, K. Hsu, S. Schubert, and S. Sorooshian, eds.,), Springer-Verlag, pp 1-14, doi:10.1007/978-94-007-4479-0 1.
  • Zwiers, F.W. and H. von Storch, 2012: Regional Climate Services Workshop 2011. EOS, 93, doi:10.1029/2012EO230009.
  • Seneviratne, S.I., N. Nicholls, et el (Zwiers is listed as a Contributing Author), 2012: Changes in climate extremes and their impacts on the natural Physical environment. In: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation [Field, C.B., V. Barros, T.F. Stocker, D. Qin, D.J. Dokken, K.L. Ebi, M.D. Mastrandrea, K.J. Mach, G.-K. Plattner, S.K. Allen, M. Tignor, and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, and New York, NY, USA, pp. 109-230. Available at
  • Zwiers, F.W. and G. Bürger, 2012: Climate change scenarios for impacts assessment. In Encyclopedia of Environmetrics, 2nd Edition [El-Shaarawi, A.H. and W.W. Piegorsch (eds.)], ISBN: 978-0-470-97388-2.
  • Zwiers, F.W., M.A. Schnorbus and G.D. Maruszeczka, 2011: Hydrologic Impacts of Climate Change on BC Water Resources: Summary Report for the Campbell, Columbia and Peace River Watersheds. Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium. Available at
  • Hegerl, G.C., F.W. Zwiers, and P.A. Stott, 2011: Detection and Attibution of Climate Change. In Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather, 2nd Edition, S.J. Schneider and M. Mastendrea, Eds. Oxford University Press. E-reference edition available at
  • Mastrandrea, M.D., C.B. Field, T.F. Stocker, O. Edenhofer, K.L. Ebi, D.J. Frame, H. Held, E. Kriegler, K.J. Mach, P.R. Matschoss, G.-K. Plattner, G.W. Yohe, and F.W. Zwiers, 2010: Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Available at