Research topics

My fields of study are mainly geophysics and remote sensing for monitoring natural hazards in a changing environment. My main focus is on the polar regions where my studies attempt to establish the complex links between human activity, climate change and associated natural hazards. I try to see the evolution of these risks in the long term using models by integrating field measurements.


Email

Alexandre.Langlois2@USherbrooke.ca  

Research program 

The main goal of the research program is to better characterize the impact of climate change in northern regions in a geohazard context. The recent craze for the North’s natural resources is creating an unprecedented increase in the need for energy, infrastructure, development, transportation, resource development and services, all of which are highly sensitive to climate change. With melting intimately linked to rising temperatures, there is a pressing need for the development of adaptation approaches in resource and infrastructure management to protect northern ecosystems and ensure the economic, social and cultural well-being of northern peoples. The program has 3 main axes: Characterization of the current impact of climate change in northern regions and the issues with the highest level of geohazard. Characterize geohazards in a context of predicting climate change under specific CO2 increase scenarios. Develop adaptation and planning strategies in accordance with objective 2. using geographic information systems, GIS. Keywords – Cryosphere and climate change; Land and ocean studies; Socio-economic issues and sustainable development; Atmospheric and ocean dynamics; Snow and sea ice; Multi-scale remote sensing (in-situ/airborne/satellite); Geohazard; Modelling and geographic information system (GIS); Project management; Arctic environmental issues.

Current projects 

1. Evaluation and improvement of the representation of snow cover in the Canadian Regional Climate models CRCM4 and CRCM5 over northern Québec The main objective of the proposed project is to evaluate and improve the representation of snow cover within the Canadian Regional Climate Model MRCC4 and MRCC5 in northern Quebec. Research activities include an assessment of the characterization of important snow cover processes in MRCC4 and MRCC5 in northern Quebec using new in-situ and remote sensing databases, the development of improved snow cover treatment, and a local climate sensitivity analysis in response to various snow-related processes. Team: Environment Canada, Ouranos, Université de Sherbrooke

2. Sila-illusaq The purpose of this project is therefore to study the interactions between snow, vegetation, permafrost and climate at subarctic and Arctic sites in order to quantitatively understand and predict (1) the future thermal regime of permafrost and (2) future GHG emissions from molten permafrost. Team: Takuvik, GAME, LGGE, CEN-UL, INRS-ÉTÉ, UQTR, Université de Sherbrooke, McGill University

3. Suivi de la fonte des calottes glaciaires du Nord par télédétection This project is part of the Natural Resources Canada’s Carto-Nord project to complete topographic coverage of Canada’s North at a scale of 1:50,000, led by the Centre for Topographic Information in Sherbrooke (CIT), in collaboration with the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing. Team: CIT, Université de Sherbrooke, University of Ottawa, Geological Survey of Canada, Parks Canada, CPSP, Canada Centre for Remote Sensing

4. France-Québec collaboration This project is the continuation of a collaboration that has been ongoing for several years between the Université de Sherbrooke and the Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l’Environnement de Grenoble, France. The main goal is to promote and develop innovative methods for measuring snow cover. Team: Université de Sherbrooke, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l’Environnement (LGGE)-CNRS-Université Joseph Fourier (Grenoble, France), Centre d’Étude de la Neige (Grenoble, France)

5. Monitoring of extreme winter weather events in the Arctic This project focuses on the development of methods for monitoring extreme climate events in the Arctic using in-situ and satellite measurements. In particular, the development of microwave methods is used to monitor rain-on-snow, heat waves and extreme precipitation. Team: Environment Canada, LGGE, CEN-UL, Université de Sherbrooke

6. Monitoring and modelling of winter snowmelt in the Arctic The main goal of the project is to better understand the impact of these winter melt events on the properties of the air-soil-ice interface in order to develop semi-empirical methods for satellite detection of winter melt and to model the snow cover under such conditions. Efforts will focus on two fronts: 1) tundra in Nunavik and 2) the Barnes Ice Cap in Baffin Island, Nunavut. Team: Clark University, UQTR, LGGE, Université de Sherbrooke

7. Improving avalanche risk prediction: measurements and modelling The purpose of this project is to improve the risk modeling from the SNOWPACK model using field measurements. State-of-the-art instruments developed over the past 5 years provide essential information for the realization of the project. Team: Parks Canada, University of Calgary, SLF-Davos, Centre d’avalanche de la Haute Gaspésie, Université de Sherbrooke

8. Assessment of food access conditions of the Caribou Peary in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago by modelling Climate change is causing significant changes in snow conditions, affecting food access conditions for some species, including the Caribou Peary. The project therefore aims to model the state of past, present and future snow cover to determine the spatial and temporal evolution of food access conditions. Team: Environment Canada, Université de Sherbrooke


Publications (selected articles)