Tim Patterson

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Tim Patterson
Tim p.jpg
Alma materDalhousie 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
InstitutionsUniversity of Southern California, Carleton University
Thesis (1986)
Doctoral advisorHelen Niña Tappan Loeblich
Other academic advisorsDavid B. Scott, Franco S. Medioli, Alfred R. Loeblich Jr, Charlotte A. Brunner

R. Timothy Patterson is a professor of geology in the Department of Earth Sciences [1] at Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He is a Canadian 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 300 scholarly contributions, including over 180 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. 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. He is also engaged in research on tracking the influence of climate change on metal transport in northern lakes and has partnered with indigenous peoples of the Northwest Territories to develop research tools to calibrate western scientific reconstructions of past climate against the oral histories that are provided by First Nations communities.[9]

In June 2007 he authored a general interest article in the Financial Post (the business section of the National Post, a major Canadian newspaper) predicting general climatic cooling as the sun enters Solar cycle 25 about 2018. He based his prediction on the close correlation between solar and climate cycles in his high resolution analysis of late Holocene cores deposited under anoxic conditions within deep Western Canadian fjords.[10] Solar cycle 25 will be as weak as solar cycles in the early 19th century during a very cold phase of the Little Ice Age. At this time drought and short growing seasons would have made present day agricultural practices used in areas like the grain growing region of western Canada impossible. In a November 2015 address to the Canadian International Council (CIC) "Climate Change: Ottawa, and the Provinces are Going to Paris" [11] he stated that in addition to concerns over the long-term impact of global warming it would be prudent for Canadian policy makers and planners to be made aware that "climatic cooling associated with Solar Cycle 25 and a corresponding trough in the Gleissberg Cycle may negatively impact the Canadian agricultural sector. During any climatic warming agricultural methods used to the south can be immediately adapted. However, cooling such as may occur beginning about 2018 would be an agricultural and national disaster as no one is farming north of us."

A similar approach based on generic geochemical data and astrophysical deliberations was published by Jan Veizer and Nir J. Shaviv in GSA Today,[12] describing a reduced (capped) influence of carbon dioxide to Climate Change and attributing a more significant influence to cosmic rays. While the mechanism seems not yet to be fully understood, the empirical data showed a suitable fit. The results, not the thesis are in line with the minimal level of the consented temperature predictions of the IPCC.

Select publications[edit]

  • Patterson, R.T., Swindles, G.T., 2015. Influence of ocean-atmostpheric oscillations on lake ice phenology in eastern North America. Climate Dynamics. v. 45, p. 293-2308.
  • Patterson, R.T., Chang, A.S., Prokoph, A., Roe, H.M., Swindles, G.T. 2013. Influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, El Niño-Southern Oscillation and solar forcing on climate and primary productivity changes in the northeast Pacific. Quaternary International. v. 310 p. 124-139.
  • Patterson, R.T., Prokoph, A., Reinhardt, E., and Roe, H., 2007. "Climate cyclicity in anoxic marine sediments from the Seymour-Belize Inlet Complex, British Columbia". Marine Geology. v. 242, 123-140.
  • Patterson, R.T., Dalby, A.P., Roe, H.M., Guilbault, J.-P., Hutchinson, I., and Clague, J.J. 2005. "Relative utility of foraminifera, diatoms and macrophytes as high resolution indicators of paleo-sea level". Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 24, p. 2002-2014.
  • Chang, A.S., and Patterson, R.T. 2005. "Climate shift at 4400 years BP: Evidence from high-resolution diatom stratigraphy, Effingham Inlet, British Columbia, Canada". Palaeogeography, Palaeclimatology, Palaeoecology. v. 226, 72-92.
  • Patterson, R.T., Prokoph, A., and Chang, A.S. 2004. "Late Holocene sedimentary response to solar and cosmic ray activity influenced climate variability in the NE Pacific". Sedimentary Geology. 172, p. 67-84.
  • Prokoph, A., and Patterson, R.T. 2004. "Application of wavelet and discontinuity analysis to trace temperature changes: Eastern Ontario as a case study. Atmosphere Ocean". v. 42, p. 201-212.
  • Patterson, R.T., Fowler, A.D., and Huber, B., 2004. "Evidence of Hierarchical Organization in the Planktic Foraminiferal Evolutionary Record". Journal of Foraminiferal Research, v. 34 (2), p. 85-95.
  • Patterson, R.T., Prokoph A., Wright, C., Chang, A.S., Thomson, R.E., and Ware, D.M., 2004. "Holocene Solar Variability and Pelagic Fish Productivity in the NE Pacific". Palaeontologia Electronica, v. 6 (1). 17 pp.
  • Gehrels, W.R., Milne, G.A., Jason R. Kirby, J.R., Patterson, R.T., and Belknap, D.F., 2004. "Late Holocene sea-level changes and isostatic crustal movements in Atlantic Canada. Quaternary International". v. 120, p. 79-89.

Academic group memberships[edit]


  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. ^ "Canada seeks traditional aboriginal knowledge on climate change". Toronto Star. 12 March 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  10. ^ R. Timothy Patterson (20 June 2007). "Read the sunspots". Financial Post. Archived from the original on 29 October 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2007.
  11. ^ "Climate Change: Ottawa, and the Provinces are Going to Paris". Canadian International Council. 20 November 2016. Archived from the original on 2 January 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  12. ^ Shaviv, Nir J.; J. Veizer (2003). "Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate?" (PDF). GSA Today. Geological Society of America. 13 (7): 4–10. doi:10.1130/1052-5173(2003)013<0004:CDOPC>2.0.CO;2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2011.

External links[edit]