Cynthia H. Whaley, PhD

Image Cynthia Whaley
Research Scientist

Research scientist with CCCma, working on development and applications of short-lived climate pollutants in the CanESM climate model.

Formally a physical sciences specialist with ARQI, working on research and development with the GEM-MACH air quality model.

Current research and/or projects

Research of climate and air quality issues using Environment and Climate Change Canada's climate model, CanESM, and air quality forecasting model, GEM-MACH.

  • development and application of short-lived climate pollutants in the Canadian Atmospheric Model (CanAM)
  • model evaluation and analysis for the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme Short-lived climate forcers expert group

Previous projects at ECCC:

  • development and applications of the PAH and benzene version of GEM-MACH
  • update to ECCC's North American PAH emission inventory
  • Development of a bidirectional flux version of GEM-MACH for ammonia

Professional activities / interests

Using measurements and modelling of climate change and air quality to help determine policy recommendations.

Education and awards

  • PhD, Atmospheric Physics, University of Toronto (2014), with collaborative program in Environmental Studies
  • Environment Canada Atmospheric and Meteorological Graduate Supplement
  • MSc, Atmospheric Physics, University of Toronto (2009)
  • MSc, Astronomy, Queen's University (2007)
  • BSc, Physics, McGill University (2005)

International experience and/or work

On steering comittee for the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) activity: Biomass Burning Uncertainties: ReactioNs, Emissions, and Dynamics (BBURNED)

Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), short-lived climate forcers expert group

Network for Detection of Atmospheric Composition and Change (NDACC)

Key publications

Whaley, C. H., Law, K. S., Hjorth, J. L., Skov, H., Arnold, S. R., Langner, J., Pernov, J. et alArctic tropospheric ozone: assessment of current knowledge and model performance, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 637-661, 2023, doi:10.5194/acp-23-637-2023.

von Salzen, K., C. H. Whaley, S. C. Anenberg, R. Van Dingenen, Z. Klimont, M. G. Flanner, R. Mahmood, et al. Policies to limit air pollution are key for successfully mitigating Arctic warming, Nature Communications Earth & Environment, 3, 222, 2022, doi:10.1038/s43247-022-00555-x.

Whaley, C. H., R. Mahmood, K. von Salzen, B. Winter, S. Eckhardt, S. Arnold, et al. Model evaluation of short-lived climate forcers for the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme: a multi-species, multi-model study, 22, 5775–5828, 2022, doi:10.5194/acp-22-5775-2022.

Im, U., K. Tsigaridis, G. Faluvegi, R. Mahmood, T. Manu, K. von Salzen, C. H. Whaley, Z. Klimont, Historical and future Arctic aerosol burdens and impacts on radiative forcing and climate change as simulated by the GISS-E2.1 earth system model. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 10413-10438, 2021, doi:10.5194/acp-21-10413-2021.

Whaley, C. H., E. Galarneau, P. A. Makar, M. D. Moran, J. Zhang, How much does traffic contribute to benzene and PAH air pollution? Results from a high-resolution North American air quality model centered on Toronto, Canada. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 2911-2925, 2020.

Whaley, C. H., Galarneau, E., Makar, P. A., Akingunola, A., Gong, W., Gravel, S., Moran, M. D., Stroud, C., Zhang, J., and Zheng, Q., GEM-MACH-PAH (rev2488): a new high-resolution chemical transport model for North American PAHs and benzene. Geoscientific Model Development, 11, 2609-2632, 2018.  

Whaley, C. H., Makar, P. A., Shephard, M., L. Zhang, J. Zhang, Q. Zheng, Akingunola, A., G. Wentworth, J. Murphy, Sources of ambient ammonia in the Athabasca oil sands and north-western Canada. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Oil Sands Special Issue, 18, 2011-2034, 2018.

Whaley, C., K. Strong, D. B. Jones, T. W. Walker, M. Cooke, P. Fogal, D. Henze, Z. Jiang, C. A. McLinden, M. Pommier, R. Mittermeier, Toronto-area ozone: Long-term measurements and modelled sources of poor air quality events. J. Geophys. Res., 120, 21, 11368-11390, 2015, doi: 10.1002/2014JD022984.

Whaley, C., Strong, K., Adams, C., Bourassa, A. E., Daffer, W. H., Degenstein, D. A., Fast, H., Fogal, P. F., Manney, G. L., Mittermeier, R. L., Pavlovic, B., Wiacek, A., Using FTIR measurements of stratospheric composition to identify mid-latitude polar vortex intrusions over Toronto, J. Geophys. Res. 118, 12766-12783, 2013, doi: 10.1002/2013JD020577.

Griffin D., et al. Investigation of CO, C2H6 and aerosols in a boreal fire plume over eastern Canada during BORTAS 2011 using ground- and satellite-based observations, and model simulations, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 10227-10241, 2013, doi:10.5194/acp-13-10227-2013.

Vigouroux, C., T. Stavrakou, C. Whaley, B. Dils, V. Duflot, C. Hermans, J. M. Metzger, F. Scolas, G. Vanhaelewyn, J. F. Muller, D. B. Jones, Q. Li, M. De Mazière, FTIR time-series of biomass burning products (HCN, C2H6, C2H2,CH3OH, and HCOOH) at Reunion Island (21oS, 55oE) and comparisons with model data, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 10367-10385, 2012, doi:10.5194/acp-12-10367-2012.

Research facility

3800 Finnerty Rd
Victoria, BC V8W 3R4


  • Environment and Climate Change Canada, Atmospheric Science and Technology, Climate Research Division
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada, Atmospheric Science and Technology, Air Quality Research Division
  • University of Toronto, Department of Physics (adjunct)