Val Swail

Manager - Climate Data and Analysis Section

Current research and/or projects

Activities that contribute to the understanding of the state, trends, variability and extremes of the Canadian climate, including research in climate change detection and attribution, and development of new analysis methods, quality and consistency assessment procedures and indicators, on all time and spatial scales

  • Lead development of wind and wave reanalyses for the North Atlantic Ocean and Beaufort Sea
  • Participates in studies of global historical marine climate trend and variability, particularly for winds, waves and marine climate indicators
  • Lead development of homogenized climate records for Canadian data, gridded data sets, national and global climate indices, and climate change detection and attribution
  • Participation in international climate programs, such as the development of the North American Climate Extremes Monitor with Canada/US/Mexico
  • Scientific and technical advice and consultation to government and non-government scientists, policy makers, specialized user groups, the media and the general public

Professional activities / interests

Chair of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) / Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the Unesco Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography & Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) Expert Team on Wind Waves and Storm Surges

Associate Member International Association of Oil and Gas Producers Metocean Committee

Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) / Commission for Climate / Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography & Marine Meteorology Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices

Chair, International Workshop on Wave Hindcasting and Forecasting series (1st to 11th, 1986-2009)

Education and awards

B.Sc. Meteorology, McGill University

M.Sc. Meteorology, University of Toronto

WMO/IOC JCOMM Outstanding Service Award

Key publications

Wang, X. L., V. R. Swail and F. W. Zwiers. 2006. Climatology and changes of extra-tropical cyclone activity: Comparison of ERA-40 with NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis for 1958-2001. J. Climate. 19(13):3145–3166. DOI: 10.1175/JCLI3781.1

Caires, S., V. R. Swail and X. L. Wang. 2006. Projection and analysis of extreme wave climate. J. Climate. 19(21):5581–5605. DOI:10.1175/JCLI3918.1

Wang, X. L., F. W. Zwiers and V. R. Swail. 2004. North Atlantic Ocean Wave Climate Change Scenarios for the Twenty-First Century. J. Climate. 17(12):2368-2383.

Wang, X.L. and V.R. Swail. 2002. Trends of Atlantic wave extremes as simulated in a 40-year wave hindcast using kinematically reanalyzed wind fields. J. Climate. 15:1020-1035.

Swail, V.R., G. Komen, V. Ryabinin, M. Holt, P.K. Taylor and J. Bidlot. 2001. Wind waves in the Global Ocean Observing System. Observing the Ocean in the 21st Century, C.J. Koblinsky and N.R. Smith (eds). Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Australia.

Swail, V.R. and A.T. Cox. 2000. On the use of NCEP/NCAR reanalysis surface marine wind fields for a long term North Atlantic wave hindcast. J. Atmos. Ocean. Tech. 17(4):532-545.