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Prof. Lawrence Mysak

Lawrence Mysak

Ocean, Climate and Paleoclimate Dynamics

Office: Burnside Hall 714
Tel.: (514) 398-3768
Fax.: (514) 398-6115
lawrence [dot] mysak [at] mcgill [dot] ca (E-mail)


Research interests

Professor Mysak is director of the Earth System Modelling Group which is part of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. The main goal of the research in the ESMG is to develop and apply reduced complexity models of the Earth system to better understand decadal and longer term climate variability and change. Analysis of climate data and data-model intercomparison studies are also important activities of the ESMG.

Recent Research Activities and Interests

  • Project 1:  Modelling the effects of chemical weathering in regulating atmospheric CO2 concentrations during glacial-interglacial cycles
  • Project 2:  Model study of the global carbon cycle during the Holocene and late Pleistocene with an intermediate complexity climate model
  • Project 3: The evolution of North Atlantic Deep Water since the Last Glacial Maximum
  • Project 4:  Model study of late Pleistocene megafauna-forest vegetation interactions in an Earth system climate model
  • Project 5:  Impact of climate change and variability on the outdoor skating season in Canada, 1951-2005
  • Project 6:  A carbon cycle box model study of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) around 55 Myr ago
  • Project 7:  The response of a low-order atmosphere-ocean-sea ice climate model to Milankovitch forcing
  • Project 8:  Modelling the freshwater budget of the Arctic Ocean and exchanges with the North Atlantic: Present, past, and future

For further information, visit the ESMG website.

Earth Climate System Thumb

Some recent publications


Brault, M.-O., L.A. Mysak, H.D. Matthews and C.T. Simmons.  Assessing the impact of late Plestocene megafaunal extinctions on global vegetation and climate. Climate of the Past, 9, 1761-1771, doi:10.5194/cp-9-1761-2013.

Simmons, C.T., L.A. Mysak and H.D. Matthews. Investigation of the natural carbon cycle since 6000 B.C. using an intermediate complexity model: The role of Southern Ocean ventilation and marine ice shelves. Atmosphere-Ocean, 51:2, 187-212, doi:10.1080/07055900.2013.773880.


Damyanov, N.N., H.D. Matthews and L.A. Mysak. Observed decreases in the Canadian outdoor skating season due to recent winter warming. Environmental Research Letters, 7 (8pp), doi:10.1088/1748- 9326/7/1/014028.

Simmons, C.T. and L.A. Mysak. Stained glass and climate change: How are they connected? Atmosphere-Ocean, 50:2, 219-240.


Carozza, D.A., L.A. Mysak and G.A. Schmidt. Methane and environmental change during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM): Modeling the PETM onset as a two-stage event. Geophysical Research Letters, 38, L05702, doi: 10.1029/2010GL046038.


Antico, A., O. Marchal, L.A. Mysak and F. Vimeux. Meridional moisture flux in the atmosphere and deuterium excess in polar ice: insight from a zonally-averaged ocean-atmosphere model. Journal of Climate, 23: 4841-4855.

Antico, A., O. Marchal and L.A. Mysak. Time-dependent response of a zonally-averaged ocean-atmosphere-sea ice model to Milankovitch forcing. Climate Dynamics, 34: 763-779, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-010-0790-6.

Jahn, A., B. Tremblay, R. Newton, M.M. Holland, L.A. Mysak and I.A. Dmitrenko. A tracer study of the Arctic Ocean’s liquid freshwater export variability. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, C07015, DOI:10.1029/2009JC005873.

Yang, S., D.A. Carozza and L.A. Mysak. Re-tuning the Walker-Kasting global carbon cycle box model using a parameter sensitivity analysis. McGill Science Undergraduate Research Journal, 5: 67-72.

Simmons, C.T. and L.A. Mysak. The transmissive properties of medieval and renaissance stained Glass in European churches, Architectural Science Review, 53: 251-274, DOI: 10.3763/asre.2009.007

Jahn, A., B. Tremblay, L.A. Mysak and R. Newton. Effect of the large-scale atmospheric circulation on the variability of the Arctic Ocean freshwater export. Climate Dynamics, 34: 201-222. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-009-0558-z. 


Wang, Y., N.T. Roulet, S. Frolking and L.A. Mysak. The importance of Northern Peatlands in global carbon systems during the Holocene, Climate of the Past, 5: 683-693. Corrigendum, 5: 721-722.

Sedlacek, J. and L. A. Mysak. A model study of the Little Ice Age and beyond: changes in ocean heat content, hydrography, and circulation since 1500. Climate Dynamics, 33: 361-475, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-008-0503-6.

Sedlacek, J. and L.A. Mysak. Sensitivity of sea ice to wind stress and radiative forcing since 1500: A model study of the Little Ice Age and beyond. Climate Dynamics, 32: 817-831. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-008-0406-6.