University Professor and Professor of Physics
Director of the Centre for Global Change Science
PI of the Polar Climate Stability Network
Scientific Director of SciNet
Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Dr. Peltier’s research focuses on one of the most pressing environmental problems, that of global warming due to increasing atmospheric concentrations of the "greenhouse gases", most notably carbon dioxide. His detailed theoretical models of contamination are now widely employed internationally and are uniquely distributed through the web site of the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level.
Atmospheric and oceanic waves and turbulence - continuing lines of research include work on Kelvin-Helmholtz and Holmboe modes of mixing, especially the process of three dimensionalization in free shear layers, internal waves forced by topography and Rossby waves forced by topography and differential heating.
Geophysical fluid dynamics - a central focus of current activity concerns the issues of "balance" and the stability of the "slow manifold", issues that are being addressed in the context of a search for the spontaneous emission of internal wave radiation in high resolution baroclinic wave life-cycle simulations, using both oceanographic (gulf stream) and atmospheric (jet stream) models.
Physics of the planetary interior - a major line of research continues to consist of work on the mantle convection problem, both from the perspective of a-priori numerical models in which the main issue is the impact of pressure induced phase transitions on the radial mixing length, and from the perspective of theory based upon seismic tomographic imaging of internal mantle density heterogeneity. A cornerstone of this effort continues to be the development and application of detailed viscoelastic models of the glacial isostatic adjustment process directed towards mantle viscosity measurement.
Planetary climate - beginning in the early 1990's the focus of research shifted onto problems related to the evolution of the global climate system from the Late Quaternary into the modern era in which the issue of greenhouse induced global warming has become a central concern internationally. The core of this work initially involved analyses of the problem of global sea level change, including the impact of global warming on the globally averaged rate of sea level rise due to the increase in mean surface temperature. This work was an outgrowth of the development of the theory of global glacial isostatic adjustment which provided for the first time a detailed method whereby the melting of land ice could be mapped directly into a prediction of the space dependent rate of sea level rise. This theory now provides the basic methodology whereby modern tide gauge recordings and satellite based sea surface altimetry (TOPEX/POSEIDON data) may be filtered so as to optimally remove the contamination due to the glaciation and deglaciation of the surface that occurred during the Late Quaternary iceage. There are files for specific tidegauge sites and predictions on a 1x1 degree grid in the datasets section under "Predictions of the rate of RSL rise due to GIA".
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, 1977-1979
E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship of NSERC, 1978-1980
Kirk Bryan Award of the Geological Society of America, 1980
Killam Senior Research Fellowship of the Canada Council, 1980-82
Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, 1986-
Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, 1986-
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 1986-1988
Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, U.K., 1988-
Cecil and Ida Green Fellow, UC San Diego, 1988 (Declined in favour of Cambridge sabbatical)
Lady Margaret Lecturer, and Norman Sosnow Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Christs College, Cambridge, Fall Term 1988
Senior Fellow of Massey College, U. Toronto, 1989-
Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, 1991-
Patterson Medal of the Atmospheric Environment Service of Canada (DOE), 1992
University Professor, University of Toronto, 1993-
IUGG Union Lecturer - Boulder, Colorado General Assembly, 1995
Walter H. Elsasser Memorial Lecturer, John's Hopkins University, Baltimore, 1996
Benjamin Meeker Visiting Professor, Department of Mathematics, Univ. Bristol, England, 1996
Presidents Lecture, IAMAS/IAPSO General Assembly, Melbourne, Australia, 1997
H. Burr Steinback Visiting Scholar, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Summer 1997.
Climate Center Visiting Scholar, LDEO, Columbia University, 1998.
Sloan Foundation Lecturer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Mass., 1998.
Distinguished Lecturer of the Canadian Geophysical Union, 1999-2000. (Gave a total of 20 lectures at Canadian Universities in the period October 1999 through March 2000).
R.F. Flint Lecturer, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 2001.
Science Watch listing as the fifth most highly cited Earth Scientist internationally in the decade 1991-2001 (based upon analysis of the Highly Cited project (Science Watch magazine, volume 12, no. 6, Nov.-Dec. 2001); this included analysis of all Earth science disciplines; geology, geophysics, atmospheric science, oceanography, etc.).
IAMAS “Sushi Lecturer”, IUGG General Assembly, Sapporo, Japan, 2003.
Elected as Foreign Member to Fellowship in the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, 2004
Bancroft Award of the Royal Society of Canada, 2004
J. Tuzo Wilson Medal of the Canadian Geophysical Union, 2004
Vetlesen Prize of the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation, 2004
Leiv Erikson Fellow, Norwegian Research Council, Bjerknes Institute for Climate search, Univ. of Bergen, 2006
Miroslaw Romanowski Medal of the Royal Society of Canada, 2006
DSc, honoris causa, The University of Waterloo, 2007
Milutin Milankovic Medal of the European Geosciences Union, 2008
Canadian Association of Physicists Gold Medal for Achievement in Physics, 2009
Canadian Association of Physicists;
Canadian Geophysical Union - Past President;
Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society;
Royal Astronomical Society - Fellow;
Royal Meteorological Society - Fellow;
European Geophysical Union;
American Geophysical Union - Elected Fellow;
American Meteorological Society - Elected Fellow;
Geological Society of America.