Last week, I kicked off my Canadian Climate Survey with a look at “global” warming going on in the capital city of Ottawa, based on Environment Canada weather records from Ottawa International Airport. I’m happy to report that the Climate Survey now has its very own special page, which will be regularly updated with new posts in this series. Readers who are curious about their own cities are invited to volunteer by putting together a list of annual temperature averages and sending them to me. Their own cities can then be added to the study in due course. What I want to have is a list which people can visit to see long-term trends in their own area, and which I can use as a club over the heads of National Post columnists who continue to insist that global warming is a big socialist hoax.
For the second post, I thought it would be useful to visit a place almost nobody lives: the high Arctic. The prevailing theory predicts that warming will be experienced first, fastest, and hardest in the polar regions. As a result, I felt that the second post in the Canadian Climate Survey should be a whirlwind tour of the high Arctic weather stations.
Environment Canada’s list of active weather stations — a list which is shrinking drastically over time, I might add, as the government scales us back to 19th-century levels of knowledge of our own territory — shows about a dozen active weather stations on islands above 74 degrees North, including several on Ellesmere Island (including Alert, Eureka, and Grise Fiord) as well as Ellef Ringnes Island, Prince Patrick Island, Melville Island, and Cornwallis Island (Resolute). (Baffin Island has many stations too, and will be a separate future post.) If climate theorists are correct that the Arctic will feel the warming trend first, these stations will be the first we should pay attention to. And to get us started, here’s how the temperatures are changing at the (almost) top of the world, at Eureka on Ellesmere Island:
Alert is interesting. A couple of years ago, conservative blogger Adrian MacNair plugged in the numbers from Alert and concluded on the basis of this data set that the data didn’t show the high Arctic wasn’t experiencing global warming, so much as a temporary mild period unremarkable in the context of the temperature records. It’s true that Alert bucks the trend seen elsewhere, although the last few years have seen what might or might be the start of a warming trend similar to those seen elsewhere. Not being a climate scientist, I have no explanation for this. All I can say is that it’s clear that in some respects Alert is the exception rather than the norm in the high Arctic:
The Canadian Climate Survey welcomes contributions from interested readers. What I want are compiled lists of average annual temperatures for towns and cities across the country. Essentially, I want visitors who are curious about whether climate change is already perceptible in their region to be able to look at a long-term record of temperatures and judge for themselves. I can be reached at SixthEstateCanada@gmail.com.Tweet