Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to climate scientist Ben Santer, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has so far not renewed “The only dedicated program funding climate and atmospheric research in Canada”.
Climate researchers press Trudeau to renew Canadian Arctic research program
By Brian Owens Jan. 22, 2018 , 11:45 AM
The Canadian government should renew funding for a soon-to-end Arctic climate and atmospheric research program, a group of more than 250 international climate scientists is arguing in an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“There is a crisis looming for Canadian climate and atmospheric research that will be felt far beyond Canada’s borders,” the letter states. Extending funding for the 6-year-old Climate Change and Atmospheric Research (CCAR) program, which is set to end this year, would help maintain the country’s scientific and political leadership in the field, the authors say.
CCAR, launched in 2012, provides CA$7 million per year for seven research networks studying the physical processes underlying climate and atmospheric behavior. Among other activities, the networks monitor and model tiny particles known as aerosols, biogeochemical trace elements in the Arctic Ocean, and atmospheric temperatures in the high Arctic.
So far, the Trudeau government has been mostly silent on CCAR’s future, frustrating scientists concerned about the program’s fate. It has given one part of the program a temporary reprieve; In November 2017, the government announced CA$1.6 million in funding for the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory, located on the remote Ellesmere Island in Canada, to keep it running until 2019.
Santer says international climate researchers are looking to Canada to provide leadership as climate science is sidelined in the United States. “The scientific understanding of the nature and causes of climate change are under concerted attack [in the United States], and our work is being dismissed as a hoax and conspiracy,” he says. “So we look to other countries like Canada for leadership—both political leadership, which Trudeau has said he will provide in this leadership vacuum, and scientific leadership.”
The following is the open letter sent by Ben Santer and the other climate scientists.
Given grossly wrong climate science predictions that this winter would be warmer than normal, perhaps even Prime Minister Trudeau has had enough.