Published: September 17, 2019
Updated: September 17, 2019 2:32 PM PDT
Canadians already suspicious of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax are likely be even more suspicious given a report by Ottawa-based Blacklock’s Reporter that Environment Canada omitted a century’s worth of observed weather data in developing its computer models on the impacts of climate change.
The scrapping of all observed weather data from 1850 to 1949 was necessary, a spokesman for Environment Canada told Blacklock’s Reporter, after researchers concluded that historically, there weren’t enough weather stations to create a reliable data set for that 100-year period.
“The historical data is not observed historical data,” the spokesman said. “It is modelled historical data … 24 models from historical simulations spanning 1950 to 2005 were used.”
These computer simulations are part of the federal government’s ClimateData.ca website launched by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna on Aug. 15.
She described it as “an important next step in giving our decision-makers even greater access to important climate data for long-term planning. The more each of us uses this type of information, the more it will help.”
They don’t hold back.
Blacklock’s Reporter, which describes itself as “the only reporter-owned and operated newsroom in Ottawa” focusing on intensive reporting of government documents, notes that in many cases the observed temperatures scrapped by Environment Canada in creating its computer models, were higher in the past than today.
For example, Vancouver had a higher record temperature in 1910 (30.6C) than in 2017 (29.5C).
Toronto had a warmer summer in 1852 (32.2C) than in 2017 (31.7C).
The highest temperature in Moncton in 2017 was four degrees cooler than in 1906.
Brandon, Man., had 49 days where the average daily temperature was above 20C in 1936, compared to only 16 in 2017, with a high temperature of 43.3C that year compared to 34.3C in 2017…
And balanced as well.
To be fair, the fact that it omitted observed weather data from 1850 to 1949 in developing its computer models is not evidence in and of itself of an attempt by Environment Canada to mislead the public.
Omitting observed historical weather data from computer models is common in climate science because of differences in the quality of the reporting of weather data today, compared to 1850 when historical records started being kept.
Also, weather is not climate.
Computer climate models don’t claim to predict what the weather will be like on any given day, month or year.
They predict long-term weather and climate patterns.
And then boom.
Having said that, McKenna and other politicians give the public inaccurate information about climate change all the time.