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International scientists call on Trudeau to re-invest in climate science

January 22, 2018 (Ottawa, ON) - Hundreds of prominent international scientists specializing in climate and atmospheric science released an open letter today urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to re-invest in climate science.

The letter raises concern that a crisis is looming for Canadian climate and atmospheric research following the government’s failure to renew or replace the Climate Change and Atmospheric Research (CCAR) program which funded seven research networks.

“Canada is uniquely placed to monitor the changing atmosphere in the high Arctic regions,” said Dr. Clare Murphy, Director of the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Wollongong in Australia. “As such Canadian atmospheric and climate science plays a pivotal role in the global effort to understand our changing environment.”

The CCAR funded projects measure, observe and model many important international environmental issues including: aerosols; biogeochemical tracers in the Arctic Ocean; sea ice and snow cover; weather prediction and climate projection; changes to land, water, and climate; and the temperature of the atmosphere in the high Arctic.

The government provided temporary funding for one of the CCAR projects, the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL), in November of last year. This funding only goes until 2019 and there has been no new funding announced for the other projects.

"At the highest levels of government in the United States, climate science is devalued and dismissed,” said Dr. Benjamin D. Santer, a climate researcher at the U.S. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and a MacArthur Fellow. “In these difficult times, U.S. climate scientists look to our Canadian neighbors for encouragement. Canada possesses unique capabilities for measuring, monitoring, and modeling climate change. I hope that the Canadian government is committed to sustaining these unique capabilities, and is committed to preserving Canada's role as one of the world's leaders in climate science."

The letter highlights the importance of Canadian climate science at a time when research funding is being cut in other countries and urges Prime Minister Trudeau to ensure that Canada continues to be a global leader in climate science by re-investing in these valuable research projects that have international significance.

You can read the full open letter here: https://goo.gl/T2b3Pz

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For more information:

Dan Weaver
PhD Candidate, University of Toronto, Department of Physics
Evidence for Democracy board member
647.284.1507
dan@evidencefordemocracy.ca

Additional quotes from international climate scientists:

“Canada is a world leader in climate science, and is uniquely positioned -- by geography, resources, and expertise -- to observe and study the Arctic, arguably the most critical region on Earth for quantifying how and why the climate is changing and predicting future changes.  Continuous, stable funding support for Canadian atmospheric and climate science is thus crucial to advancing understanding of our planet.  Canadian and US expertise in measuring, analyzing, and modeling changes in climate and weather and their effects on humanity is unparalleled.  With the US now abdicating leadership on, and potentially undermining support for, climate science in the US, sustained support for Canadian climate science is doubly important.”

Dr. Gloria Manney, Senior Research Scientist at the Northwest Research Associates in the US

“With the Montreal protocol, Canada has played a unique and pioneering role in the protection of our environment. Since decades, its involvement in the monitoring of the Earth’s atmosphere through satellite and ground-based measurements has been critical for the understanding of the depletion of the ozone layer and climate change. Arctic is a sentinel of climate change. Due to its location, Canada’s leadership in the study and monitoring of Arctic atmosphere has become even more important to our understanding of the rapidly evolving Arctic climate and environment.

Dr Sophie Godin-Beekmann, Director of Research at Centre National de La Recherche Scientifique in France and President of International Ozone Commission (IO3C)

Katie Gibbs

Executive Director (on parental leave)

Katie Gibbs is a scientist, organizer and advocate for science and evidence-based policies. While completing her PhD at the University of Ottawa researching threats to endangered species, she was one of the lead organizers of the ‘Death of Evidence’ rally - one of the largest science rallies in Canadian history. Katie cofounded Evidence for Democracy and now serves as its Executive Director. She has a diverse background organizing and managing various social and political campaigns at the local and national level. Katie is frequently asked to comment on science policy issues and has been quoted and published in numerous media outlets, including the CBC, The Hill Times, the Globe and Mail and the National Post.