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Sep 26, 2017

U of T Physics Climate Change Scientists Fight to Save PEARL

Without funding, atmospheric research station at Eureka, Nunavut, set to be mothballed in the spring

U of T Physics Climate Change Scientists Fight to Save PEARL

The PEARL research station on Ellesmere Island has been operating continuously since 2005. (CANDAC/Paul Loewen)

Some of Canada's leading climate change scientists are fighting to keep the country's northernmost research station in operation.

The Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) in Eureka, Nunavut, tracks atmospheric data that no other research station can, given its High Arctic latitude, only 1,110 kilometres from the North Pole.


But with PEARL's core funding set to run out this year, scientists are warning if PEARL closes, there's no filling the void.

"You're in this part of the world that's very significant for all these different global environmental challenges," said Dan Weaver, a PhD student at the University of Toronto who has conducted research at PEARL since 2012.

"From climate change to ozone depletion, to even transport of pollution — we have that unique piece of the puzzle to offer the world."

PEARL has been funded for the last five years by the Climate Change and Atmospheric Research Initiative, but the federal government has not renewed that program.

Scientists say there aren't other funding sources that PEARL can tap into because its work is so specific in terms of its atmospheric research mandate. 

Weaver is part of Evidence for Democracy, a not-for-profit group that's launched a petition calling on the federal government to commit to $1.5 million in annual funding for PEARL.

Scientists say if they can't get more funding, they will have to pull the plug on the research station in May.

Read the full article on the CBC website:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/polar-research-lab-eureka-funding-shortfall-1.4303979