A Proposed Observatory in Canada’s Arctic Could Provide a Long-Range Look at Climate Change

Canadian High Arctic Research Station in Cambridge Bay.
The Canadian High Arctic Research Station in Cambridge Bay. (Photo: Janice Lang, DRDC/DND)

Funded by Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Quebec government, the $4.2-million initiative will be housed in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

A $4.2-million observatory to monitor Arctic climate change and extreme weather events is being developed in Cambridge Bay, to be housed in the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, reports Nunatsiaq News.

Organizers are counting on people power to help make it work. That will involve harnessing the power of community by training and equipping Cambridge Bay residents to collect data and maintain the station on the ground throughout the year.

The first field campaign is scheduled in April next year. The goal of the project - that still awaits approval for research licences from the Nunavut Research Institute - is to collect temporal data on climate change in the high Arctic.

Temporal data is information gathered over time to compare past and current conditions, and then predict what will happen in the future. It can be used to analyze weather patterns and other environmental changes.

Data collected through the new observatory will focus on four themes: ecology and snow, hydrology, atmosphere, and permafrost.

Through radar, drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, a team of 10 researchers hopes to collect data on “the state of polar regions or the Arctic". They will use their findings to create models that will observe and predict climate change in the high Arctic.

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