The Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS) has seen an unprecedented outpouring of public support to save Canada’s unique Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL). The unsolicited donations follow the recent announcement by the Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC) that Canada’s most northerly civilian research station will cease continuous operations due to lack of funding. Over 80 individuals have made donations to help save PEARL.
“We have never seen this level of engagement from individual citizens,” said Dawn Conway, Executive Director of CFCAS. “Canadians are deeply concerned with the loss of this essential Arctic research station and are reaching into their own pockets to help out.”
“I have been amazed and very humbled by the number of ordinary Canadians who have contacted me and other members of the PEARL team to express support and donate money to keep the laboratory going,” said Professor James Drummond, Principal Investigator at PEARL. “It has given us fresh energy as we continue to look for a solution to the funding problem. Canadians clearly view PEARL as a concrete example of our interests in the Arctic and are prepared to support it with both words and deeds.”
Donations to PEARL will support researchers’ ability to continue to collect data related to air quality, ozone depletion and climate changes from the Arctic lab, maintain sensitive climate measurement equipment, prepare data for input into global databases, and fuel the trucks needed to transport staff. Tax-deductable donations to support PEARL can be made through the Foundation’s website at www.climateforum.ca.
PEARL is Canada’s most northerly civilian research station and has been operating continuously since 2005. Without PEARL there will be no continuous active measurements in the High Arctic of many atmospheric properties scientists believe greatly affect both our Arctic and the whole planet. As of April 30, 2012 PEARL will cease full-time year-round operation. PEARL requires approximately $1.5-million per year to operate. A significant portion of PEARL’s research funding had previously been provided through the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, but federal funding for the Foundation has ceased.
CFCAS is Canada’s lead agency for funding university-led research on extreme weather, air quality, climate and marine prediction. The Foundation funds research to improve our understanding of how our climate and weather are changing and the impact on our health, safety, economy and environment. Due to a lack of federal funding the Foundation’s granting activities will cease at the end of March 2012.