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A Toronto environmentalist, Peter Shepherd, noted that information on the Environment Canada Website had disappeared.  So last May he wrote to Peter Kent, the previous Federal Minister of the Environment, asking why Environment Canada had removed a series of Climate Trends and Variations Bulletin from its Website. At the time of his letter the 2012 Bulletin had not been uploaded to the site.

The Bulletin format includes both text and a graph image that shows temperature anomalies for the year in question. As you can see from the 2011-12 image, surfers can readily absorb the “big picture” from these image graphs. winter_temp_map

Eventually he received a response from the new Minister of the Environment, Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, advising that “the Department has not suspended the Bulletin for 2012- 2013.”  Sure enough,  the 2012-13 bulletin had made it onto the Environment Canada site in the interval.

The Minister’s letter hinted at an explanation:

“Environment Canada makes every effort to release the Climate Trends and Variations Bulletin in a timely fashion, the main focus is ensuring the integrity of the data and the quality of the reporting.”

She did not explain why Bulletins for previous years had been removed.

Environmentalists rely upon these Bulletin to better understand and compare trends. There is no reason why historical records relating to climate change should not be readily available through Environment Canada. They are on the Environment Canada website already: leave them there!

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