Station of the Week
(19th April 2003)

 London, Ontario, Canada and Erie, Pennsylvania, USA

TV Ontario recently interviewed Canadian environmental guru David Suzuki on its current affairs show, Studio 2, in which he asserted that when he was a boy growing up in London Ontario, winter used to set in at the end of October, but now it's warmed up so much winter arrives a lot later.  Global warming was of course to blame.

Here is the temperature record from his home town, London, Ontario, with both the annual (light brown) and the winter (blue) temperature records shown.  As we can see, up to 1990 when the London record ceases (actually it has not ceased - Environment Canada simply denies any further free public access to their temperature records, so we have to rely on NASA who have the pre-1990 data still archived), there is no warming going at London, either measured annually , or in winter.  In fact winter temperatures by 1990 were no different to what they were when Suzuki was a boy, if anything slightly cooler.

But what about since 1990?  Even though Environment Canada no longer want their public to see the factual data around which rational public decision-making could be based, we can still see the post-1990 situation by reference to a US station over the border which does have data right up to 2001.  This is Erie, Pennsylvania, only 82 miles from London.  As all four graphs show, Erie and London are in virtual lockstep in both the annual temperature and the winter temperature.  For this reason, we can see the post-1990 developments at Erie, taking it as a sound surrogate for what also happened at London.

Developments?  There haven't been any - just more of the same.

When Suzuki made that claim about his boyhood winters coming sooner than today, it was a clearly false claim.  How many more of his claims are similarly false?  

(Thanks to Prof Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph, (and coauthor of Taken By Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming. Copyright 2003 National Post), who first reported this divergence between Suzuki's selective memory and actual climatic data.) 

Still not convinced?

Here is the temperature histories for London and Erie for November and December for each year of the record, the very months most affected by Suzuki's claim of later winter onset.  It's a bit difficult to read admittedly, but again we see the same trend.  Actually, a non-trend.  The warmest months occur much earlier in the record, not recently.

In fact, London, Suzuki's home town, ends its record with a bang, registering the lowest December mean temperature of all in its final year of record.  Not even Suzuki's soothing voice tones can explain this away.

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