Canadian Arctic research station forced to close

The Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory is located at Eureka, Nunavut on Ellesmere Island, at a latitude of 80 deg

Canada’s northernmost research laboratory is shutting down due to lack of funding. This will mean a major blow to climate change research, scientists say.


The Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) in Eureka, Nunavut, plays a key role in ozone measurements and international collaborations on climate change research. It is the biggest lab in Canada’s High Arctic and, at 80 degrees north latitude, one of the closest in the world to the North Pole.

The station was established 7 years ago by a network of university researchers who raised money to start it. The network has not been able to secure the $1.5 million annual funding required to continue running the station all year round.

That is largely due to the discontinuation of government funding to the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, which had been covering three-quarters of the station’s costs, and the end to the International Polar Year program.

Read also: UArctic responds to Canadian funding situation

PEARL, which made key measurements last winter used to detect and analyze the largest ozone hole ever detected over the Arctic, will cease year-round operations on April 30. At that time, its equipment will be removed and the building will remain available only for intermittent, short-term projects.

However, an end to year-round operations means the station can no longer take measurements during the polar night and contribute the data it has been collecting for international measurements of aerosols, atmospheric composition and carbon, CBC reports.