Ecology North has launched a Twitterbot that will tweet the difference between the daily temperature in Yellowknife and change normals registered between 1971 and 2000.

The @ykclimatewatch bot is a partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University and relies on data from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) to track anomalies compared to historic climate data.

The @ykclimatewatch Twitter bot is tweeting daily differentials in temperature compared to historic averages between 1971 and 2000.
photo via Twitter

Ecology North tracked temperature differences in daily averages compared to baseline data from ECCC. The baseline data shows climate normals based on three-decade averages of a particular location.

The bot shows whether that day’s temperature is higher or lower than one degree Celsius from the baseline temperature. On Dec. 11, 2018, the daily temperature was 18 degrees Celsius warmer.

Ecology North aims to generate discussion and awareness about climate because Northerners are disproportionately affected by climate change.

“For the NWT, this change means shortening windows for ice roads, thawing permafrost impacting buildings, runways and roads, droughts and forest fires, floods and impacts on wildlife and people’s health,” the news release states.

“The five warmest years in global record have all come in the 2010s,” said Craig Scott, Ecology North executive director.

“The planet is heating up and the North is the canary in the coalmine,” he said. “We in the  North can no longer stand on the sidelines and suggest that others must take action. Watch the Twitterbot and consider the future generations’ right to a stable planet.”

Ecology North is using the data to urge climate leadership in the NWT and urges Northerners to ask the government to pursue innovation for local food production, renewable energy generation and electric mobility.

The territory spends $150-million annually buying fossil fuels. On Feb. 13, the federal government announced $20-million for communities to pursue projects that cut their reliance on diesel fuel.

A special report released Oct. 28 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change states global greenhouse gas emissions must fall to 45 per cent below 2010 levels before 2030 and by 100 per cent by 2050 to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The GNWT has committed to a 30 per cent reduction below 2005 levels before 2030, representing 1,656 kilo tonnes of carbon dioxide.

That target is equivalent to a six per cent reduction below 2010 levels before 2030, which is “far from the required 45 per cent,” stated a news release from Ecology North.

“There is no plan to date on how the additional 39 per cent will be reduced,” the release states.


Avery Zingel

Avery Zingel is a reporter and photographer in Yellowknife, regularly covering environment, health and territorial politics. Avery is a graduate of the Carleton University School of Journalism and Political...

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