Forget the Snowy Winters of Your Childhood


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Forget the Snowy Winter of Your Childhood
Submitter Name
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)/Société Radio-Canada

In countries with harsh winters like Canada, it's sometimes hard for the public to see the effects of the Earth warming-up. That's why Mr. Shiab, a data journalist from CBC/Radio Canada, wrote a story on how the coldest season is warming up too.

Environment Canada has been measuring the depth of the snowpack since the 1950s. While the number of stations doing that measurement has declined significantly in recent years, Environment Canada’s analyses of satellite imagery from the 1970s until the present have also shown that the country’s snow is in retreat. Mr. Shiab analyzed data on snow cover from stations with at least 40 years of data.

At the end of this process, he was working with 16 million rows of data. The resulting publication is a project with four data visualizations, including trends per decade for each major city in Canada, and stories of people working in industries impacted by the decreasing snow cover.


Mr. Shiab used open data to inform Canadians on winter warming and build awareness around its repercussions – social, economic and environmental.  Through data visualization, Mr. Shiab enables others to easily see winter trends in major cities and draw conclusions around the effects of global warming in Canada.



An image which shows a comparison of maximum snow depth per winter, average of over 20 years. Snow fall from 1955 to 1975 is compared to snow fall from 1996 to 2015. The image shows that in the former, the average snow fall was over 50cm while in the latter the average is 25cm.



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