We at the support desk receive inquiries from many segments of society – from communications companies concerned about how climate change could affect the integrity of their communications towers to farmers concerned about crops, to this case from Canada Post.
The national manager from Canada Post responsible for street furniture installation contacted the Support Desk looking for climate data to link to the over 200,000 locations across Canada where they have assets installed. They are making a study of environmental impacts on the lifecycle of their outdoor equipment (primarily community mailboxes and parcel lockers) as they are trying to plan for the replacement of older equipment, with climate change in mind.
Originally they contacted us looking only for annual precipitation data and we directed them to ClimateData.ca and the modelled climate projections for 1950-2100 where they can find several different variables related to precipitation such as Wet Days >=10mm, Maximum 1-Day Total Precipitation and Maximum 5-Day Precipitation. We also suggested the Climate Data Extraction Tool, and encouraged them to explore the “Historical climate and river data”.
The data scientist working with Canada Post on this project then followed up with us and clarified that they are looking for a range of data – from mean temperature, to total rain, to snow on ground, to cooling and heating degree days, humidity data, as well as data on freeze-thaw projections and air salinity. These last two variables could both have a great impact on their equipment.
Originally, for freeze-thaw events, they were going to calculate days when the daily maximum temperature is greater than 0 °C and the daily minimum temperature is less than or equal to -1 °C to represent the likelihood of water freezing on the surface of equipment. Instead of them doing the calculations themselves, we directed them to the freeze-thaw cycle data available on ClimateData.ca.