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The US Environmental Protection Agency has kept three scientists from speaking at an event, in a move condemned by researchers and Democratic members of Congress as an attempt by the agency to silence a discussion of climate change.
The scientists were scheduled to discuss a report on the health of Narragansett Bay, New England's largest estuary, on Monday (local time).
Among the findings in the 500-page report is that climate change is affecting air and water temperatures, precipitation, sea level and fish.
The EPA did not explain why the scientists were told not to speak, but said in a statement that the agency supports the program that published the document with a $US600,000 annual grant. The EPA is the sole funder of the program.
"EPA scientists are attending, they simply are not presenting; it is not an EPA conference," agency spokeswoman Nancy Grantham said in a statement.
Several people involved in the report and members of the state's congressional delegation likened it to scientific censorship.
They cited EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, a Republican politician, who has rejected the scientific consensus on climate change.
In a March interview with CNBC, Mr Pruitt said he does not agree CO2 is a primary contributor to global warming.
Critics accuse the former Oklahoma attorney-general of trying to weaken the EPA since assuming his role in February.
Take the red pill, Dot...
Up until a few years ago, Richard Muller was often quoted by sceptics as a credible, high-profile scientist who doubted the consensus on climate change.
Today, he starts his lectures by stating a few things he believes to be facts.
"Al Gore has grossly exaggerated global warming. And if you watch his movie you have more misinformation than information.
In 2010, Professor Muller from Berkeley University was funded to carry out a comprehensive study by a group of individuals who doubted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) data.
They believed that urban heat islands, data-selection bias, and inaccurate climate models were being glossed over by scientists.
Professor Muller and his team — all of whom doubted climate change was happening or that carbon dioxide was its cause — were shocked to find a correlation between carbon dioxide emissions and warming.
"That was the biggest surprise of all," he said.
To address what he sees as a lack of transparency in some IPCC reporting, his team made all their data available online.
"The teams that did [the previous studies] said 'trust us'. We said 'don't trust us, here's what we did'. And for that reason I think we were able to win over the sceptics," he said.
However, he said there was still room for scepticism.
"Yes I am a converted sceptic. However, anybody today who is not a sceptic about the solutions being proposed is not thinking them through."
A massive US report has concluded the evidence of global warming is stronger than ever, contradicting a favourite talking point of top Trump administration officials who downplay humanity's role in climate change.
The report released on Friday is one of two scientific assessments required every four years. A draft showing how warming affects the US was also published.
Despite fears by some scientists and environmental advocates, David Fahey of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and several authors said there was no political interference or censoring of the 477-page final report.
It is the most comprehensive summary of climate science since 2013, showing a warming world.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt have repeatedly said carbon dioxide is not the primary contributor to global warming.
But scientists concluded it is "extremely likely", meaning with 95 to 100 per cent certainty, that global warming is man-made, mostly from the spewing of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.
"Over the last century, there are no convincing alternative explanations," the report said.
Since 1900, Earth has warmed by 1 degree Celsius and seas have risen by 20cm. Heatwaves, downpours and wildfires have become frequent.
Scientists calculated that human contribution to warming since 1950 is between 92 per cent and 123 per cent.
It is more than 100 per cent on one end, because some natural forces — such as volcanoes and orbital cycle — are working to cool Earth, but are being overwhelmed by the effects of greenhouse gases, said study co-author Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech.
The red pill? In objective reality, things are looking just fine . . . BWAHAHA!
Yes, the report really is “special”!
Last night, my inbox was filled with how the latest “National Climate Assessment” released by the administration counters what President Donald Trump and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt have said about the questionable assertions about man-made climate change and the policies that are derived from the ludicrous theories.
The following muck from The Washington Post is a great example of the elite media spinning a narrative that is demonstrably false in scientific terms but that fits their politically-motivated agenda:
The Trump administration released a dire scientific report Friday calling human activity the dominant driver of global warming, a conclusion at odds with White House decisions to withdraw from a key international climate accord, champion fossil fuels and reverse Obama-era climate policies.
To the surprise of some scientists, the White House did not seek to prevent the release of the government’s National Climate Assessment, which is mandated by law. The report affirms that climate change is driven almost entirely by human action, warns of a worst-case scenario where seas could rise as high as eight feet by the year 2100, and details climate-related damage across the United States that is already unfolding as a result of an average global temperature increase of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900.
I will simply point out that the Climate Science Special Report, released by 13 federal agencies on Friday, is the product of Obama-era eco-activists who remain entrenched at those various agencies. No swamp has been harder to drain since Julius Caesar tried to get rid of the Pontine Marshes.
Furthermore, this news was released on Friday. Not only was it a Friday, but it was the day that President Trump was beginning a historic, 10-day trip to Asia.
How seriously, then, can we take this special report?
Not very, says Steven E. Koonin, undersecretary of energy for science during President Obama’s first term and is director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University.
In The Wall Street Journal, Koonin says the report “misleads by omission.”
The world’s response to climate changing under natural and human influences is best founded upon a complete portrayal of the science. The U.S. government’s Climate Science Special Report… does not provide that foundation. Instead, it reinforces alarm with incomplete information and highlights the need for more-rigorous review of climate assessments.
A team of some 30 authors chartered by the U.S. Global Change Research Program began work in spring 2016 on the report, “designed to be an authoritative assessment of the science of climate change.” An early draft was released for public comment in January and reviewed by the National Academies this spring. I, together with thousands of other scientists, had the opportunity to scrutinize and discuss the final draft when it was publicized in August by the New York Times . While much is right in the report, it is misleading in more than a few important places.
One notable example of alarm-raising is the description of sea-level rise, one of the greatest climate concerns. The report ominously notes that while global sea level rose an average 0.05 inch a year during most of the 20th century, it has risen at about twice that rate since 1993. But it fails to mention that the rate fluctuated by comparable amounts several times during the 20th century. The same research papers the report cites show that recent rates are statistically indistinguishable from peak rates earlier in the 20th century, when human influences on the climate were much smaller. The report thus misleads by omission.
The entire piece is well worth reading for those who are interested in climate science. Perhaps the most interesting portion is Koonin’s solutions, which may be applied to future reports:
Oh that is so messed up!
When (or should I say IF) future generations look back at this time and scream "WHY DIDN'T YOU DO ANYTHING?!!!" We can point to morons like Trump.
There is a guy who follows me on Twitter. He thinks like this.
He also thinks that the Las Vegas shooting was a hoax.
This year will be among the three hottest on record, the United Nations says, as almost 200 countries begin talks in Germany to bolster a global climate accord that the United States plans to quit.
Temperatures this year will be slightly less than during a record-breaking 2016 and roughly level with 2015, the United Nations' World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said, part of a long-term warming trend driven by greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.
"We have witnessed extraordinary weather," WMO head Petteri Talaas said, pointing to extreme events including a spate of hurricanes in the Atlantic and Caribbean, monsoon floods in Asia and drought in East Africa.
The WMO attributed the small dip from last year to the fading effects of a natural El Nino event that released extra heat from the Pacific Ocean in 2016.
In terms of economic costs, 2017 will be the most costly hurricane season on record after Harvey, Irma and Maria, it added.
In Australia, the mercury in Sydney and Melbourne will be climbing above 50 degrees sooner than previously thought, according to recent research.