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Clean up your act, professor tells the climate science community

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Shanta Barley | 12:42 UK time, Friday, 19 June 2009

Cracks have opened up in the credibility of a new US government report on climate change. The study has been criticized by a respected environmental scientist, who says that it 'repeatedly misrepresented the science of disasters and climate change' and twisted his research to back up tenuous claims.

Hailed as 'up-to-date, authoritative, and comprehensive' by the White House, the report claimed that droughts are increasing and heat waves are becoming more intense due to climate change. (Read the United States Global Change Research Program's report here.)

Oh no they aren't, retorts Dr Roger Pielke Jr, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado.

If the report's authors had bothered to look at more up-to-date research, Professor Pielke says in his blog, they would have seen that there's no long-term trend in the US towards worse droughts or more intense heat waves. (Take the US Climate Change Science Program's 2008 report, 'Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate', for example.)

How tempting it is to dismiss Professor Pielke's opinions as the foam-flecked ravings of a fringe sceptic? But it turns out that he's no sceptic of climate change ('anthropogenic climate change is real, and deserving of significant attention to both adaptation and mitigation', he says). Only of bad science and political agendas, it seems.


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