jueves, 30 de marzo de 2017

The clever practice of communications of climate-change sceptics overshadows the true advice of experts

Ministers should still weigh the importance of scientific evidence but “where they do not follow the results they must ensure that they do not dismiss or discredit legitimate scientific evidence”, a report of  the British Commons’ Science and Technology Committee said. It called for a “robust redress mechanism” – possibly including fines – in cases where science is misreported by the media.
In an age of claim and counter-claim about ‘fake news’, spin and misinformation about science risked causing real harm, warned Stephen Metcalfe MP, who chairs the committee.
“Robust consideration of scientific evidence is crucial to policy making and really affects our daily lives and we have seen over many years through the debates around BSE [‘mad cow disease’], climate change, [vaccine] MMR and new medical treatments,” he said.
“However too often the clever practice of communications overshadows the true advice of experts, and the public are left bewildered, and not knowing who to believe.
“This affects Government policy too, Ministers and decision makers must take greater care to set out exactly how scientific evidence is being considered, and ensure they cannot be accused of discrediting or skewing the evidence for financial reasons or to suit political aims.
“Reporting scientific and particularly health issues accurately is also a big responsibility for media organisations if they are to retain public trust, and we need to give the public greater reassurances that they are being properly informed and engaged.”
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jueves, 23 de marzo de 2017

2016 was the Earth’s Hottest Year on Record

 Earth’s 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Globally-averaged temperatures in 2016 were 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit (0.99 degrees Celsius) warmer than the mid-20th century mean. This makes 2016 the third year in a row to set a new record for global average surface temperatures.
The planet’s long-term warming trend is seen in this chart of every year’s annual temperature cycle from 1880 to the present
The planet’s long-term warming trend is seen in this chart of every year’s annual temperature cycle from 1880 to the present, compared to the average temperature from 1980 to 2015. Record warm years are listed in the column on the right.
Credits: NASA/Joshua Stevens, Earth Observatory
The 2016 temperatures continue a long-term warming trend, according to analyses by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. NOAA scientists concur with the finding that 2016 was the warmest year on record based on separate, independent analyses of the data.
Because weather station locations and measurement practices change over time, there are uncertainties in the interpretation of specific year-to-year global mean temperature differences. However, even taking this into account, NASA estimates 2016 was the warmest year with greater than 95 percent certainty.
“2016 is remarkably the third record year in a row in this series,” said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt. “We don’t expect record years every year, but the ongoing long-term warming trend is clear.”
The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.
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Climate change helped cause war in Siria and Brexit, Al Gore said

Brexit was caused in part by climate change, former US Vice-President Al Gore has said, warning that extreme weather is creating political instability “the world will find extremely difficult to deal with”.
Mr Gore, speaking at an event in which he previewed a sequel to his landmark 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, said the “principal” cause of the Syrian Civil War had been the worst drought in 900 years, which forced 1.5 million people to move from the countryside to the cities.
There they met a similar number of Iraqis who had fled the conflict in their homeland, creating powder keg conditions that Syrian government officials privately feared would explode.
 The resulting war brought more refugees into Europe, causing political instability and helping convince some in the UK to vote to leave the European Union.
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