Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

By Chris Philips
Managing Editor 

Fake News

 


A news story in the Washington Post in mid-December detailed the efforts some scientists are making to ensure that “crucial climate measurements” don’t disappear under a “hostile” Trump administration.

The story went on to describe how these researchers with advanced degrees were holding events to copy data from government servers to private servers in a process they described as “guerilla archiving.” The irony of moving public data to private servers in order to protect the data was apparently lost on these erstwhile scientists.

Amid concerns among NOAA scientists about who Trump will pick to head the agency, another group of scientists, the Center for Science Democracy at the Union of Concerned Science in Cambridge, Massachusetts, established a hotline for NOAA employees to report political meddling.

At a trade show in late November, a very concerned NOAA representative complained that their budgets had been frozen at the same level as the previous year, which would keep them from funding any “new projects.”

One of NOAA’s projects funded under last year’s budget is the “Arctic Report Card” released to outline concerns over the climate and its effect on the Arctic. We here at Pacific Maritime Magazine were concerned with a passage from the report.

In the Executive Summary of the 106-page report, a group of scientists show concern with the amount of man-caused carbon dioxide entrained in Arctic waters, specifically.

“Even small amounts of human-derived carbon dioxide (CO2) can cause significant chemical changes that other areas do not experience.”

We asked the three scientists responsible for the summary how one would differentiate between human-derived carbon dioxide and naturally occurring carbon dioxide, and what is the percentage of each that contributes to chemical changes in the Arctic Ocean?

After a month of finger pointing among themselves, the response was no response.

It is the same question we asked a senior scientist with the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory several years ago, with much the same response.

The answer NOAA doesn’t want to give is that they rely on models, devised by them, to tell them how much CO2 is in the water, where it came from and what effect it is having, if any, on the earth’s climate.

Since NOAA never got back to us, we made our own climate model. Although Wednesday, January 11 was chilly in Seattle – 35 degrees during the day and 24 degrees at night – by the 18th the weather was expected to warm to 50 during the day and 43 and night. We modeled further and found that the weather would be increasingly good.

Based on our climate models, Valentines Day will be a good day to take off and spend some time outdoors, with a high of 105 degrees, but be home before dark, when temperatures are expected to hit 139 degrees, which I believe will be a record for February in Seattle.

Don’t worry, we’ll move this data to a private server to protect it from the Trump administration.

Outgoing EPA director Gina McCarthy says it won’t be easy for President Trump to undo all the work her agency has done during the past eight years, because it will be required by the Clean Air Act to establish a scientific foundation for any new law that undoes regulations in existence that curb carbon dioxide emissions. That sounds like a challenge.

Chris can be reached at chris@pacmar.com

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