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Leaked Federal Climate Report Finds Link Between Climate Change, Human Activity (washingtonpost.com) 452

An anonymous reader shares a report from The New York Times (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source): The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration. The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. It directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited. "Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans," a draft of the report states. A copy of it was obtained by The New York Times. The authors note that thousands of studies, conducted by tens of thousands of scientists, have documented climate changes on land and in the air. "Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change," they wrote. The report was completed this year and is a special science section of the National Climate Assessment, which is congressionally mandated every four years. The National Academy of Sciences has signed off on the draft report, and the authors are awaiting permission from the Trump administration to release it. "The report concludes that even if humans immediately stopped emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the world would still feel at least an additional 0.50 degrees Fahrenheit (0.30 degrees Celsius) of warming over this century compared with today," reports The New York Times. "The projected actual rise, scientists say, will be as much as 2 degrees Celsius." Given the Trump administration's stance on climate change, some of the scientists who worked on the report are concerned that the report will be suppressed.
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Leaked Federal Climate Report Finds Link Between Climate Change, Human Activity

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  • "Leaked?" (Score:5, Informative)

    by cirby ( 2599 ) on Tuesday August 08, 2017 @11:41PM (#54971523)

    The press keeps calling it "leaked," but it's been freely available for months, if you were paying attention.

    They're still working on it, which is why it hasn't been released.

    • Re:"Leaked?" (Score:4, Interesting)

      by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @06:36AM (#54972765) Journal

      Leaked, in this case, means leaked 'around' the Trump administration.

      As the draft report (I understand) would require the last "OK" from the White House before becoming a final report, it's widely understood that this wouldn't be forthcoming from the current administration so (as is the practice in Washington) it was 'leaked' in really its final version pursuant to its authors' or the leakers' personal agenda, not really as a "government" report (insofar as the "government" is those elected to office).

      I suspect that this practice - widely regarded as reasonable and fair during this administration considering the scathing disregard held for the President by many of the mandarins in Washington and the Press Corps - is going to become the norm that will eventually come back around and bite them in the ass.

    • [foxnews.com]

      You betcha.

      • “It's not clear what the news is in this story,” Robert Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who is listed on the report as among the lead authors, said on Twitter.

        Another scientist who authored the report, Katharine Hayhoe, a professor at Texas Tech who leads the school’s Climate Science Center, also emphasized that the report is already publicly available.

        “Important to point out that this report was already accessible to anyone who cared to read it during public review & comment time,” she tweeted. “Few did.”

        This is not some "leaked report". New York Times reporting at its finest, trying to drum up controversy where none exists. The report isn't fake. Just the reporting.

        • This is not some "leaked report". New York Times reporting at its finest, trying to drum up controversy where none exists. The report isn't fake. Just the reporting.

          So, it's your belief that "leaked" and "publicly available" are mutually exclusive?

          Everything on Wikileaks is "leaked" and everything is also publicly available. So a leaked report could also be publicly available.

          All this according to a Fox News story. Why would you even believe the "quotes" from the "scientists" are real? The entire thing c

          • Re:Fake News (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @02:09AM (#54972075)

            Continuing skepticism in the face of overwhelming evidence doesn't make you look clever or thoughtful. It makes you look like a partisan zealot refusing to admit when you're wrong. Here, you can read it right on their own Twitter feed:

            https://twitter.com/KHayhoe/st... [twitter.com]
            https://twitter.com/KHayhoe/st... [twitter.com]

            https://twitter.com/bobkopp/st... [twitter.com]
            https://twitter.com/bobkopp/st... [twitter.com]

            The scientists who authored the report are confused as to why this is a story, and you're going to quibble over "publicly available" semantics? No, it was put up on public sites for "public comments". That's hardly equivalent to a "leak", and you damn well know it. I can't believe you're seriously making that argument. Or else, you're doing an awesome job of trolling me right now.

            And seriously, "fake news" is an alt-right conspiracy? Are you kidding me? That was a narrative started by the left/mainstream media to explain how Hillary could have possibly lost the election. But the left gets hoist by their own petard whenever something like this happens, as reporters occasionally demonstrate a complete disregard for the most basic fact-checking before they breathlessly run a story that just happens to show the current administration in a bad light. We saw it happen with the Washington Post and the "Russians hacking the electrical grid" nonsense (they didn't even bother contacting Burlington Electric for a statement), and we see it now again with the non-existent fact-checking of the New York Times before publishing a completely made-up story.

            Would I call that "fake news"? No, not really. Just plain bad journalism. But in the end, it really amounts to the same thing - misinformation presented as news.

    • From best I can work out, its actually a bit of both.

      This "leak" apparently is just a slightly revised version of the public comment version. So not really a "leak" but its not exactly the same as "Was already publically available", and its entirely plausible the scientists interviewed do believe it will be buried. Having worked in climate research theres incredible pressure on scientists to bury results that confirm just how bad its getting, particularly when goverments start putting faux-conservative barb

  • Isn't climate change more-or-less a solved problem now?

    Non-carbon energy sources are trending towards being cheaper than fossil fuels sources before 2040. Maybe long before. Until then, cheap natural gas is displacing coal.

    Gasoline usage in the developed world has largely leveled off and a large percentage of future vehicles will be electric. The majority of local trips may be electric long before 2040. More cities in developing countries are pushing electric vehicles to solve air quality problems.

    Measu

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Are you delirious? Without incredibly focused forward thinking action and significant sacrifice in quality of life, we are going to see horrible chaos and destruction.

      With incredibly focused forward thinking action and significant sacrifice in quality of life, we are going to see much less horrible, but still pretty horrible chaos and destruction.

      Coastal capitals underwater, hundreds of millions dead, bio-collapse of the acidifying oceans causing mass famine and marine animal extinction.

      Seriously apocalypti

  • by artetheres ( 5046577 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @12:28AM (#54971747)

    Out of all the forces of nature we have first-hand experience of, not necessarily of all the forces we have seen evidence of, the greenhouse gas theory is the most likely.

    This is the best argument that can be made for human-caused climate change.

    We aren't talking about some simple system here. We can't just jump to conclusions. This is the ENTIRE WORLD weather system. It may be governed by forces we are not totally aware of or are totally ignorant of.

    What exactly is the proof that global warming is due to human carbon emissions rather than a natural warming cycle with all the fermentation products in the soil and water from the beginning of the last ice age to present that are being released?

    "Climate change" theorists do not seem to be able to answer this question, but it is the crux of the validity of their point of view.
    Do they realize that the ice age literally just happened on a geological time-scale? That geological science just sprouted out of nowhere in the last 150 years and it's mostly been used to exploit coal, gas, oil, and minerals? There is only so much we have experience with, and only so much our theories can tell us. We simply do not know much about the planet's long-term weather/climate cycles, there is only so much the geological record has told us, it has only been looked into for so much.

    Just everybody chill out.
    There are much bigger and more immediate problems related to human presence that are objectively proven in cause and effect that are ravaging our not only our planet's natural state, but our own lives.

    Honestly this "climate change" issue seems like a distraction from these issues, manipulating people into guilt over something that they have a very indirect influence on. Sorry but your efforts to 'go green' mean absolutely nothing in the face of industrial pollution, the most immediate and terrible effects of which would not be climate change even if that were proven to be the cause.

    We need to worry about our society, the centralization of power: mass surveillance, automation, wealth disparity, human rights (especially freedom of speech and quality of education), the list goes on.
    You cannot do ANYTHING about climate change until you deal with these problems. Stop kidding yourself.

    • by tsa ( 15680 )

      That's a chilling display of ignorance but unfortunately not chilling enough to compensate for global warming.

  • It's hilarious that this is still considered 'news' on an American website.
  • by myid ( 3783581 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @07:21AM (#54972911)

    The New York Times has added a correction to their article [nytimes.com]. At the end of the article, a paragraph now states

    Correction: August 9, 2017
    An article on Tuesday about a sweeping federal climate change report referred incorrectly to the availability of the report. While it was not widely publicized, the report was uploaded by the nonprofit Internet Archive in January; it was not first made public by The New York Times.

  • Why was this leaked? Because somebody thought it might be suppressed? How about giving the administration a chance before assuming it will be suppressed and breaking the law? Why publish it right away instead of waiting to see if it does get suppressed? This is just like Reality Winter's dumb-ass move.

    This is a problem, and it indicates there's a huge problem in the Federal bureaucracy with paper-pushers deciding for themselves how to run the government. If the administration was hiding something,

    • Maybe it has something to do with stuff like this:

      "Trump Administration Orders EPA to Remove Its Climate Change Web Page

      The move adds to concerns that the administration will promote a denial of fundamental science within its agencies"

      - Scientific American, January 2017 -

  • by Roodvlees ( 2742853 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @08:46AM (#54973271)
    I fully agree that humans influence the environment but the uncertainty in models is larger than the supposed influence.
    Even if you fully accept that all climate warming is due to human influence you still have to answer two important questions.
    1. Is a warmer planet bad?
    2. Can government do something without destroying the economy

    It's clear the establishment assumes yes to both answers by default but they haven't even asked the supposed 97% about this.
    On the first question they do fear mongering all the time, predicting distopian futures that turn out to be false every time and blaming every negative weather event on human influence.
    On the second question; their beloved Paris accord only promises to reduce the increase in temperature by a tiny amount.
    But then they'll say it's only the first step, basically admitting there will be an endless stream of agreements that do almost nothing.
    It's important to keep the economy intact because in a bad economy people care less for the environment.

    All of this reveals a distinct anti-human attitude.
    It's like asking a termite: Q: Does termite behavior change the environment? A: Yes. Conclusion: The termite hill should be destroyed.
    Fossil fuels are what make our quality of life possible, without it we would degrade 100 years.
    "Renewable energy" is shit. Because it's unreliable and too expensive.
  • by bravecanadian ( 638315 ) on Wednesday August 09, 2017 @08:47AM (#54973277)

    How a generally pro-science forum like slashdot can have a good chunk of its posters revert to fox news talking points on politically charged issues.

    The same, tired, debunked, denier arguments again and again..

    • Because the topic is climate change. Not surprisingly most of the deniers are AC, and it seems like the disinformation and trolling tactics are just as predictable as always. It leads me to think that people are spending their time responding to bots, which lack the creativity to come up with any kind of new argument.

    • I'm a little less amazed. /. has traditionally had a lot of fairly intelligent people posting here. Unfortunately, it's had a lot of specialists, and in general, smart specialists tend to assume that their expertise in one narrow niche is applicable to others. (Spoiler, it's generally not.) If you've spent any time working with university professors, this becomes abundantly clear.

      "I'm really good at X, and I don't understand Y, so Y must be wrong, because I can understand anything, because I'm an e

    • by RyoShin ( 610051 )

      The Dunning-Kruger effect [wikipedia.org] is well known on /., and I call what you point out as the "Carson Corollary"[1]: someone actually is intelligent in a specific field, but they mistakenly believe this makes them intelligent in all fields.

      Regardless of where they get their talking points, if they sound good and/or come from a "trusted" source someone suffering the Carson Corollary won't bother to do any research or give measured thought to contrary points or evidence, they presume their own knowledge of a subject is

  • by kenh ( 9056 )

    This report wasn't leaked, it is a near verbatim copy of a DRAFT report put out for public comment in Dec. 2016 and pulled from the site at the end of the review period, as is normal. We know this because several of the authors of the report said so on Twitter [foxnews.com] after the 'explosive leak of this blockbuster report.'

    See, this is fake news, taking something no one noticed, and then pretending like it never happened before.

    The NYT didn't bother to do a basic fact-check before publishing it's 'leaked' gov't repor

  • I still don't see how humans and CO2 are causing warming on Mars. https://www.space.com/33001-ma... [space.com]

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.

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