Former Obama climate official slams new government report on climate change

Many climate scientists feared that the Trump administration would withhold or redact sections from the Climate Science Special Report – an annual summation of the latest in global warming studies.  But Trump allowed the document to be published and, to no one's surprise, it fingered human burning of fossil fuels as the main culprit in global warming.

But a former Obama administration scientist, theoretical physicist Steven Koonin, calls the report "deceptive" and wants a panel convened of both pro- and anti-global warming advocates to debate the issue.

Daily Caller:

Theoretical physicist Steven Koonin is once again leveling criticism at the soon-be-released Climate Science Special Report, which is part of the fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA). Koonin said the special report leaves out important historical context to make its findings more alarming.

"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," Koonin wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

"But it fails to mention that the rate fluctuated by comparable amounts several times during the 20th century," said Koonin, who served as undersecretary of energy for science at the Obama Energy Department.

Federal agencies and scientists from academia take part in putting the NCA together, but Koonin argued "the institutions involved in the report should figure out how and why such shortcomings survived multiple rounds of review."

Koonin previously criticized the Obama administration for putting out "misleading" information on global warming in order to influence policy, specifically singling out the 2014 Climate Science Special Report's section on hurricanes.

"Such data misrepresentations violate basic scientific norms," Koonin wrote in his op-ed.

"The report's executive summary declares that U.S. heat waves have become more common since the mid-1960s, although acknowledging the 1930s Dust Bowl as the peak period for extreme heat," Koonin wrote of the latest NCA report. "Yet buried deep in the report is a figure showing that heat waves are no more frequent today than in 1900."

This kind of deception only creates more skeptics and buttresses the case that at least some of the climate data being used has been cooked.  But there's nothing new in employing these same tactics.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been caught numerous times using similar devices to advance its theories on global warming.

Trump was right to release this report.  It won't change any minds.  It won't "prove" climate change one way or another.  But there is still valuable research that needs to be made available.  You can't base public policy on the report.  But anything that improves our understanding of atmospheric process, like some of the information contained in the report, should be disseminated to the scientific community.

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