“Climate Change” References Removed from USGS Press Release

Silencing Science Tracker

“Climate Change” References Removed from USGS Press Release

Authors of a paper published by the U.S. Geological Study (USGS) claim the Department of the Interior (DOI) removed a line from the associated press release that established the link between sea-level rise and climate change.

One of the six authors of the paper, Sean Vitousek (an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago) said that, while they were approving the press release, DOI deleted a line reading: “Global climate change drives sea-level rise, increasing the frequency of coastal flooding.” As a result, the final release failed to reference the cause of sea-level rise, simply stating: “The frequency and severity of coastal flooding throughout the world will increase rapidly and eventually double in frequency over the coming decades even with only moderate amounts of sea level rise.”

USGS lead press officer said that the deleted line “didn’t add anything to the overall findings.” She explained that the fact climate change causes sea levels to rise is not a new finding and therefore did not warrant inclusion in the press release.

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