USGS Scientists Ordered Not to Model Long-Term Climate Impacts

Silencing Science Tracker

USGS Scientists Ordered Not to Model Long-Term Climate Impacts

On May 27, 2019, the New York Times reported that the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), James Reilly, ordered agency scientists not to engage in long-term modelling of climate change impacts. According to the report, while USGS scientist previously modeled climate change impacts through 2100, Director Reilly has ordered that they only use computer-generated climate models that project impacts through 2040. Scientists have expressed concern that such short-term modelling is misleading “because the biggest effects of current emissions will be felt after 2040.”


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  • Dreighton Rosier says:

    Government scientists are charged with public trust to protect Americans from risks of bad things happening in the natural world. Their tools are their education and intelligence, and their continuous examination of the natural world. When their freedom to advise the public of their findings, including their opinions of future events, is limited by any political mandate they are being ordered to lie to the public. Natural risks that are going to happen in the next decade are only the tip of the icebergs. Devastation awaits our children and their children if we do not start preparing this decade for calamitous events that we know will be fully in progress before the end of this century. For example, sea level rise of 2 meters is 5% likely but rise of 1 meter is very likely and that will displace hundreds of millions of people in a planet already desperate for land and water to grow adequate food for our human population which has increased out of all proportion to resources and is still growing.

  • M.R. Paxson says:

    This is censorship in one of its many guises. Government scientists should be free to look at the data in any manner they find useful and relevant without this kind of imposed limitation.

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