Confusion at NASA Over Global Warming - And Being Able to Talk About It

2005 Was the Warmest Year in a Century, NASA

"The year 2005 may have been the warmest year in a century, according to NASA scientists studying temperature data from around the world."

Debate on Climate Shifts to Issue of Irreparable Change, Washington Post

"When Hansen posted data on the Internet in the fall suggesting that 2005 could be the warmest year on record, NASA officials ordered Hansen to withdraw the information because he had not had it screened by the administration in advance, according to a Goddard scientist who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him, NY Times

"Dean Acosta, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs at the space agency, said there was no effort to silence Dr. Hansen. "That's not the way we operate here at NASA," he said. "We promote openness and we speak with the facts."

"The fresh efforts to quiet him, Dr. Hansen said, began in a series of calls after a lecture he gave on Dec. 6 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. In the talk, he said that significant emission cuts could be achieved with existing technologies, particularly in the case of motor vehicles, and that without leadership by the United States, climate change would eventually leave the earth "a different planet."

The administration's policy is to use voluntary measures to slow, but not reverse, the growth of emissions.

After that speech and the release of data by Dr. Hansen on Dec. 15 showing that 2005 was probably the warmest year in at least a century, officials at the headquarters of the space agency repeatedly phoned public affairs officers, who relayed the warning to Dr. Hansen that there would be "dire consequences" if such statements continued, those officers and Dr. Hansen said in interviews."

Editor's note: In the mean time, while NASA PAO can't quite figure out what is or is not being done to pressure/not pressure Dr. Hansen with regards to his data, the U.S. State Department has reissued Hansen's news (NASA Scientists Say 2005 Was the Warmest Year in a Century) for dissemination around the world - with a link to a recent press release at NASA and a link to additional data at GISS - a page that includes a link to Hansen's supposedly notorious 64 page 6 Dec 2005 AGU presentation. This story is also the top link on the State Department's Climate Change page

If higher ups in the Administration are so upset about this, then why are they so overtly linking to Hansen's work over at the U.S. State Department? This strikes me as yet another instance of one hand not knowing what the other is doing at NASA PAO - and of NASA's frequent disconnect within the NASA's Strategic Communications office with regard to the broader aspects of White House policy outside space exploration.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on January 29, 2006 10:17 AM.

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