Global Science Report is a weekly feature from the Center for the Study of Science, where we highlight one or two important new items in the scientific literature or the popular media. For broader and more technical perspectives, consult our monthly “Current Wisdom.”
Recall that the NCA is a product of the federal government’s U.S. Global Change Research Program, whose motto is “Thirteen Agencies, One Mission: Empower the Nation with Global Change Science.”
In their case, “empower” is synonymous with “indoctrinate.”
Here is a good example:
The section on hurricanes in Chapter 2 (“Our Changing Climate”) caught our eye. The NCA has a sidebar on the history of the hurricane “power dissipation index” (PDI), a well-known cubic function of the wind velocity. The NCAs graphs begin in 1970 and end in 2009 (a full four years before the NCA was released). They include a trend line through the PDI data beginning in 1980 that’s going up for whatever reason and that is apparently convenient for drawing an association with human-caused global warming. But had the NCA authors consulted a longer record, say, from 1920 to 2013 (the last year data was available for the 2014 NCA) they could have readily ruled out any role of global warming.
Figure 1. From page 42 of the hardcopy of the 2014 National Assessment Report form the USGCRP (available here).