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Scientists Published an Entire Study Refuting the EPA Chief on Climate Change

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Science tends to move at a slower pace than news — measurements have to be taken, observed, and analyzed before sound conclusions can be drawn and information conveyed.

So even though the director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, said things that were wrong during his Senate committee hearing back in January, scientists are just now able to show the full extent of those inaccuracies in a recently published report.

During his confirmation hearing, Pruitt said that “over the past two decades satellite data indicates there has been a leveling off of warming.”

Read More: After Being Sworn in, EPA Director Says Carbon Doesn’t Cause Climate Change

Even though the lead scientists of the report knew this to be wrong, they went back and studied available satellite readings just to make sure the data was correct.

“These claims were made in the US Senate, in a confirmation,” Benjamin Santer, one of the authors of the report published in Nature Scientific Reports, told the Washington Post.

“It takes time however to set the record straight, to do due diligence, to do the research necessary to address the claims. And one would hope that the scientific response receives at least some token amount of attention, and that the original incorrect claim does not dominate the public discourse on these critically important issues.”

Their research further bolstered the scientific consensus — the Earth is warming, and this warming has not plateaued as Pruitt suggested.

Climate change skeptics like Pruitt have argued that temperature reading closer to the Earth’s surface diverge from temperatures higher up in the middle and upper troposphere.

The scientists showed this to be false — temperatures have risen in all three zones of the troposphere.

They also looked at data sets in 20-year intervals to see if Pruitt’s claim that there has been a slow down has any credibility.

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To do this they looked at what predictions for temperature increases on Earth would be without human activity. They then compared this to actual temperature increases, and determined that there was very little likelihood that the Earth could warm at such a rapid rate without human involvement.

Once again, Pruitt’s assertion that the Earth’s temperature was stabilizing was shown to be wrong.

For the scientists involved in this study, Pruitt’s misinformation is another disheartening example of how science, especially relating to climate change, has been politicized, pulled from the realm of objectivity.

Read More: Trump Destroys Obama’s Climate Progress With Stroke of a Pen

But that doesn’t mean they’re giving up.

As the Trump administration unravels progress made on climate change and sets the stage for an era of dirty energy, states across the country are leading the way toward a clean future by enacting their own ambitious agendas.   

And they’re fully powered by the hard work of scientists.

“In my opinion, when incorrect science is elevated to the level of formal congressional testimony and makes its way into the official congressional record, climate scientists have some responsibility to test specific claims that were made, determine whether those claims are correct or not, and publish their results,” said Santer to the Washington Post.