Al Gore goofed in an interview about the science of climate change -- claiming a new category of hurricane had been added to the traditional scale, The Hill
A Union of Concerned Scientists blogger wrote Thursday the former vice president deserved kudos for his "Nobel-Peace-Prize winning efforts" in being a strong voice on climate change -- but that a piece of misinformation made its way into an interview he gave to the Washington Post.
Gore, referring to Hurricane Sandy as the type of strong storm that's fueled by climate change, told the paper “the hurricane scale used to be 1-5 and now they’re adding a 6.”
"The extreme events are more extreme," Gore said in his Post interview. "The fingerprint of man-made global warming is all over these storms and extreme weather events.”
Wrong. And right, wrote Gretchen Goldman, an analyst with the Center for Science and Democracy.
"There are no plans by the National Hurricane Center — the federal office responsible for categorizing storms — to create a new category," she blogged, adding: "Though, it is worth noting that the rest of the interview included accurate and important information and it’s unfortunate that this blip made its way in."
Goldman, an expert in atmospheric science with a PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology, The Hill noted, also injected a note of caution into the debate about climate and storms, writing: "Hurricanes in the North Atlantic region have been intensifying over the past 40 years but not elsewhere in the world. By contrast, scientists have high confidence that sea level will rise all over the world, and particularly fast in some areas like the East Coast."
She also warned that "Politicians and others can be effective communicators of climate science and guide us toward policy action, but they risk creating confusion and eroding public confidence in science when they make misrepresentative statements."
She noted that "several politicians from both sides of the aisle" last month got it wrong -- in one instance, on the link between climate change and hurricanes, and in another, by dismissing "the whole body of climate science entirely."
addressed the goof in a blog post Thursday headlined: "The Category 6 hurricane: Al Gore's science fiction."
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