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The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, has already put himself at odds with the vast majority of climate scientists. In a TV interview today, Pruitt said he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to climate change. As NPR’s Nathan Rott reports, his own agency has said otherwise.

NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: The question asked of Mr. Pruitt on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” was whether or not he believed it’s been proven that carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is the, quote, “primary control knob for climate.” Here’s the EPA administrator’s response.

SCOTT PRUITT: No. I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do. And there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact. That - so, no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.

DAVID TITLEY: I don’t know what Mr. Pruitt does or does not believe in. And honestly it doesn’t really matter what he believes in.

ROTT: This is David Titley, the director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate at Pennsylvania State University and a former rear admiral in the U.S. Navy.

TITLEY: The atmosphere doesn’t care what any single person believes. It’s just going to keep getting warmer, and the climate’s going to change as long as we keep increasing the amount of greenhouse gases.

ROTT: The scientific community overwhelmingly agrees with Titley’s point. A report by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just earlier this year said that changes in the planet’s surface temperature are largely driven by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions. The EPA’s own website says, quote, “it is extremely likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of that warming.” Jennifer Francis is a research professor at Rutgers University.

JENNIFER FRANCIS: It would be hard to find a scientist that disagreed with that. The evidence is overwhelming.

ROTT: Pruitt’s comments to the contrary, though, aren’t out of the ordinary for him. During his confirmation hearing, he said that the degree to which humans impact climate change is in question. He’s written on the topic, and as Oklahoma’s attorney general, he sued to stop the Obama administration’s biggest regulation to combat climate change, the clean power plan, with the backing of the oil and gas industry.

Donald Trump has promised to get rid of that plan, as well as another major regulation that aims to limit carbon emissions from cars and trucks. An executive order that would set those changes in motion is expected just next week. Francis thinks all of that is concerning.

FRANCIS: The longer it takes us to get a grip and start reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases, the worse problem it’s going to get and the harder it’s going to be to fix it.

ROTT: The EPA actually has a legal mandate to regulate greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide because of a Supreme Court decision in 2007. But Pruitt in his interview today said he’d like to see Congress weigh in on that, as well. Nathan Rott, NPR News.

Read more:

6 Reasons NOAA’s GOES-R Satellite Matters

NOAA’s GOES-R weather satellite will soon be launched into space – becoming our nation’s most advanced geostationary satellite to date. So what does that mean for you? Here are six reasons to be excited about GOES-R:

1. GOES-R helps you know what the weather is going to be

Perhaps you turn on the TV or radio, or check your favorite weather website or smartphone weather app to get the latest forecast. No matter the platform of your weather forecast, the data and information for those forecasts come from NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS).

Weather satellites, like the GOES satellites, are the backbone of NWS forecasts. GOES-R will be more advanced than any other weather satellite of its kind and could make the answer to the question “What’s the weather going to be?” more detailed and accurate both in the near term and further out into the future.

2. GOES-R will get better data faster than ever before

Do you live in an inland state, a state with a coastline or a state with a mountain range? Great, that’s all of you! Data from the GOES-R satellite will be a game changer for forecasters in your area.

Here’s why: satellites are fitted with instruments that observe weather and collect measurements. The primary instrument on the new GOES-R satellite will collect three times more data and provide four times better resolution and more than five times faster coverage than current satellites! This means the satellite can scan Earth’s Western Hemisphere every five minutes and as often as every 30 seconds in areas where severe weather forms, as compared to approximately every 30 minutes with the current GOES satellites. Pretty cool, right?

3. GOES-R is a real life-saver

This expedited data means that forecasts will be timelier, with more “real-time” information in them, allowing NWS to make those warnings and alerts that much faster, thereby potentially saving lives.

And a faster forecast is a big deal for our economy. Commercial shipping and aviation are just two examples of industries that rely on up-to-date weather data for critical decisions about how to route ships and safely divert planes around storms.

4. GOES-R helps keep the electricity flowing

We all depend on a power grid for virtually every aspect of modern life. But power grids are vulnerable to bursts of energy from the sun that can affect us on Earth. 

Luckily, GOES-R will be sitting over 22,000 miles above us, and in addition to measuring weather on Earth, it will monitor incoming space weather.

5. GOES-R is truly revolutionary

How different will GOES-R be? Imagine going from your classic black and white TV to a new high definition one. It will enable NOAA to gather data using three times more channels, four times the resolution, five times faster than the current GOES satellites. 

This faster, more accurate data means better observations of developing storms and other severe weather.

6. GOES-R will be a continuing a legacy

GOES-R may be the first of its kind, but it is the heir to a rich tradition of geostationary earth observation. 

In fact, NOAA has continuously operated a GOES satellite for over 40 years. Since 1975, GOES satellites have taken well over 3 million images!

The GOES-R satellite is scheduled to launch Saturday, Nov. 19 at 5:42 p.m. EST aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Liftoff will occur from our Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Learn more about the mission:

Article Credit: NOAA

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tropical storms hits Ireland

The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are experiencing some of the most extreme weather the island has seen in decades as the aftermath of Hurricane Ophelia strikes.
Another man in his thirties died while trying to clear a fallen tree in an incident involving a chainsaw.
This leads to the potential for injuries and danger to life,“ the U.K. Met Office said on its website.
Meanwhile, the U.K.’s Met Office had an amber warning in place on Monday, warning that parts of Northern Ireland, west Wales, northern England and Scotland could be hit by "a spell of very windy weather associated with ex-Ophelia.
"The extreme weather is the tail-end of Hurricane Ophelia which was downgraded to a tropical storm and on Monday morning was declared a "post-tropical cyclone” by the Florida-based National Hurricane Center.

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Posted at Mon Oct 16 21:00:23 2017

catseamus  asked:

My wife and I are visiting Ireland at the end of June for our honeymoon. Do you have any places you'd recommend that we visit while we're there?

Oh, wow. It really depends on what kinds of things you like to see generally.

If you’re a fan of the countryside, I’d head out west… there is some gloriously rural landscape out there, as well as some gloriously empty terrain. (And some that’s tragically empty, simply because there’s not enough available work to keep people there.) If you like cities, Dublin and Cork are brilliant: very walkable places surrounded by fabulous smaller attractions. If you’re a history fan, there are a heap of fascinating locations both in the North and the Republic: go Googling and you’ll find hundreds of places of broad or narrowly-targeted interest.

Like food tourism? Dublin and Cork again – there are amazing restaurants in both, and missing the English Market in Cork would be a crime. Looking for ancient Ireland? Go to Newgrange and Glendalough. (Everybody else does, why not you?) And don’t miss the National Museum in Dublin, or the Ulster Museum in Belfast, if you want to see some splendid old things.

Only one negative recommendation: I wouldn’t bother with the Blarney Stone. You have to go through all kinds of contortions to get at it, and the smell of chlorine bleach may put you off. (Because of course every night they scrub it down with the equivalent of Clorox to keep the tourists from cross-infecting each other…)

A bit of advice also: before you go, spend some time reading the Irish newspapers online to get a sense of what’s going on over here. (Google for: Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner… I’d avoid the tabloids if I were you: normally there’s not a lot worth reading in those.) Also: the website and Twitter accounts for the national talk radio station Newstalk ( serve as a good sort of informal news aggregator for what’s on the nation’s mind. And you may want to have a look at news, etc, on the website for the national TV and radio broadcaster, Radio Telefis Eireann:

Have fun! (And I hope the weather’s good for you. Just a warning: our best weather has historically tended to come in the spring, and often by June it’s gone wet and rather cool. But with climate change in full swing, anything can happen. Around now you should start keeping an eye on the weather from Met Eireann, at, to get a sense of general trends.)