Scientists in the US urged to give a better explaination about climate change.
WASHINGTON – Climate change is here and scientists need to do a better job of explaining it to the public, the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Friday.
"We are no longer constrained by talking about some possible future. Climate change is happening now and it's happening in people's back yards," Jane Lubchenco told reporters at a briefing.
"Scientists have seriously underestimated the importance of explaining what we know about climate in a way people can understand," she said.
The effects of climate change are being felt from melting Arctic sea ice to threats to birds and forests and the spread of disease. Worldwide, 2000-2009 was the warmest decade on record.
Recent criticism of errors in the U.N. climate panel report on global warming and revelation of stolen e-mails from climate scientists have raised questions about climate change.
It's not surprising there could be a few errors in a 3,000-page document, Lubchenco said, though she stressed that the goal is always to have no errors.
"There is a well-orchestrated and fairly successful effort under way to confuse and sometimes cherry-pick information," Lubchenco said.
The best response, she said, is to provide information from trusted sources such as NOAA, which operates the National Weather Service and collects and distributes data on weather and climate.
"I don't view our role as trying to convince people of something," she said. "Our role is to inform people."
NOAA recently announced plans to consolidate its climate studies and plans to set up a new Climate Service in parallel to the National Weather Service.