This article originally appeared on Grist.org.
They came after EPA Administrator Pruitt in a very sciencey way: by publishing a study that takes down a claim Pruitt made during confirmation questions.
When asked whether he believes there is uncertainty about global warming, Pruitt responded that “over the past two decades, satellite data indicates there has been a leveling off of warming, which some scientists refer to as the ‘hiatus.’”
OK — so it’s been about three months since Pruitt’s confirmation. But science takes time, people!
The study directly refutes Pruitt’s response, calling him out by name. It analyzes satellite data sets and debunks that there has been any sort of pause in warming — a common conservative talking point.
The science is unlikely to bring an about-face from Pruitt, who recently said carbon dioxide is not a main driver of climate change. But scientists are trying.
“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,” study coauthor Benjamin Santer told the Washington Post.