True colours revealed

Published: Monday 28 February 2005

-- The us government has imposed drastic fund cuts in climate change research despite its claims for the need of "more research" before any serious action on greenhouse gas emission can be taken. It recently pulled the plug on two important climate change observation programmes. The Climate Reference Network (crn) comprises 110 observation stations across the us to measure, among other things, solar radiation, wind speed and relative humidity. The other programme aims to record atmospheric carbon dioxide increase. Both are operated by the us National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa).

What smacks of conspiracy is the fact that the government, which reportedly spends up to us $5 billion on climate change research, cut funding on these relatively inexpensive projects. Experts say crn aimed to remove anomalies in weather data collection, which has spawned considerable debate. "It's almost as if some people don't want to know how the climate is changing," says Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder.

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