Government Agencies Defy Trump by Tweeting Climate Facts
In a political era where "alternative facts" are used in place of actual facts, several government bodies have been tweeting doses of reality in defiance of President Donald Trump and his many controversial stances. That is, until someone at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. notices and forces them to delete their social media missives.
Federal Agencies Barred From Speaking to Press, Posting on Social Media https://t.co/U1it9SRSDr @SierraClub @billmckibben @MarkRuffalo @350— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1485357726.0
The Badlands National Park in South Dakota really lived up to its name after tweeting out several posts about climate change Tuesday afternoon, countering the president and most of his administration's notorious skepticism of climate science.
"The pre-industrial concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million (ppm). As of December 2016, 404.93 ppm," the first post read.
A second tweet read, "Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years. #climate".
The third, "Flipside of the atmosphere; ocean acidity has increased 30 percent since the Industrial Revolution. 'Ocean Acidification' #climate #carboncycle".
Finally, the fourth post stated that "Burning one gallon of gasoline puts nearly 20lbs of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. #climate".
Although these tweets have since been removed, whoever was tweeting from the Badlands account was particularly audacious. The Badlands social media hero tweeted in spite of the Trump administration's earlier Twitter gag order on the entire National Park Service.
It all started on the day of the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20 when the National Park Service retweeted these two critical tweets about the new Commander in Chief, including one that poked fun of the size of Trump's crowd compared to President Obama's.
Compare the crowds: 2009 inauguration at left, 2017 inauguration at right. #Inauguration https://t.co/y7RhIR2nfC— Binyamin Appelbaum (@Binyamin Appelbaum)1484929217.0
Civil rights, climate change, and health care scrubbed clean from White House website. Not a trace. https://t.co/Nc9zNIyN3d— Anne Trumble (@Anne Trumble)1484943300.0
Someone at the Trump Administration noticed shortly after and forced the National Park Service to temporarily shut down its Twitter activity. As Gizmodo reported, here's an email that was sent to National Park employees that Friday:
We have received direction from the Department through [the Washington Support Office] that directs all [Department of Interior] bureaus to immediately cease use of government Twitter accounts until further notice.
PWR parks that use Twitter as part of their crisis communications plans need to alter their contingency plans to accommodate this requirement. Please ensure all scheduled posts are deleted and automated cross-platform social media connections to your twitter accounts are severed. The expectation is that there will be absolutely no posts to Twitter.
In summary, this Twitter stand down means we will cease use of Twitter immediately. However, there is no need to suspend or delete government accounts until directed.
This does not affect use of other approved social media platforms. We expect further guidance to come next week and we will share accordingly.
Thanks for your help!
The National Park Service's Twitter account has since been revived and issued an apology about its "mistaken" retweets.
We regret the mistaken RTs from our account yesterday and look forward to continuing to share the beauty and histor… https://t.co/5f45p7MHg5— NationalParkService (@NationalParkService)1485012069.0
As Gizmodo surmised, one reason that the National Park Service might be sour at Trump is due to his nomination U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke for Secretary of the Interior, who will be tasked with the president's plans to drill federal lands, including National Parks, for more energy development. Zinke is a climate change skeptic and coal mining advocate.
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By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.
By Jewel Fraser
Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.