23 May 2017

Deleting Science That is Politically Inconvenient Will Backfire

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Blackwater NWR in Maryland. My photo from the air in the WBOC Chopper 16.

A major paper on the impact of sea-level rise is out today. FYI: The first line of this USGS release about the paper is missing the first line: “Global climate change drives sea-level rise, increasing the frequency of coastal flooding.” It was removed by political appointees in the Interior Dept. The Washington Post broke that story here

I did a related story this week here in Maryland, about the impact that rising seas are having on the Blackwater NWR near Cambridge Maryland. Blackwater is one of my favourite spots for pictures, but it’s changing rapidly as the waters of the Chesapeake Bay rise, while invasive species have also caused serious issues. New research by Neil Ganju at the USGS in Woods Hole shows this beautiful marshland is disappearing, and it may be gone by the end of this century.
Ganju found that comparing the ratio of open water to marshland was a good predictor of the health of a marshland. The research shows Blackwater is likely in real trouble, as it rapidly loses sediment. The story is below: