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(CNN)The magazine Scientific American announced Tuesday that it was endorsing former vice president and Democratic candidate Joe Biden-- the publication's first endorsement in its 175-year history -- over President Donald Trump, who it criticized for dismissing science.
"The evidence and the science
show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.
S. and its people
-- because he rejects evidence and science," the publication's editors wrote. "The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September.""He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges," wrote the editors of the science magazine which was founded 1845 and is one of the oldest continuously published magazines in the country.
Scientific American's editor in chief Laura Helmuth told CNN on Tuesday that the editorial board felt a responsibility to make an endorsement in this election and "use what reputation we have to help people understand that this is the most important election of our lifetimes."Trump has frequently amplified false and misleading information throughout the coronavirus pandemic, while downplaying advice issued by his government's top medical experts on how to combat the virus' spread.Read MoreDuring a visit Monday to California as the state battles wildfires, Trump abruptly shut down an official who warned that climate change was fueling the flames and pleaded with the President to follow the science, by saying, "I don't think science knows, actually."He told the official: "It'll start getting cooler. You just watch."J. Marshall Shepherd, Director of Atmospheric Sciences at University of Georgia, told CNN, "people at all levels struggle with the difference between weather and climate. One of the most common science literacy mistakes is to assume a cold day or seasonal transition somehow describes climate. That's like saying a baseball player getting one hit is now leading the league in batting average."Climate experts tell CNN due to human-caused climate change, temperature extremes are climbing higher and the vegetation is drier, which affects fire behavior.In its endorsement of Biden, Scientific American argued that while the coronavirus pandemic would strain any nation, Trump's "rejection of evidence and public health measures have been catastrophic" in the United States.It pointed to Trump's opposition to providing $25 billion for increased testing and contact tracing, his decision to flout mask mandates while in public, and his downplaying of the virus despite acknowledging its dangers and deadliness in interviews with journalist Bob Woodward. "At every stage, Trump has rejected the unmistakable lesson that controlling the disease, not downplaying it, is the path to economic reopening and recovery," the magazine's editors wrote, adding, "His lies encouraged people to engage in risky behavior, spreading the virus further, and have driven wedges between Americans who take the threat seriously and those who believe Trump's falsehoods."The publication argued that Biden "comes prepared with plans to control COVID-19, improve health care, reduce carbon emissions and restore the role of legitimate science in policy making."It lauded Biden's proposals to deal with the pandemic which includes plans to hire 100,000 people for a national contact tracing effort, and his environmental plans, including his proposed spending of $2 trillion over four years on clean energy projects."It's time to move Trump out and elect Biden, who has a record of following the data and being guided by science," the magazine's editors wrote.The magazine had published an editorial during the 2016 campaign, warning that Trump "repeatedly and resoundingly demonstrated a disregard, if not outright contempt, for science."Helmuth told CNN that in planning the magazine's 2020 election coverage, they decided to "be more explicit and that we say that Biden is the right candidate if you care
about science, healthy environment."Asked about criticism that the endorsement potentially further politicizes science, Helmuth said, "The choice was just so clear that we felt like we needed to use what reputation we have to help people understand the most important election of our lifetime.""We don't want to make our readers angry, but we also feel it's our mission to help people understand science," she said.
Helmuth pointed out that the editorial excluded the words "Republican" and "Democrat" in hopes that their readers will understand this election is different."Trump has been so dismal for the scientific enterprise that the things we all care about are just so directly under threat by his administration, and have been harmed by his administration, that we think it fits our mission to say clearly that people who are interested in and care about research, and knowledge, and expertise and making good decisions about policy. We hope that they understand that's a large part of our mission and Donald Trump is in direct conflict with our mission."
News Source: CNN
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Warming Shrinks Arctic Ocean Ice to 2nd Lowest on Record
By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer
Ice in the Arctic Ocean melted to its second lowest level on record this summer, triggered by global warming along with natural forces, U.S. scientists reported Monday.
The extent of ice-covered ocean at the North Pole and extending further south to Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia reached its summertime low of 1.4 million square miles (3.7 million square kilometers) last week before starting to grow again. Arctic sea ice reaches its low point in September and its high in March after the winter.
This year's melt is second only to 2012, when the ice shrank to 1.3 million square miles (3.4 million square kilometers), according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which has been keeping satellite records since 1979.
In the 1980s, the ice cover was about 1 million square miles (2.7 million square kilometers) bigger than current summer levels.
Data center director Mark Serreze said a Siberian heat wave last spring and a natural Arctic climate phenomenon were at play as well as the warming from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas. Temperatures for much of the year were 14 to 18 degrees (8 to 10 degrees Celsius) above normal in the Siberian Arctic.
“Absolutely we’re seeing climate change at work because the warm summers become warmer and the cold winters aren’t as cold as they were,” he said, noting there's been a downward trend over the last decade, with slight jumps up and down due to natural forces.
Studies show that the warming of the Arctic and the melting of sea ice change weather further south, by altering the jet stream and other waves that move weather systems. It’s been connected to increased winter storminess in the Eastern United States, said climate scientist Jennifer Francis of the Woodwell Climate Research Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
“What happens in the Arctic, as we say, doesn't stay in the Arctic,” Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann wrote in an email. “We see the impact of Arctic warming in the form of unprecedented heat waves, floods, droughts, wildfire that we are now contending with here in the U.S. and around the rest of the world."
Read stories on climate issues by The Associated Press at https://apnews.com/hub/climate.
Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter at @borenbears.
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
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