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Harsh Political Reality Slows Climate Studies Despite Extreme Year

Hurricane Claudette, © 2003 NASA

At the end of one of the most bizarre weather years in American history, climate research stands at a crossroads.

Scientists say they could, in theory, do a much better job of answering the question “Did global warming have anything to do with it?” after extreme weather events like the drought in Texas and the floods in New England.

But for many reasons, efforts to put out prompt reports on the causes of extreme weather are essentially languishing. Chief among the difficulties that scientists face: the political environment for new climate-science initiatives has turned hostile, and with the federal budget crisis, money is tight.

Click here to read more from this December 24, 2011 New York Times article by Justin Gillis.

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