Inaccurate news reports misrepresent a climate-science initiative of the American Geophysical Union

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An article appearing in the Los Angeles Times, and then picked up by media outlets far and wide, misrepresents the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and a climate science project the AGU is about to relaunch. The project, called Climate Q&A Service, aims simply to provide accurate scientific answers to questions from journalists about climate science.

In contrast to what has been reported in the LA Times and elsewhere, there is no campaign by AGU against climate skeptics or congressional conservatives

An article appearing in the Los Angeles Times, and then picked up by media outlets far and wide, misrepresents the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and a climate science project the AGU is about to relaunch. The project, called Climate Q&A Service, aims simply to provide accurate scientific answers to questions from journalists about climate science.

"In contrast to what has been reported in the LA Times and elsewhere, there is no campaign by AGU against climate skeptics or congressional conservatives," says Christine McEntee, Executive Director and CEO of the American Geophysical Union. "AGU will continue to provide accurate scientific information on Earth and space topics to inform the general public and to support sound public policy development."

AGU is the world's largest, not-for-profit, professional society of Earth and space scientists, with more than 58,000 members in over 135 countries.

"AGU is a scientific society, not an advocacy organization," says climate scientist and AGU President Michael J. McPhaden. "The organization is committed to promoting scientific discovery and to disseminating to the scientific community, policy makers, the media, and the public, peer-reviewed scientific findings across a broad range of Earth and space sciences."

AGU initiated a climate science Q&A service for the first time in 2009 to provide accurate scientific information for journalists covering the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. AGU has been working over the past year on how to provide this service once again in association with the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico.

AGU's Climate Q&A Service addresses scientific questions only. It does not involve any commentary on policy. Journalists are able to submit questions via email, and AGU member-volunteers with Ph.D.s in climate science-related fields provide answers via email.

The relaunch of the Climate Q&A Service is pending. When AGU is ready to announce the service, we will notify journalists on our distribution list via a media advisory that the service is once again available for their use.

For additional information about the Q&A service please see a 2 March 2010 article about the 2009 Q&A service that was published in AGU's weekly newspaper Eos at http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/About_AGU_ClimateScientists.pdf, and a blog post about the service on AGU's science communication blog The Plainspoken Scientist (http://blogs.agu.org/sciencecommunication/2010/06/17/matching-scientists-and-journalists/).

The American Geophysical Union was established in 1919, and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. AGU advances the Earth and space sciences through its scholarly publications, meetings and conferences, and outreach programs. For more information, please visit http://www.agu.org

(This release is available online at http://www.agu.org/news/press/pr_archives/2010/2010-37.shtml)

Media Contact
Peter Weiss: 202-777-7507, pweiss(at)agu(dot)org

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