This is just ludicrous. I am visiting the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for a workshop, and some of the other attendees brought this story up last night. The Sharpie edit to the hurricane path looks like a meme, or a cartoon of a meme. But that NOAA staff would contravene a statement of fact with one of absurd fabrication is infuriating.
Update: The NY Times says it was Mulvaney, the president’s chief-of-staff, who pressured Commerce Secretary Ross to pressure NOAA admins to rescind the Birmingham NOAA office’s response to Trump’s ridiculous tweet. I wonder also, if an administration can alter the data of an ostensibly independent federal agency, charged with monitoring conditions of weather and climate that are of vital interest to everyone in the US, what other data might they be capable of altering? What else underwrites the financial system but trust in institutional independence? What a remarkably short sighted thing to do.
Image: Tim O’Brien
New York Magazine: How Trump’s False Dorian Forecast Sparked a Crisis at NOAA.