It has been a long time in the making, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) finally released its scientific integrity policy, which prohibits agency employees from distorting science and protects the rights of NOAA scientists to speak openly about their work and to report wrongdoing.
Sediments pulled up from a drilling project in the Dead Sea suggest that the salty lake completely disappeared about 120,000 years ago, a finding that violates assumptions long held by scientists. The results, reported at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on 5 December, raise questions about how the warming climate will affect the endangered sea, where water levels have been dropping rapidly in the past few decades. Read more
In its final report, the presidential commission investigating the Gulf Oil Spill called for scientists to play a more important role in the federal government’s decisions about where to allow offshore oil production and also in how the government responds to spills.