Federal report challenges Trump's climate change denial

A draft report by government scientists sharply contradicts President Trump and members of his administration who say the science is ambiguous as to whether human activities contribute to climate change.

Cliff Mooneyham | Aug 11, 2017

A draft report by government scientists sharply contradicts President Trump and members of his administration who say the science is ambiguous as to whether human activities contribute to climate change.

Although the draft report, which was prepared by scientists from 13 federal agencies, has not been made public, The New York Times has obtained a copy and made it available online.

"Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans," the draft report reads, saying also, "Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change."

The authors point to thousands of studies providing evidence of climate change.

The comprehensive report is part of the National Climate Assessment, which Congress has mandated be completed every four years. The National Academy of Sciences has approved the report and its authors now await an okay from the White House before releasing it to the public, the Times said.

One scientist involved in drafting the report told the Times that he and others were worried that the Trump administration would suppress the report.

"It's a fraught situation," said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geoscience and international affairs at Princeton University, in the Times report. "This is the first case in which an analysis of climate change of this scope has come up in the Trump administration, and scientists will be watching very carefully to see how they handle it." Oppenheimer was not involved in the study.

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