In Clash With Trump, US Report Says Humans Cause Climate Change

Earth seen from space

The report starkly contradicts the Trump administration's stance on climate change, raising questions about how, if at all, it will be used in the government's environmental decision-making.

Similar to the structure of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment reports, this first section of the Climate Assessment focuses on the physical science of climate change. And it provides this sobering reminder: "The present-day emissions rate of almost 10 [billion tons of carbon] per year suggests that there is no climate analog for this century any time in at least the last 50 million years".

The U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Deal was part of a broader White House effort to roll back what it sees as unneeded environmental protections to boost domestic oil and gas drilling and coal mining.

Based on "a large body of scientific, peer-reviewed research", global annually averaged surface air temperature has increased by about 1.8 Fahrenheit (1.0 Celsius) over the last 115 years (1901-2016), it says. The report says that global average temperatures "will depend primarily on the amount of greenhouse gas (especially carbon dioxide) emitted globally". The new report concludes that it is "extremely likely" that human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation have been "the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20 century", and that "there is no convincing alternative explanation" for the changes observed over the last century.

Since the last report of its kind was issued in 2014, "stronger evidence has emerged for continuing, rapid, human-caused warming of the global atmosphere and ocean", it said.

Trump has been a vocal climate skeptic.

Trump has repeatedly called climate change a hoax, and in June announced that he would withdraw the United States from a global pact to combat it - calling the deal too costly for the USA economy.


"The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make USA manufacturing non-competitive", Trump tweeted out.

EPA chief Pruitt shocked scientists earlier this year when he argued in a media interview that carbon dioxide was not a primary contributor to global warming.

While the report doesn't speak to potential climate policies, it does explain that existing emissions pledges are not sufficient to limit global warming to 2°C (3.6 °F)-long an worldwide goal.

"This is a federal government report whose contents completely undercut their policies, completely undercut the statements made by senior members of their administration", Duffy said.

A June 2017 draft was shared with The New York Times by someone who feared it might be censored by federal agencies during the final approval process. "They're obviously not getting it from their own scientists".

I must admit that I also think the threat of climate change has been overblown by some people, like Vice President Al Gore, who once said that the world was going to end in coming years. Lewis said. "Suppressing your economy is never a good solution".

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