US climate report contradicts Trump, White House downplays it
Washington, Nov 4 (IANS) Directly contradicting much of the Trump administration’s position on climate change, 13 federal agencies unveiled a scientific report that said humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has created the warmest period in the history of civilization.
The White House sought to downplay the major climate change report released on Friday that showed global annually averaged surface air temperature has increased by about 1.0 degree Celsius over the last 115 years, the New York Times reported.
The global, long-term warming trend is “unambiguous”, the report said, and there is “no convincing alternative explanation” that anything other than humans — the cars we drive, the power plants we operate, the forests we destroy — are to blame.
The White House while approving the report said it supported “rigorous scientific analysis and debate” but added that the climate was “always changing”.
White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said it was not certain how sensitive the Earth’s climate was to greenhouse gas emissions.
The Climate Science Special Report was compiled by US government scientists. It argued that it is “extremely likely” that human activity is causing rapid global warming with dire consequences for the US and the world.
The report also warned that the magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades will depend primarily on the amount of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, emitted globally.
The UN will convene its annual climate change conference next week in Bonn, Germany, and the American delegation is expected to face harsh criticism over Trump’s decision to walk away from the 195-nation Paris climate accord and top administration officials’ stated doubts about the causes and impacts of a warming planet.
The climate science report is part of a congressionally mandated review conducted every four years known as the National Climate Assessment.
Despite the scientific consensus presented in the report, the Environmental Protection Agency scrubbed references to climate change from its website and barred its scientists from presenting scientific reports on the subject.
The findings, researchers said, create an unusual situation in which the government’s policies were in direct opposition to the science it is producing.
Trump once called climate change a “hoax” and his administration considered efforts to fight global warming just to “be a waste of your money”, a position met with widespread criticism both at home and abroad.
Only on Thursday, Trump’s Energy Secretary Rick Perry said that while he thought climate change was real and humans had an “impact on it”, he still thought “the science (was) out on” whether humans cause 100 per cent of it.