Trump Administration Reviews Report Linking Climate Change to Human Activity

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is reviewing a climate change report prepared by 13 federal agencies that has reached conclusions that conflict with administration perspectives.

The report found human activity is “extremely likely” the cause of more than half the earth’s temperature increase since 1951, a position that is at odds with the administration’s belief that the cause of global warming is uncertain.

The report said human impact caused an increase in the global temperatures of 0.6 degrees Celsius to 0.7 degrees Celsius between 1951 to 2010 and that heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions leads the way as the primary contributor.

“There are no alternative explanations, and no natural cycles are found in the observational record that can explain the observed changes in climate,” said the study, the Climate Science Special Report.

The Trump administration received a copy of the most recent draft of the report several weeks ago, senior administration officials said. It is unclear if the administration, which announced in June it would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, will approve the report. The study will be included in the National Climate Assessment, which is mandated by Congress every four years.

Some scientists are concerned the administration could amend or suppress the report. Conversely, skeptics of human-caused climate change are equally concerned that the report will be publicly released, along with the more comprehensive National Climate Assessment.

The report concluded that if humans immediately halted greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures would still rise an additional 0.3 degrees Celsius this century, above the actual projected increase of 2 degrees Celsius.

Small increases in global temperatures can have a significant impact on the climate. For example, a global temperature rise from 1.5 degrees Celsius to 2 degrees Celsius could cause more intense rainstorms, longer heat waves and lead to more rapid deterioration of coral reefs.

Policy recommendations are not included in the study, but it emphasized the need to stabilize the global mean temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius by significantly cutting carbon dioxide levels. An increase above 2 degrees Celsius would push the global environment closer to catastrophic changes, scientists have said.

The Paris climate accord, in which nearly 200 countries participate, includes an agreement to cut or limit fossil fuel emissions. The report said meeting the emissions goals would be a significant step toward managing global warming.


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