Today, the New York Times released a report on the most recent draft of the federal government’s study on climate change. The study was commissioned by scientists from 13 different federal agencies, though President Donald Trump has yet to sign off on it. Part of the reason might be because the document contradicts Trump’s stance on climate change.
Throughout the course of his campaign, and before, Trump has dismissed the idea of climate change, in one form or other. At the most extreme end of the spectrum, he famously called it “a Chinese hoax.” Recently, Trump has mellowed out a bit, allowing that climate change is happening, although he and his administration continue to deny the impact humans have on the environment.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
However, this recent report contradicts even Trump’s moderate views by arguing that climate change is not only real, but affected by human activity.
According to the NYT’s report:
‘Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change.’
In fact, not only are humans affecting the climate, it may be too late to completely reverse many of the negative effects. The report estimates that even if humans stopped producing green house gases today, the global temperature would still rise by 0.20 degrees celsius over the course of the next 100 years. Of course, we aren’t going to immediately eliminate all green house gasses, so that prediction isn’t too helpful. The report estimates that, given current trends, the earth’s temperature will rise by as much as 2 degrees celsius.
That might not seem like a lot, but, over the course of the next 100 years, that could lead to increased heat waves, storms, and a faster decline of the coral reefs.
As of right now, the Trump White House has not responded to this report’s findings, but Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geoscience and international affairs at Princeton University, says that many scientists are slightly worried about how Trump might handle it.
‘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.’
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