Humans are driving climate change, federal scientists say

Marsha Scott
November 5, 2017

"Even as this report sounds the alarm, Trump's team of climate deniers are twisting themselves into pretzels to justify blocking national and global climate action".

In a surprising move, the White House has signed off on a lengthy report by more than a dozen federal agencies that reaches a conclusion about climate change that President Donald Trump and his team refuse to acknowledge: The crisis is real, and humans are to blame.

A 477-page report released Friday said it's "extremely likely" - meaning with 95 to 100 percent certainty - that global warming is man-made, mostly from carbon dioxide through the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.

In addition, the report notes that three of the warmest years on record - 2014, 2015 and 2016 - occurred since the last report was released; those years also had record-low sea ice extent in the Arctic Ocean in the summer. It listed a number of damaging developments across the United States that it attributed to the rise of global temperature by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900. The report also concludes that global sea levels would rise by 1-4 feet by 2100, but that "a rise of as much as 8 feet by 2100 can not be ruled out". To address climate change as well as other risks, the USA will continue to promote access to the affordable and reliable energy needed to grow economically, and to support technology, innovation and the development of modern and efficient infrastructure that will reduce emissions and enable us to address future risks, including climate related risks. The report says that global average temperatures "will depend primarily on the amount of greenhouse gas (especially carbon dioxide) emitted globally".

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As Friends of the Earth declared in a tweet, the assessment "sharply contradicts" the Trump administrations own policies by "affirming humans are climate change driver".

The findings are in stark contrast to the messages coming from Trump and his team.

"What the American people deserve is a debate. transparent discussion about this issue", Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said during a June press briefing. The report is created to collect new evidence and summarize the current state of knowledge on climate science. Energy Secretary Rick Perry echoed Pruitt's comments, saying "no" when asked by CNBC whether he believes carbon dioxide "is the primary control knob for the temperature of the Earth and for climate". However, it did attempt to downplay its significance. Since entering office, President Trump has worked to dismantle policies to address climate change, such as the Clean Power Plan, while at the same time bolstering support for fossil fuels.

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