According to a new report from a combined 13 federal agencies, not yet made public, even if the entire world stopped emitting greenhouse gases right this instant, we would still feel half a degree warmer on average over the next hundred years from the average today.
That’s the primary conclusion of the report, obtained by the New York Times, that is sitting in limbo awaiting Trump’s approval for release. One contributor to the findings, speaking anonymously, said that he and many of the scientists involved in its production are concerned that the Trump administration will suppress it.
That would be no surprise: Donald Trump made it a cornerstone of his candidacy — and a primary point of his presidency — to deny the effects of global warming. But this report, should it ever see the light of day, confirms much of what scientists have been saying, despite Trump’s denials.
Among the key findings:
- Global temperature averages have risen drastically since the start of the Reagan years
- Recent decades have been the hottest since at least the early sixth century
- Here in the US, the number and severity of cool nights have decreased, while the number and severity of hot days has increased over the last six decades
- Parts of the West, Southwest, and Southeast are drying up
- Surface, air, and water temperatures in Alaska and the Arctic are warming twice as fast as the global average
Unfortunately, one of the people who must sign off on this report before it is released as a public finding is Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s appointee to the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has stated on far too many occasions that he absolutely does not believe that carbon dioxide emissions are a primary contributor to global warming. Although it explains his position, the irony is that Pruitt has no scientific background whatsoever. If he did, he couldn’t possibly disagree with this basic scientific fact — regardless of your political position on climate change, CO² absolutely warms any environment it’s found in.
Knowing what we do now about the government censoring climate change data in other agencies, it feels like too much to expect this report to come out, or at least unredacted. But at least we have the leaks from our reliable press to keep us in the loop.
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