A nearly un-edited, 2,000-page version of the National Climate Assessment was released today and aside from the dire nature of the study, the other surprising aspect of the report’s release was the fact that while it stands in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s verbiage on the subject, it was not censored by administration officials.
The two-part report outlines disturbing environmental findings that have been discussed quite often lately in the news thanks to an uptick in natural disasters in 2017. Namely that climate change is caused nearly exclusively by humans. It warns that sea levels are rising at an alarming rate (they’ll go up eight feet by the year 2100) and that the climate decimation we’re currently seeing in places like Florida, Texas, and California that include flooding, dangerous hurricanes, and fires, is due to a 1.8 degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature since the year 1900, mostly thanks to emissions and the burning of fossil fuels.
“It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” reads the document. “For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.”
To his credit and despite the rhetoric coming from the administration for the past year, Trump did not have the report edited like some of his predecessors did (George W. Bush reportedly had the assessment, which comes out every four years, heavily tweaked to favor his administration’s policies). The current administration did try to downplay the report’s significance: “The climate has changed and is always changing,” read part of a statement released on the report’s findings.
The National Climate Assessment comes at an inopportune time for the President as he pushes to bolster the oil and gas industries and other fossil fuel extraction businesses. Its contents could possibly have legal ramifications for such policies. And it certainly begs the question, does President Trump actually believe in climate change?
You can read Part I of the report which lays out the science behind the findings, here.