Scientists are set to release a global warming report on Friday afternoon that, just weeks ago, got The New York Times in hot water for ginning up fears it could be “suppressed” by President Donald Trump’s administration.
Despite fears of some scientists, there was never any indication the White House would suppress the congressionally mandated study or any of its findings. Now, scientists will release the report to the public.
TheNYT claimed to have exclusively obtained a draft of the Climate Science Special Report in August. The report was leaked by scientists who feared it would be suppressed by the White House, according to the newspaper.
“One government scientist who worked on the report” told TheNYT on condition of anonymity that “he and others were concerned that it would be suppressed.” TheNYT published a draft of the Climate Science Special Report, claiming it had never been made public.
It turned out not to be true.
Not only was the report made publicly available online for months before TheNYT’s report, scientists working on the paper repeatedly said there was no indication of White House meddling.
TheNYT was forced to issue a correction two days after its front page story on the climate report was published. Scientists involved in the report told E&E News in late September the climate report would be released on schedule.
The Climate Science Special Report is part of the fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA), that is put together by experts from federal agencies and academia. This latest report reportedly says “humanity is conducting an unprecedented experiment with the earth’s climate system” by emitting greenhouse gases.
The 600-plus-page Climate Science Special Report says “it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” according to a copy of the final report obtained by NPR.
The NCA specifically focuses on how global warming could impact the U.S., predicting more heat waves, wildfires, floods and stronger storms. The last NCA was released during former President Barack Obama’s administration in 2014.
The report’s conclusion “contradict statements by President Trump and many of his Cabinet members” who are skeptical humans are the main driver of recent warming, NPR notes.
“This is good, solid climate science,” Richard Alley, a Penn State geoscientist who made minor contributions to the report, told NPR. “This has been reviewed so many times in so many ways, and it’s taking what we know from … a couple of centuries of climate science and applying it to the U.S.”
Democrats and environmentalists are expected to use the NCA’s findings to rebuke Trump administration policies. The full NCA will be completed some time in 2018.
While Democrats highlight the report’s dire warnings, some scientists are asking tough questions about the more debatable claims made in the report.