Politics, science don't agree on climate change

Lynne Sladky  AP

Combining historical temperature data and state-of-the-art climate model simulations, the the researchers found the likelihood of experiencing consecutive record-breaking global temperatures from 2014 to 2016 without the effects of human-caused climate change is no greater than 0.03 percent.

Report suggests U.S. is already feeling the impact of climate change Average temperatures throughout the United States have risen rapidly since 1980, according to a new report.

While none of this will come as a surprise to anyone who follows either the news or climate science, all of these findings undercut the statements and actions made by President Donald Trump and the climate science deniers with whom he has surrounded himself.

The report comes just days after President Trump officially informed the United Nations of his plan to remove the USA from the Paris climate agreement, which the US joined in 2016.

Trump, who has called climate change a "total con job" and "hoax" perpetrated to harm US economic competitiveness, has spearheaded a wholesale scrapping of Obama-era initiatives that sought to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants and other sources.

Trump has said the Paris accord is soft on leading polluters like China and India, putting U.S. industry at risk, but says he would be open to a better deal for the United States. Trump is withdrawing the USA from that compact.

- Greenhouse gas concentrations are higher than ever recorded.

"2016 will be forever etched in my brain as the year we crossed a new threshold of climate change - one that gave us a grim glimpse into our future", said Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb, who had no role in the report.

One area where the leaked report, part of the congressionally required quadrennial National Climate Assessment, breaks new ground is in so-called attribution science.

One can only wonder how to slow down or stop this trend after the United States pulled out of the Paris climate change agreement. In that sense, the leaked report helps isolate the president, his fellow doubters and his allies, such as Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, whose combined regulatory moves would reduce curbs on emissions and set the stage for accelerated drilling and mining on federal lands. Record-high temperatures were measured below the surface of the permafrost, or permanently frozen ground, across the North Slope of Alaska. Federal policies that determine the use of Federal Emergency Management funding and the laws that are set regarding industries with high carbon emissions will no doubt be affect by the position the Trump administration takes regarding climate change.

"Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report", is the latest result of a longstanding process going back to 1990 that's been carried out under presidents of both parties with a specific mandate of reviewing and reporting the latest and best climate science - what we know about climate change and what we don't know.

Global sea level was the highest on record. Globally, temperatures were up nearly a full degree over the average measured from 1981 to 2010. The melting of glaciers, flash floods, unseasonal rains, wild fires and drought are a few examples of what global warming can do. The report concludes it is "extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century".

Global sea level was the highest on record.

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