Bucking White House, National Academies issues statement in support of climate science

The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a public statement this week, affirming the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change and calling for evidenced-based climate policies.

“Recently, questions have been raised about climate science,” wrote Academies Presidents Marcia McNutt, C. D. Mote, Jr., and Victor J. Dzau. “We are speaking out to support the cumulative scientific evidence for climate change and the scientists who continue to advance our understanding. Scientists have known for some time, from multiple lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate, primarily through greenhouse gas emissions. The evidence on the impacts of climate change is also clear and growing. The atmosphere and the Earth’s oceans are warming, the magnitude and frequency of certain extreme events are increasing, and sea level is rising along our coasts.”

The public statement comes in response to Trump Administration efforts to undermine federal climate science—including the federal National Climate Assessment. Woodwell Climate Research Center (formerly Woods Hole Research Center) President Phil Duffy was recently featured on the front page of theNew York Times pushing back against the role of politics in determining scientific processes.

Duffy served on a National Academy of Sciences panel that reviewed the federal government’s most recent National Climate Assessment. The Times reported that Trump Administration officials are working to prevent federal scientists from researching climate change impacts using high-emissions scenarios or from projecting climate change impacts beyond 2040.

“What we have here is a pretty blatant attempt to politicize the science—to push the science in a direction that’s consistent with their politics,” Duffy said.

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