Watch CBSN Live

Report: Federal climate findings counter Trump's stance on climate change

A new federal climate report awaiting final approval by the Trump administration shows the impacts of climate change are far more grave than the White House lets on.

The report, acquired and released by the New York Times on Tuesday, shows that the average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980 and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years.

The findings drafted by scientists from 13 federal agencies, as part of the congressionally mandated National Climate Assessment, reveal well-documented impacts of climate change on land and in the air and reaffirms Americans are indeed feeling its effects. 

"Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans," the draft report states, according to the Times.

Climate and health 01:03

The release of the draft, however, directly contradicts Mr. Trump's long-held beliefs that climate change is not as dire as the report shows.

Scientists said in the report that human interaction has a direct correlation to the impact of climate change, a notion Mr. Trump once said was "a hoax" created by China

"Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change," the report said.

Just last week, the Trump administration officially notified the United Nations that the U.S. intends to pull out of the internationally accepted 2015 Paris climate agreement -- a move the State Department described as a "strong message" to the world following Mr. Trump's June announcement.

Uninhabitable Earth? 06:35

Mr. Trump is "open to re-engaging in the Paris Agreement if the United States can identify terms that are more favorable to it, its business, its workers, its people and its taxpayers," the department said.

Under the agreement, countries set their own national plans for cutting climate emissions. That means Mr. Trump can come up with different targets for the United States than those set by former President Obama. But Mr. Trump can't unilaterally change the text of the Paris deal.

Mr. Trump's addition of those who doubt the impact of climate change to vital Cabinet positions also adds to the administration's loose stance on the environment.

The president's own EPA head, Scott Pruitt, has set a record of undoing, delaying or blocking over 30 environmental regulations since his February confirmation -- that's more rollbacks than any other administrator in the agency's 47-year history over such a short period of time.

Former Vice President Al Gore told CBS News last week the idea of nominating "persistent deniers" like Pruitt to the administration is "horrible."

Al Gore on climate-related threats 08:32

"The president has surrounded himself with a 'rogues gallery' of climate deniers coming out of close ties with the carbon polluters," Gore said on "CBS This Morning."

"These persistent levels of denial unique in the U.S. have been intentionally created by the large carbon polluters taking the playbook from the tobacco companies, hiring pseudo-scientists and putting out false data, and all of us, as human beings, are resistant to thinking about something that's hard to think about," Gore said of climate change deniers.

While the National Academy of Sciences has signed off on the draft report, the authors now await permission from the Trump administration to formally release it, amid experts' concerns the administration will suppress its findings.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.