August 8, 20174:22 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered
A comprehensive government report on climate change has leaked to the public. The report clearly states that humans are changing the climate, and the consequences could be serious. Those views are at odds with statements by many in the Trump administration.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
A comprehensive government report on the state of the climate is getting attention after it was leaked to The New York Times. It states that human activity is definitely the cause of most global warming, especially over the past 60 years. That runs counter to what President Trump and many of his top advisers have said. Here to talk with us about it is NPR science correspondent Christopher Joyce. Hey, Chris.
CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.
SHAPIRO: Tell us about what’s in the report.
JOYCE: This report is a compendium of all the science that we’ve done in the country – in the world, really – since 2013 that’s new. And they’re coming up with some information they didn’t have before, things like more nuisance flooding – they can really see that – things like heat waves that they can actually attribute now to climate change where they couldn’t before. So they’re able to be more granular. They’re able to tell us more about climate.
SHAPIRO: It comes out in the context of a White House that has been very skeptical of man-made climate change. Tell us how the politics are playing out.
JOYCE: Well, a lot of the authors – and I’ve talked to several of them over the past few months – have been very concerned about this. This report is supposed to come out every four years. It’s been in progress for several years. They’ve been soldiering away, collecting the latest data. But after the election, obviously there was some concern.
Even President Obama put out an early draft right after the election in 2016 as sort of a way to say, look; I want people to know this is in process. So people are somewhat concerned. I don’t know why it was leaked, but certainly it’s a possibility that people thought, well, we should get it out so – in case it’s not – in case it’s suppressed.