By Dave Lindorff
Embattled climate scientists working in 13 various US government agencies threw down the gauntlet before the Trump administration by releasing, to the New York Times, an over 600-page report on climate change in the US , the work of several years intended to comply with a Congressional requirement for such a report every four years.
The scientists involved in releasing the leaked document -- the fifth draft of the 2018 report -- told the Times they were releasing the document early in draft form for fear that the Trump Administration and Trump's Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, climate change denier Scott Pruitt, would attempt to deep-six, or at least drastically revise their work and conclusions.
Their fears are understandable. Trump has called climate change a hoax and a Chinese conspiracy designed to harm the US, and Pruitt, while recently at least acknowledging that the global climate is getting hotter, claims that it is both impossible to know to what extent human activity is to blame, and that the trend going forward is impossible to predict.
The latest report, however, debunks all of those ignorant assertions by the country's current leadership, warning that the warming trend both globally and in the US is undeniable, and dire.
According to the document, which is dated June 28 and titled "US Global Change Research Program: Climate Science Special Report" (CSSR):
"Since the last National Climate Assessment was published (in 2014), 2014 became the warmest year on record globally, 2015 surpassed 2014 by a wide margin; and 2016 surpassed 2015. Sixteen of the last 17 years are the warmest years on record for the globe."
The report goes on to state that "many lines" of scientific evidence "demonstrate that it is extremely likely" (meaning 95-100% certain) "that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century." They explain that "There are no convincing alternative explanations supported by the extent of the observational evidence. Solar output changes and internal natural variability can only contribute marginally to the observed changes in climate over the last century, and we find no convincing evidence for natural cycles in the observational record that could explain the observed changes in climate."