- The average temperature in the United States has risen dramatically since 1980, according to a federal report, the New York Times reported
- The climate change report is awaiting approval by the Trump administration
The government document is awaiting approval by the Trump administration. A copy of the draft report was obtained by The New York Times, the publication said, adding that scientists were fearful that President Donald Trump's administration could suppress the findings.
"How much more the climate will change depends on future emissions and the sensitivity of the climate system to those emissions," the report said, according to the Times. The report concluded that temperatures will rise by an additional 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit even if humans were to now halt greenhouse gas emissions, the New York Times said, adding that the "projected actual rise" will be as much as 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit degrees).
And according to the publication, the document says it is "extremely likely" that more than half of the global average temperature rise since 1951 could be linked to humans. It also found that it was "possible to attribute some extreme weather to climate change," the newspaper said.
The study "directly contradicts claims" from Trump and some in his cabinet, the Times wrote, because they "say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited."
On Tuesday, Trump's press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, released a statement criticizing the New York Times:
It's very disappointing, yet entirely predictable to learn The New York Times would write off a draft report without first verifying its contents with the White House or any of the federal agencies directly involved with climate and environmental policy. As others have pointed out – and The New York Times should have noticed – drafts of this report have been published and made widely available online months ago during the public comment period. The White House will withhold comment on any draft report before its scheduled release date.
Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the New York Times said the report concluded that temperatures will rise by an additional 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit even if humans were to now halt greenhouse gas emissions. This article has also been updated to reflect a New York Times correction that the report had actually been made public in January.