Trump Administration Actually Confirms 2016 Was Hottest Year Ever

However, the updated NOAA report didn't dig into the link between climate change and burning fossil fuels.
August 10, 2017, 8:06pm
Image of Earth via Wikimedia Commons; image of Trump by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

On Thursday, a major US environmental agency released a new report that doubles down on earlier evidence confirming 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded on Earth, Politico reports.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) "State of the Climate" culled research from almost 60 countries, and tapped nearly 500 authors to explain the environmental phenomenon. According to the report, Earth had a higher concentration of greenhouse gases—emitted, in large part, by burning fossil fuels—a hotter global surface temperature, and the highest sea levels in 2016 than ever before.

The announcement on Thursday echoes a January report from the agency, along with one from NASA, which both found that 2016 had broken the global heat record. This latest report—which backs up that earlier claim with more international data—is also the most exhaustive look at climate change the current administration has issued since Trump took office.

Although NOAA's "State of the Climate" cited climate change as a factor in making the planet so hot you can bake a pizza on the sidewalk, it didn't explore a connection between global warming and burning fossil fuels. Evidence of that link was included in a different study recently leaked to the New York Times in which scientists from 13 different federal agencies say "human activities" are "primarily responsible" for degrading the planet. According to the Times, the National Academy of Sciences is still waiting for Trump to release it to the public.

Perhaps Trump—who's famously called climate change a "hoax"—just doesn't want that report to ruin EPA head Scott Pruitt's pitch: Settle the nonexistent climate debate by pitting mainstream scientists against fringe climate skeptics and have them duke it out on live TV.

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