The Trump administration has decided to disband the federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping policymakers and private-sector officials incorporate the government’s climate analysis into long-term planning.
The charter for the 15-person Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment — which includes academics as well as local officials and corporate representatives — expires Sunday. On Friday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s acting administrator, Ben Friedman, informed the committee’s chair that the agency would not renew the panel.
The National Climate Assessment is supposed to be issued every four years but has come out only three times since passage of the 1990 law calling for such analysis. The next one, due for release in 2018, already has become a contentious issue for the Trump administration.
Administration officials are currently reviewing a scientific report that is key to the final document. Known as the Climate Science Special Report, it was produced by scientists from 13 different federal agencies and estimates that human activities were responsible for an increase in global temperatures of 1.1 to 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit from 1951 to 2010.
The committee was established to help translate findings from the National Climate Assessment into concrete guidance for both public and private-sector officials. Its members have been writing a report to inform federal officials on the datasets and approaches that would best be included, and chair Richard Moss said in an interview Saturday that ending the group’s work was shortsighted.
But NOAA communications director Julie Roberts said in an email Saturday that “this action does not impact the completion of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which remains a key priority.”
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