Scientists are pushing back on the The New York Times for a story claiming the Trump Administration could suppress a climate change report.
The report, titled “Scientists fear Trump will dismiss blunt climate report,” said the draft of the National Climate Assessment, a project of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, “has not yet been made public” but “a copy of it was obtained by The New York Times.”
Except, scientists who worked on the report say the version that was obtained and posted in full by the New York Times has actually been online and available to the public for months.
“It’s not clear what the news is in this story,” Robert Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who is listed on the report as among the lead authors, said on Twitter.
Indeed, the Internet Archive shows it downloaded the report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website in January 2017.
Katharine Hayhoe, who also worked on the report, confirmed it had been on the Internet the entire time, public and available.
“Important to point out that this report was already accessible to anyone who cared to read it during public review & comment time,” she tweeted. “Few did.”
Professor Hayhoe works at Texas Tech who leads the school’s Climate Science Center.
“Side-by-side comparison shows that @nytimes has public review version of our new climate sci report – so, no leak. It was available to all.”
The New York Times, which updated the story without returning requests for comment, cited an anonymous source who claimed to be a scientist involved in the report. It claimed the source and others are concerned the Trump Administration would hide the report.
“It directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his Cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited,” The New York Times claimed in the report.
It also stated that the National Academy of Sciences approved the draft, but scientists are “awaiting permission from the Trump administration to release it.”
Mr. Kopp, of Rutgers University, tweeted that the White House hasn’t missed that deadline for review, which is August 18.