Federal government scientists are calling into question the president's position on climate change. A draft report done by the researchers says global warming is getting worse. And the scientists fear the final version of the study won't be made public.
The New York Times and the Associated Press obtained the draft report, which was widely circulated in December to scientists for review. The Times published the report Monday, four days after the Trump administration formally announced its withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.
Scientists from 13 federal agencies created the report, which shows the effects of climate change are real and dangerous and human beings are playing a big role.
"The science is getting a lot more specific with being able to attribute the droughts, the floods, the heat waves, the specific events that we're experiencing to climate change and our human fingerprint on the earth's climate," the Environmental Defense Fund's Jeremy Symons said.
The study shows that average temperatures in the United States have risen rapidly since 1980. Recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years.
New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittle said clear evidence of this can be seen in the tristate area.
"We see areas down the Jersey Shore, on Long Beach Island, with fish living in storm drains," he said. "We're seeing the southern pine beetle destroying forests that never survive the winters."
This is the first substantial review completed under President Trump. Many environmental groups are skeptical about how it will be received by the current administration.
"It's real and it's happening and we're seeing the effects, so there is a sense of urgency," Tittle said. "And you can't bury your head in the sand like an ostrich because that ostrich will get hit by next big wave coming in from the next super storm."
Some critics said the findings falsely sound alarms.
"We are in an era of unusually low extreme weather. So as CO2 has risen, our weather has gotten less extreme," the Climate Depot's Marc Morano said. "Hurricanes, floods, droughts… Floods -- there's no trend on 100-year global time scales."
But many in the science community point to the president's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and his skepticism of climate studies as reason to worry.
White House officials pushed back on reports implying the West Wing will try to suppress the findings.
"Drafts of this report have been published and made widely available online months ago during the public comment period," said the White House, which will not directly comment on this report until it is finalized.