Government report sees drastic climate change impact in US

The draft has been approved by the National Academy of Sciences, but the 13 government agencies (many of which are helmed by climate change skeptics) must sign off on the report by Sunday.

The report, known as the Climate Science Special Report, finds it is "extremely likely" that more than half of the rise in temperatures over the past four decades has been caused by human activity - in contrast to Trump cabinet members' views, who consider the magnitude of that contribution to be uncertain.

"How much more the climate will change depends on future emissions and the sensitivity of the climate system to those emissions", the draft report states in the Times article. "There are no alternative explanations, and no natural cycles are found in the observational record that can explain the observed changes in climate".

Pruitt's EPA and 12 other federal agencies have an August 13 deadline to approve the report.

While the leak ensured that anyone can read the full report, the Washington Post reports that scientists are looking at this as a test case to see how the Trump administration will handle scientific evidence that challenges its claims.

The United States will continue to participate in global climate change negotiations and meetings, including the 23 Conference of the Parties (COP-23) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to protect USA interests and ensure all future policy options remain open to the administration. The 2000 assessment, finalized under President Bill Clinton, came under attack once George W. Bush took office.

The report had a "very high" confidence the number and severity of cool nights have decreased while the warm days have increased since the 1960s, according to the Times.

Trump administration officials received a copy of the most recent version of this report - which has undergone extensive review - several weeks ago, according to senior administration officials.

Like the delay in publishing the draft report, the emergence of the emails has stoked fears the Trump administration is attempting to censor the climate change debate in favour of promoting the exploitation of America's fossil fuel reserves.

Emails obtained by the Guardian suggest staff at the US Department of Agriculture have also been warned to stop using the term "climate change adaption", instead adopting "resilience to weather extremes".

Vanessa Coleman