The Trump administration is disbanding a federal advisory panel on climate change, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
The charter for the 15-member Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment expired Sunday. Last Friday its chair was told the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration won’t renew the panel, the Post reported.
The advisory group’s climate report has come out just three times since a 1990 law called for an analysis every four years; the next one is due in spring 2018, the Post reported.
The Post reported administration officials are reviewing a scientific report – a key to the final document – that estimates human activities were responsible for a hike in global temperatures of 1.1 to 1.3 degrees from 1951 to 2010.
“It doesn’t seem to be the best course of action,” panel chair Richard Moss told the Post. “We’re going to be running huge risks here and possibly end up hurting the next generation’s economic prospects.”
But NOAA spokeswoman Julie Roberts insisted the action won’t impact the upcoming assessment.
“We need to work on updating our standards with good estimates on what future weather and climate extremes will be,” Richard Wright, the past chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate – which establishes guidelines that form the basis of building codes across the country – told the Post.
“I think it’s going to be a serious handicap for us that the advisory committee is not functional.”
According to the Post, the Trump administration has altered the makeup of other outside advisory panels. For example, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has replaced dozens of members on one of the agency’s key scientific review boards, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is “reviewing the charter and charge” of more than 200 advisory boards for his department, the Post reported.