Trump’s Interior Department orders removal of climate change language in reference to a study about sea-level rise

There is scientific consensus that sea levels will rise over the next century due to climate change. The reason is simple: The burning of fossil fuels releases pollution, including greenhouse gases that heat up the planet’s atmosphere, causing glaciers to melt, which adds water to the oceans. But when federal scientists published a paper last week highlighting the risk that flooding poses to coastal communities, the U.S. Department of the Interior deleted language referencing climate change. “While we were approving the news release, they had an issue with one or two of the lines [that] had to do with climate change and sea-level rise,” said one of the study’s coauthors, Sean Vitousek, a research assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. At the request of the Trump administration, the following line was removed from the press release: “Global climate change drives sea-level rise, increasing the frequency of coastal flooding.” As another coauthor of the study put it: “The suppression of this information is a scandal.” This is certainly not the first—and likely won’t be the last time—the Trump administration buries or scrubs public information about climate change, one of the world’s most pressing problems.

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