White House waters down role of climate change in 10-year oceans plan

Scientists have long known that carbon pollution is bad for the oceans—leading to acidification and warmer water temperatures that cause mass coral reef die-offs and the loss of critical wildlife habitat. And yet, the Trump administration just conspicuously downplayed climate change, and its causes, when crafting its 10-year oceans plan. The National Science and Technology Council, an interagency panel, just released its “decadal vision” on science and technology for America’s oceans—meant to inform budgets and research for federal agencies. Of the report’s five overarching goals, none directly mention climate. (Even President George W. Bush’s 2007 version had a distinct climate chapter.) The new report also strips mention of anthropogenic warming, which was included in President Obama’s 2013 update. Unfortunately, this is not surprising: This is not the first (or second, or third) time the Trump administration has been caught scrubbing language about climate change from its supposedly scientific reports.

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