NASA head: ‘No reason to doubt’ climate change science

NASA head: ‘No reason to doubt’ climate change science

Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineAstronauts named for first US manned space mission since end of shuttle program  Make the moon a refueling station — then head to Mars White House nominating new science adviser with extreme-weather background MORE, the Trump administration’s newly installed NASA head, said on Wednesday that he now believes human activity is the main cause of climate change.

Bridenstine, speaking at a Senate Appropriations Committee subpanel's hearing, said his views on climate change have changed from his previous position that it is unclear how much humans contribute.

“The National Climate Assessment that includes NASA, and it includes the Department of Energy and it includes NOAA, has clearly stated it is extremely likely — is the language they use — that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming,” he said, referring to ongoing government-wide research on climate, which resulted in a major report last year.

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“I have no reason to doubt the science that comes from that.”

Bridenstine was answering a question by Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzPentagon’s No. 2 official: Trump’s ‘Space Force’ could cost 'billions' Senate Dem rips 'Space Force:' No Republican is willing to tell Trump it's a 'dumb idea' EPA pushes back on asbestos criticisms MORE (D-Hawaii), who followed up by asking if the NASA head had undergone an “evolution of your views.”

“Yes,” he responded.

NASA is one of the primary agencies focused on climate change in the federal government. Its satellites and other equipment closely track the temperatures of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere, as well as atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and other important measures.

Bridenstine’s climate skepticism was one of the chief reasons Democrats opposed his nomination to lead NASA and sought to block his confirmation to the post.

He was nonetheless confirmed by a Senate vote of 50-49 last month, entirely along party lines.