NASA chief says he changed mind about climate change because he 'read a lot’

NASA Administrator Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineWhat should Biden do with NASA and the Artemis Program? The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden increases Electoral College win The Hill's Morning Report - Trump battles ballots; vaccine news boosts markets MORE says he changed his mind on the existence of man-made climate change because he “read a lot.”

“I heard a lot of experts, and I read a lot,” Bridenstine told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “I came to the conclusion myself that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that we've put a lot of it into the atmosphere and therefore we have contributed to the global warming that we've seen. And we've done it in really significant ways.” 

The former congressman from Oklahoma had long denied the scientific consensus on climate change and said in a 2013 speech on the House floor that "global temperatures stopped rising 10 years ago." 

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In May, Bridenstine first announced publicly that he now believes human activity is the main cause of climate change. 

“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 at a Senate Appropriations Committee subpanel's hearing last month.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittMajor unions back Fudge for Agriculture secretary Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight Democratic lawmaker calls for DOJ investigation of entire Trump administration MORE have not made similar pronouncements, however.

Trump has long denied climate change is real, once saying without evidence that it was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.”

Last December, the president tweeted during a period of cold weather that “perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming."

In March, Pruitt told CNBC that he didn't think humans were a primary contributor to climate change, saying there's "tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact."