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

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

Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineOvernight Energy: Outdoor retailer Patagonia makes first Senate endorsements | EPA withdraws Obama uranium milling rule | NASA chief sees 'no reason' to dismiss UN climate report NASA chief: ‘No reason to dismiss’ recent UN climate report Russian Soyuz rocket failure leaves NASA with no ride to International Space Station 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 SchatzDem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation Graham: Saudi’s findings on slain journalist not 'credible' Overnight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Democrats, McConnell spar over entitlements | Minnesota AG sues drugmakers over insulin price hikes | CDC investigates polio-like illness 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.