NASA administrator says he always thought humans caused climate change

NASA administrator says he always thought humans caused climate change

NASA administrator Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Cohen gets three years in prison | Fallout from Oval Office clash | House GOP eyes vote on B for wall The Hill's Morning Report — Takeaways from the battle royal in the Oval Office The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Trump taps William Barr as new AG | Nauert picked to replace Haley at UN | Washington waits for bombshell Mueller filing MORE said Wednesday that he always believed humans caused climate change and that his remarks in a 2013 speech implying otherwise were misconstrued.

“I know that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that we've put more in the atmosphere than at any other point in human history and because of that, the temperatures are warmer today than they would be otherwise and we are responsible for [that],” Bridenstine told The Weather Channel’s “Weather Geeks” podcast in an episode that aired Wednesday.

“I understood it then, as a matter of fact, and I understand it now,” he said, referring to his 2013 speech arguing against federally funded climate change research.

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Bridenstine explained that he had made the speech to advocate for federal funds to go to weather prediction modeling instead of climate change research, citing an incident in which a tornado hit an Oklahoma school, killing 51 people.

Bridenstine, at the time, had falsely claimed that temperatures hadn't risen in the decade leading up to 2013 in order to argue his case. 

Bridenstine indicated in June that his views about climate change had evolved over time because he "read a lot." He first announced publicly in May that he believed human activity was 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 in May.