Scientist questioning ties between climate and extreme weather to oversee critical program: report

A scientist who has questioned the link between climate change and extreme weather events has reportedly been detailed to the White House to oversee a program that’s in charge of compiling a major climate change report.

The Washington Post reported late Friday that Ryan Maue has been detailed to the White House to oversee the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which is in charge of putting together the Fifth National Climate Assessment.

Two unnamed officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) told the Post of Maue’s move. 


Maue was appointed to be the agency’s chief scientist in September, according to reporting from the Post, and was considered a controversial choice because he’s questioned the science connecting climate change to extreme weather events on Twitter. 

The National Climate Assessment involves drafting hundreds of top scientists to weigh in on climate change. It often produces serious warnings about the limited time the U.S. has to act in order to prevent the most significant consequences of climate change. 

A White House spokesperson declined to comment. Spokespeople for NOAA didn’t return The Hill’s request for comment. 

According to the Post, David Legates, a NOAA official who is known for questioning climate science, would also be detailed to the White House and will help oversee the research program. 

A source told the newspaper that the pair will help choose the authors of the next assessment, which is due in 2022, although it’s not expected to be completed until 2023. 

The reported shuffling of officials comes after the White House removed a top adviser who was in charge of the report. 

Michael Kuperberg, a climate scientist who was serving as the executive director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program was reassigned to his previous post at the Energy Department this month.