Yesterday, Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration decided to not renew the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment, a 15-person advisory panel made not only of researchers but also representatives from NGOs, government, and industry, that was due to expire this year. The committee was established in 2015, and staffed last year, writes Eilperin, "to help translate findings from the National Climate Assessment into concrete guidance for both public and private-sector officials. Its members have been writing a report to inform federal officials on the data sets and approaches that would best be included." The National Climate Assessment, in turn, is the report that makes good on the federal government's legal obligation under the Global Change Research Act of 1990, wherein the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) "is responsible for climate assessment activities and the quadrennial National Climate Assessment (NCA) report. The NCA integrates and evaluates the findings of the USGCRP in the context of current and projected global climate change trends, both human-induced and natural, and analyzes the effects of current and projected climate change on: ecosystems and biological diversity, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, and social systems," according to the group's NOAA site.

The USGCRP has released only three NCA reports in its 27-year history, but was on schedule to release NCA4 next year. (The last assessment, NCA3, was released in 2014.) The draft version was released for public review back in April, and the final version was sent to the White House to review earlier this month. At the same time, the report was leaked to the press, and Steven Mufson of The Washington Post reported its findings that "it is 'extremely likely' that more than half of the rise in temperatures over the past four decades has been caused by human activity—in contrast to Trump Cabinet members’ views that the magnitude of that contribution is uncertain."

As of this writing, there is no statement from either the White House or NOAA on their websites.

"NOAA communications director Julie Roberts said in an email Saturday that 'this action does not impact the completion of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which remains a key priority.' " —Juliet Eilperin in The Washington Post

"The decision to wind down the advisory committee comes as the Trump administration faces a major deadline related to the forthcoming climate assessment. On 18 August, 13 federal agencies were due to deliver their final comments on a federal report on the state of climate science—a technical prelude to the main climate assessment due out next year." —Jeff Tollefson in Scientific American

"Scientists fear the Trump administration will attempt to squash conclusions from the draft report, as it has expressed skepticism toward climate change." —Kelly Cohen in The Washington Examiner

NCA4 "confirms yet again what the entire scientific community already knows—that humans are responsible for climate change, and incontestable amounts of evidence suggest the outcome will be dire without collective action to lower greenhouse gas emissions. That isn’t sitting well with Trump, who believes global warming is a Chinese hoax." —Tom McKay in Gizmodo