Jun 24, 2019 - Energy & Environment

USDA not publicizing studies on climate change effects: Report

US President Donald speaks as Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue looks on during a roundtable with farmers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on April 25, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and President Trump. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

The Trump administration is not publicizing study findings on climate change effects or promoting government-funded research on how higher temperatures are damaging crops and posing health risks, Politico reports.

Details: The peer-reviewed studies, cleared through the nonpartisan Agricultural Research Service, the principal in-house research agency of the Department of Agriculture, examined the effects of carbon dioxide, rising temperatures and volatile weather, rather than specifically focusing on the causes of global warming, according to Politico.

  • Politico cited examples of reports not promoted, including a 2-year study in which University of Washington researchers, collaborating with USDA scientists and colleagues in Japan, China and Australia, found that carbon dioxide can make rice less nutritious.

The big picture: President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue have both doubted the science of climate change, despite the administration's director of National Intelligence and other agencies identifying it as a threat to national security.

What they're saying: A USDA spokesperson denied to Politico that there has been a directive that prevents the publication of climate-related science.

Our thought bubble, per Axios' Andrew Freedman: The Agriculture Department’s approach to its climate science research contrasts sharply with other parts of the Trump administration, such as NASA, NOAA and the Energy Department. Ultimately, the work still gets publicized and known to other researchers, just on a delay.

Go deeper: Trump and Republicans are isolated on climate change

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