NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine watches the launch of NASA's InSight spacecraft on May 5, 2018 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Credit: Aubrey Gemignani/NASA via Getty Images.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Wednesday endorsed the findings of a major federal report — which reflects the wider scientific consensus — that human activities are the main driver of global warming.

Why it matters: Bridenstine's remarks before a Senate Appropriations panel make him the first top Trump administration official to publicly and fully agree that humans have been the dominant cause of warming.

The impact: His comments are also significant because NASA plays a leading role in federal climate monitoring and research.

  • Bridenstine made similar comments at a NASA town hall last week, but those remarks stopped shy of fully acknowledging the dominant role of human-caused emissions.

One level deeper: Bridenstine also endorsed a multi-agency federal report, largely written in the Obama years, but released in 2017, that strongly reaffirmed this consensus.

"The National Climate Assessment, that includes NASA, and it includes the Department of Energy, and it includes NOAA, has clearly stated that it is extremely likely . . . that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming, and I have no reason to doubt the science that comes from that."
— Bridenstine in response to a question from Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz

Asked if he agreed with the scientific consensus, backed by experts including NASA researchers, that humans are the leading cause of climate change, Bridenstine responded: "Yes."

In the past, Bridenstine has expressed skepticism of mainstream climate science, and on Wednesday he acknowledged that his views have evolved.

Go deeper: The Climate Science Special Report

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 a.m. ET: 33,125,652 — Total deaths: 998,074 — Total recoveries: 22,935,226Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 a.m. ET: 7,115,338 — Total deaths: 204,758 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,298,794Map.
  3. States: 3 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week
  4. Health: The childless vaccine. The long-term pain of the mental health pandemic
  5. World: India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases

The childless vaccine

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It'll likely be a long time before children are vaccinated against COVID-19, even though vaccinating kids could eventually play an integral role in reducing the virus' spread.

The big picture: None of the leading contenders in the U.S. are being tested for their effectiveness in children. Even once one of them gains authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, there will only be a limited number of available doses.

Progressives bide time for a Biden victory

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Progressive Democrats want to beat President Trump so badly that they're tabling their apathy about Joe Biden — organizing hard to get him into office, only to fight him once elected.

Why it matters: That's a big difference from 2016, when progressives’ displeasure with Hillary Clinton depressed turnout and helped deliver the White House to Trump.