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President Trump. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration may sharply curtail the scope of federal reports about the future effects of climate change, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. government produces closely watched analyses that add to scientific and popular understanding.

  • They include a late 2018 report warning of "hundreds of billions of dollars" in annual losses to some economic sectors without scaled up emissions-cutting and adaptation.

Where it stands: The NYT report looks at 2 major changes.

  • One of them would jettison what the NYT calls "worst case scenario" projections of unchecked emissions and the steep temperature rises that would result.
  • The paper also reports that one agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, will only use climate models that project effects through 2040, rather than 2100.

The big question: How will these changes affect the next version of the National Climate Assessment (NCA), a sweeping report that many agencies and outside scientists create that is issued roughly every 4 years.

  • Going forward, projections of unchecked emissions and their impact "will not automatically be included in the National Climate Assessment or in some other scientific reports produced by the government," they report.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman:

"It's one thing to ignore the science, but quite another to try to dictate what goes into them. It risks making the administration look heavy-handed and Orwellian."
"At the end of the day, this approach would not succeed in stifling the main message, as there are more than a dozen agencies involved in the NCA process, plus outside researchers who can publish independently."

Go deeper

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin, Arizona certify Biden's victories

Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Arizona and Wisconsin officials confirmed the presidential election results in their states, making President-elect Joe Biden's victories in the key battlegrounds official.

Why it matters: The moves deal yet another blow to President Trump's efforts to block or delay certification in key swing states that he lost. 

3 hours ago - Podcasts

Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes on the Senate runoffs

The future of U.S. politics, and all that flows from it, is in the hands of Georgia voters when they vote in two Senate runoffs on January 5.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the election dynamics with former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat who served between 1999 and 2003.

3 hours ago - Health

Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that struggling state hospital systems must transfer patients to sites that are not nearing capacity, as rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations strain medical resources.

Why it matters: New York does not expect to get the same kind of help from thousands of out-of-state doctors and nurses that it got this spring, Cuomo acknowledged, as most of the country battles skyrocketing COVID hospitalizations and infections.

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