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Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui Trinkl/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The White House has removed the scientist overseeing the multi-agency group that crafts influential reports every several years on global warming and its harms, per the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Driving the news: Michael Kuperberg was ousted as head of the U.S. Global Change Research Program — which produces the National Climate Assessment (NCA) — and returned to his prior Energy Department role, both papers report.

  • Per the NYT, he's expected to be replaced by David Legates, a recent appointee to a senior National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration role who disputes mainstream climate science.

Why it matters: The stories note the moves could influence which scientists are initially considered to help write the next NCA due in 2023.

  • The NYT warns of ripple effects, such as a "biased or diminished" report being "used in court to bolster...fossil fuel companies being sued for climate damages."

Yes, but: Or maybe it's just not that big a deal. The incoming Joe Biden administration could reverse the Trump administration's efforts, both papers note.

  • The University of Arizona's Kathy Jacobs, who helmed the third NCA process roughly a decade ago, tells the Post: "I would be more concerned if Trump had won the election."

The big picture: The NCA is written by government researchers and outside scientists. The last one in 2018 warned of steep future economic losses to the U.S., with harmful consequences already underway.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Dec 1, 2020 - Energy & Environment

BlackRock unveils new way to assess climate investment risk

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Investors will be able to see what impact a warming world and the transition to cleaner energy sources could have on their portfolios in a tool BlackRock unveiled Tuesday.

Why it matters: The move by BlackRock, the world's biggest money manager, is one of the most concrete signs investors are getting more serious about acting on risks they’ve been saying for years they’re worried about.

7 mins ago - Sports

The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Packed stadiums and a more normal fan experience could return by late 2021, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said yesterday.

Why it matters: If Fauci's prediction comes true, it could save countless programs from going extinct next year.

Trump's 2024 begins

Trump speaking to reporters in the White House on Thanksgiving. Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump is likely to announce he'll run again in 2024, perhaps before this term even ends, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has already set in motion two important strategies to stay relevant and freeze out other Republican rivals.