President Donald Trump and other officials tour damage caused by Hurricane Michael in Florida, Oct. 15. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump touted his "natural instinct" for science, while claiming that the cause of global warming is in dispute, in an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday. The transcript of this interview was released Wednesday.

Why it matters: Trump's comments come just a week after Hurricane Michael destroyed parts of the Florida Panhandle. The storm was that region's most intense hurricane on record. His statements also come in the wake of new, more urgent warnings from climate scientists about the need to reduce global warming emissions.

The details: During the interview, Trump presented his view that many climate scientists disagree with the scientific consensus on global warming.

When asked about scientists' views that climate change is nearing a point where it can't be effectively reversed, as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in a report on Oct. 8, Trump stated:

"No, no. Some say that and some say differently. I mean, you have scientists on both sides of it. My uncle was a great professor at MIT for many years. Dr. John Trump. And I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture."

Trump was referring to his father's younger brother, who was a nuclear physicist at MIT.

Reality check: The existence and severity of human-caused climate change has been spelled out in reports published by the Trump administration itself.

There's virtually no disagreement in the mainstream climate science community about what is causing the pronounced global warming trend and ensuing trends in extreme weather events, ecosystem changes and other impacts since the mid-20th century.

For example, a federal report published in 2017 found that the period from 1901 to 2016 "is now the warmest in the history of modern civilization."

The report stated:

"This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence."
— U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report

The report also calculated how much of modern-day global warming is caused by human activities, compared to natural variability such as solar output and volcanic eruptions, coming up with a range of between 92–123% of the observed change from 1951 to 2010.

Go deeper: UN details massive changes needed to slow global warming; Key global warming target slipping out of reach, UN scientists warn

Go deeper

The coronavirus is ushering in a new era of surveillance at work

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As companies continue to prepare for the return of their employees to the workplace, they're weighing new types of surveillance in the name of safety.

Why it matters: Just as the coronavirus pandemic has acted as an accelerant for the adoption of remote work, it has also normalized increased surveillance and data collection. In the post-pandemic workplace, our bosses will know a lot more about us than they used to.

Updated 55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 11,712,663 — Total deaths: 540,582 — Total recoveries — 6,381,954Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 2,981,602 — Total deaths: 131,238 — Total recoveries: 924,148 — Total tested: 36,225,015Map.
  3. 2020: Biden releases plan to strengthen coronavirus supply chain.
  4. Public health: Fauci says it's a "false narrative" to take comfort in lower coronavirus death rate — Deborah Birx: Some Southern states "stepped on the gas" when reopening.
  5. World: Brazil's President Bolsonaro tests positive— India reports third-highest case count in the world.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump administration notifies UN of intent to withdraw from WHO

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Trump administration informed the United Nations and Congress on Tuesday that the U.S. is officially beginning the process of withdrawing from the World Health Organization. The UN is now "in the process of verifying with the WHO whether all the conditions for such withdrawal are met," according to a spokesperson.

Why it matters: President Trump's decision to formally withdraw from the UN's global health agency — which will take effect on July 6, 2021 — comes as the pandemic continues to accelerate both in the U.S. and around the world. The U.S. is by far the largest donor to the WHO out of any country, contributing more than 14% of its total budget.