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White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders during a press briefing. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders criticized the new climate report that the Trump administration published on Black Friday, saying its conclusions were "based on the most extreme model scenario" and were not based on "facts."

The big picture: The report, known as the Fourth National Climate Assessment, warns that the U.S. will suffer increasingly deadly and costly climate change impacts if greenhouse gas emissions are not sharply reduced in the next decade and more aggressive actions are not taken to adapt to extreme weather events and other climate impacts.

Background: On Monday, President Donald Trump told reporters he did not believe the report's conclusions, even though the findings were the product of work overseen by scientists and officials in his own administration.

"We think this is the most extreme version, and it's not based on facts. It's not data driven. We'd like to see something that is more data driven. It's based on modeling, which is extremely hard to do when you're talking about the climate."
— Sarah Sanders

Reality check: The report does include observational data, everything from the amount of carbon dioxide in the air to the melting rate of Greenland's ice cap, along with cutting-edge computer model scenarios that simulate how climate change may play out.

  • Scientists who wrote the report have been pushing back at arguments by the White House and others, who have said that it's alarmist in its conclusions.

The report underwent extensive peer review and incorporated feedback from the public, in the form of about 10,000 comments.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated 1 hour ago - World

Xi Jinping warns against "new cold war" in Davos speech

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Wang Zhao - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that a "new cold war" could turn hot, and must be avoided, in a speech on Monday at World Economic Forum’s virtual “Davos Agenda” conference.

Why it matters: Xi didn't refer directly to U.S.-China tensions, but the subtext was clear. These were his first remarks to an international audience since the inauguration of President Biden, whose administration has already concurred with Donald Trump's determination that China is committing "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims, and issued a warning about China's aggression toward Taiwan.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dominion files $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani

Photo: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani on Monday seeking $1.3 billion in damages for his "demonstrably false” allegations about the company's voting machines.

Why it matters: Giuliani led former President Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the election and spread the baseless conspiracy theory that Dominion's voting machines flipped votes from Trump to Joe Biden.