Scientist Michael Kuperberg—who oversaw the National Climate Assessment, America’s comprehensive report on climate change and its impact—has been removed from his post. David Legates, a climate skeptic and deputy assistant secretary at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is now expected to replace Kuperberg as executive director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, The New York Times reports. Kuperberg has told co-workers that he’s heading back to the Department of Energy, where he’s previously led environmental research programs.
His departure appears to be the lame duck Trump administration’s latest attempt to undermine climate science and the National Climate Assessment itself, which is congressionally mandated to be released every four years. In 2018, the report made it clear that climate change is a devastating threat to the United States and laid out its destructive economic impact. “They’re trying to just do a takeover of all this stuff so they can control the National Climate Assessment thinking,” Judith Curry, an ex-chairwoman of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, told the Times.