UK experts warn of Trump climate science clampdown

Freakishly high temperatures in the Arctic have been reinforced by a "vicious circle" of climate change
Freakishly high temperatures in the Arctic have been reinforced by a "vicious circle" of climate change

More than 100 of Britain's top climate scientists on Monday urged Prime Minister Theresa May to press US President-elect Donald Trump to safeguard government-led research on global warming.

"We stand ready to support and assist our counterparts in the United States... in resisting any political attempts to prevent, hamper or interfere with vital research on climate change," they wrote in an open letter to May, sent to AFP.

A senior advisor to Trump has called for an end to programmes at NASA, which provides vital data to scientists in the US and around the world.

Trump himself has called climate change a "hoax". Several of his cabinet nominees have expressed similar views or opposed environmental protection policies in previous postings.

May should press Trump to "acknowledge the scientific evidence about the risks of climate change" and support the Paris Agreement, the scientists said.

The 196-nation Paris climate treaty vows to hold to below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and to provide money for poor countries coping with its impacts.

The letter added that Britain must be "prepared to respond decisively" should Trump's administration take action to undermine climate research.

In interviews with two European newspapers published on Monday, Trump confirmed his intention to meet with May soon after his inauguration as president on Friday.

Britain has several of the world's leading institutions for the study of global warming and its impacts, including the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford.

Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher was the first world leader to publically recognise the risks of in 1988, the scientists noted. Thatcher established the Hadley Centre in the government-run Met Office.

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© 2017 AFP

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