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White House taps mainstream climate scientist Betsy Weatherhead to run key report

Weatherhead, who has decades of experience as a climate scientist in the academic and private sectors, accepts human-induced climate change is happening and is a serious physical, ecological and economic threat.

Her appointment stands in sharp contrast to two recent high-level political hires at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), David Legates and Ryan Maue, who are on the record challenging the seriousness of climate change. It also is in contrast to the climate change views of President Trump, who downplays humans’ role in causing global warming, despite the scientific consensus on the topic.

Weatherhead’s appointment was verified by one current and one former senior official at NOAA. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized to speak on the matter.

Unlike several past climate assessment directors, she has not previously held a position in the federal government but has worked extensively with scientists and

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