"Federal scientists might feel as if their parents are out of town. In the Trump White House, there isn't a presidential science adviser to oversee a major report on climate change.
For the National Climate Assessment, a congressionally mandated study, the fact that President Trump hasn't nominated a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief means that career staff members have been developing a draft study that affirms mainstream climate science. NOAA also released a separate report yesterday saying that 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded worldwide, the third straight year of record-breaking temperatures.
The studies contradict Trump administration officials who have downplayed the effect humans have on the climate. They also contradict the president, who has called climate change a hoax. But if getting those reports into the public sphere is good news for scientists, at a time when some administration officials misstate the findings of climate research, it's of little solace.
That's partly because the Aug. 18 decision by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to either approve or reject a study that's part of the National Climate Assessment has illuminated a vacancy in the Trump administration. More than six months into his presidency, Trump still lacks a science adviser."