While attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, President Trump sat down with British talk show host Piers Morgan for his first international interview.
Morgan had teased the exclusive interview as a "tough, uncompromising, and unpredictable encounter." And while the British journalist uncovered some stunning revelations about the US president, like the fact that he tweets in bed and he doesn't consider himself a feminist, one aspect of the interview was particularly jarring.
When asked if he believed climate change exists, Trump replied, "There is a cooling, and there’s a heating. I mean, look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming. That wasn’t working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place."
The president also surmised that, although "the ice caps were supposed to be gone by now," they have made a comeback and are "at record level."
"There are so many things happening, Piers," Trump continued. "I will tell you what I believe in. I believe in clean air, crystal clear, beautiful water, and having good cleanliness in all."
Many people, including scientists, were quite perplexed by Trump's comments since they aren't really true and go against...science.
Before we go any further, just a reminder that sea ice around the globe is actually shrinking — quickly. Like, "record level" quickly.
Last year, climate scientists announced that in the 38 years of satellite observations, they had never seen so little sea ice surrounding Antarctica. At the same time, on the opposite side of the world, the Arctic Ocean was also seeing record-low sea ice.
In April 2016, Greenland's giant ice sheet melted at a record rate due to warming temperatures, which, many scientists keep noting, is due in large part to the burning of fossil fuels.
On Tuesday, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) sent a letter to Trump informing him his comments "are not consistent with scientific observations" and politely offering "to help clear up any confusion about climate change science."
"Unfortunately, these and other climate-related comments in the interview are not consistent with scientific observations from around the globe, nor with scientific conclusions based on these observations," Keith Seitter, the society's executive director, wrote.
Seitter pointed out that, right at the president's very own fingertips, existed "a wealth of comprehensive and accurate information" within his own government agencies. Those would include NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The letter explained there are "experts in academic institutions and other organizations" that the president could also hit up with any questions about climate science.
In a follow-up tweet with a link to a blog, the AMS emphasized that "we can't call it 'Inadvertent Climate Modification'" anymore.
FYI, "climate change" is the general term that scientists have applied to many aspects of the climate's transformation over several decades, such as temperature, pressure, or winds, according to the AMS.
What's more, 2017 marked the world's second hottest year on record, NASA reported, with a slew of states and cities logging record-breaking heatwaves. The five warmest years on record have all occurred since 2010.
The AMS concluded that it "stands ready" to help connect the president and the Executive Branch staff with "that knowledge and expertise to ensure that you and your staff are working with credible and scientifically validated information as you navigate the many difficult policy areas impacted by the Earth’s changing climate."
Also relevant, Trump still has not appointed a White House science adviser.