The new chief of the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming, a statement at odds with mainstream scientific consensus and his own agency. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said measuring the effect of human activity on the climate is "very challenging" and that "there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact" of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, the AP reports. "So, no, I would not agree that (carbon dioxide) is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see," Pruitt told CNBC's Squawk Box. Pruitt's view is contrary to mainstream climate science, including NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the EPA itself.
Carbon dioxide is the biggest heat trapping force and is responsible for about 33 times more added warming than natural causes, according to calculations from the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change organized by the United Nations. The panel's calculations mean carbon dioxide alone accounts for between 1 and 3 degrees warming, said MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel. "Scott Pruitt is just wrong on this," he said. The AP sent Pruitt's comments to numerous scientists who study climate. All seven climate scientists who responded said Pruitt was wrong and that carbon dioxide is the primary driver of global warming. Click for more, including responses from environmental groups and Democrats. (Read more Scott Pruitt stories.)