Read the full opinion piece in Newsweek.
Donald Trump will take office at a singular time in the history of our planet. The year 2016 is the first in well over a million in which the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere did not fall below 400 parts per million. Physics that has been known since the 19th century tells us that these high levels of carbon dioxide should make the planet warmer; and, indeed, this year will almost certainly be the warmest on record, with a global average temperature gearing up to be about 2.2°F (1.2°C) warmer than the late 19th century average. And, over the past quarter century, global average sea level has risen at a rate of about 1.2 inches per decade—more than twice as fast as the average 20th century rate. These are all well-established scientific facts.
Yet if the new administration governs as the Republican nominee campaigned, it will not be auspicious for U.S. climate policy. This means the U.S will face a growing set of risks linked to climate change.