The White House will appoint Dr. Ryan Maue, a meteorologist and former researcher at the Cato Institute, to serve as the new Chief Scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), according to The Washington Post.
Maue currently serves as the developer of weathermodels.com, a website that offers weather related information, maps, and tools. He previously worked as an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, a Libertarian think tank involved in efforts to challenge the scientific consensus on climate change.
Maue acknowledges that humans contribute to climate change but has challenged connections between extreme weather events and climate change. He has been critical of climate scientists, as well as activists and policymakers pushing for climate change policy. The position does not require Senate confirmation. As NOAA’s Chief Scientist, Maue will set oceans and atmospheric research priorities for the agency.
“Based on his record of engagement with climate science community and the public, I’m skeptical that Maue would be acting in good faith as a leader at NOAA,” stated Gretchen Goldman, Research Director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “It is alarming to see NOAA appoint yet another person who doesn’t align with mainstream climate science.”
Earlier this month, NOAA appointed David Legates, a climate science denier, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction. Legates, a professor of geography at the University of Delaware who is affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a think tank funded partially by the fossil fuel industry, has long questioned that human activity is causing global warming.