Professional science groups want the Trump administration to hear from them first before the Environmental Protection Agency starts a "red team" process to challenge data that the Earth is warming due to human activity.
A joint letter sent Monday by 16 professional groups led by the American Association for the Advancement of Science formally asked EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for a meeting to discuss establishing a red team-blue team to challenge and test climate change assumptions.
"Given your interest in the state of climate science, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to better understand your perspective and rationale for the proposed activity," according to the letter signed by the scientific organizations.
"As leaders of professional scientific societies with our collective membership of hundreds of thousands of scientists, we are writing in response to reports that you are working to develop a 'red team/blue team' process that challenges climate science," the letter added.
They sought to "remind" Pruitt that there already are "debates that happen on a regular basis in every scientific discipline," the letter read. "Indeed, science is a multi-dimensional, competitive 'red team/blue team' process whereby scientists and scientific teams are constantly challenging one another's findings for robustness."
The Washington Examiner reported last week that the White House and Pruitt had asked the Heartland Institute, a group well known for its climate change skepticism, to put together a list of scientists to lead the red team.
But it appears from Monday's letter that many scientific groups have not been invited to participate in the planning process and want to make sure they are. Many climate scientists blame greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels for causing the the temperature of the Earth to rise. They support taking action to reduce the rate of emissions, and hence slow the pace of global warming.
Pruitt wants the red-team process to challenge scientific assumptions on how fast the climate is warming and how much of it is caused by human activity.
Scientists have voiced concerns that the red-team process could legitimize a set of minority opinions on the science of climate change and create the public perception that there is a debate on whether climate change is occurring when there is no debate.