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FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2017 file photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  Republicans voted Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, to send to the full Senate the nomination of Pruitt to lead the EPA. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The EPA chief said carbon dioxide isn't a primary global warming cause. The EPA disagrees.

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The newly appointed chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, said Thursday he does not believe carbon dioxide is a "primary contributor" to climate change. 

Many experts disagree with him, including the agency he now runs.

The EPA's website on causes of climate change says: "Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to recent climate change."

The EPA chief said carbon dioxide isn't a primary global warming cause. The EPA disagrees.

WATCH | This isn't entirely new for Pruitt. He said as much during a Senate hearing before he was appointed head of the EPA. 

FILE - In this file photo taken Sunday Jan. 29, 2016,  a malnourished  cow walks along a dried up river bed in the village of Chivi, Zimbabwe. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)
FILE - In this file photo taken Sunday Jan. 29, 2016, a malnourished cow walks along a dried up river bed in the village of Chivi, Zimbabwe. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)

In NASA's report that 2016 was the  hottest year on record, the agency said the increase was "driven largely" by increased levels of carbon dioxide.

We don't know that yet. ... We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.
Scott Pruitt

While the vast majority of scientific organizations believe climate change is both real and caused largely by increased emissions of carbon dioxide, some have argued that hypothesis is false or irrelevant. A study from the  Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine argued carbon dioxide increases led to more plant growth. 

CO2 and other gases... trap heat in the atmosphere, so it is no surprise that we are now witnessing an increase in global average temperature.
Union of Concerned Scientists

However, the American Institute of Physics and Union of Concerned Scientists argue that increased carbon dioxide levels are contributing significantly to global temperature increases, and that is harmful, in stark opposition to OISM's view. 

Former EPA adminsitrator Gina McCarthy criticized Pruitt for his comments.

Climate scientists were blunt and grave in their assessment of his remarks.

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WATCH | For more news you need, check out our 60 Second Circa.

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