But it's not a gauntlet laid down by outside scientists or activists.
That premise suggests that the Trump administration is stifling a damaging draft report - part of the congressionally mandated National Climate Assessment - with dire warnings about climate change.
"This latest report indicates that a path of inaction will truly lead to disastrous climate change impacts", leading climatologist Michael Mann told ThinkProgress in an email.
The report is now in its fifth draft.
The various agencies have until August 18 to prepare the final report in order to meet the timeline imposed by Congress.
Amusing thing, though: The report was already made public earlier this year. A big scoop it grandly published Tuesday about a "leaked" devastating report on global warming turns out to have been false. She responded, "I said, NO - why bother?" "Scientists were free to express what they thought".
Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, was not as kind.
Under the front-page sub-headline, "Fears of Suppression", the article claimed the draft report had "not been made public" by the Trump administration but "a copy of it was obtained by The New York Times".
In reality, the "suppressed" report went through a public comment period for almost three months during which anyone on earth could read it.
Backed into a corner, the Times issued a correction on Wednesday morning: "An article on Tuesday about a sweeping federal climate change report referred incorrectly to the availability of the report". "While it was not widely publicized, the report was uploaded by the nonprofit Internet Archive in January; it was not first made public by The New York Times".
So, what's in the clandestine report?
With the policies President Trump has embraced-where we don't even meet the initial Paris targets and we return to promoting fossil fuels-then we face the very realistic prospect that total warming will be 4°C (7°F) or higher.
The report says it is "extremely likely" that human activity is the "dominant cause" of recent warming - adding there is "no convincing alternative explanation". Even though the increase is essentially negligible, the scientists warn that without major reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions, the temperature in the US will rise almost nine degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century.
"Every increment in warming is an increment in risk", said Field, who wasn't part of the report but reviewed it for The National Academy of Sciences.
The heat was the result of long-term global warming and a strong El Niño weather phenomenon, the report said. To say this isn't to deny science.
The global lower tropospheric temperature was the highest on record. In the past, the reports have been published by the 13 agencies at globalchange.gov. University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd calls this a "zombie myth" long disproven but somehow still sticking around.
The US President has repeatedly dismissed man-made climate change as "a Chinese hoax" and he sent shockwaves through the worldwide community when he announced the US would withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
Yet the Times treats the contents of this report as if it were some kind of revealed truth from on high. Why?