Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Scientists Issue Statement to Reaffirm Consensus on Global Warming

With the public's belief in global warming seeming to be less (this month at least), it's important to remind citizens and decisionmakers what the best experts in the world on the subject think.

Last week, the heads of 18 top scientific organizations released a letter to the U.S. Senate to reaffirm the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and is primarily caused by human activities.

Here are a few highlights:

In a statement sent to all U.S. Senators on October 21, 2009, the leaders of 18 scientific organizations stated that "rigorous scientific research" demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the "primary driver" of climate change. "These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science," the scientists wrote.

Dr. May Berenbaum, President of AIBS, signed the letter on behalf of the society. "The evidence that human activities contribute to global climate change is compellingly consistent and clear; constructive human activities to stem or reverse these changes are now urgently needed," she said.

The letter called attention to the impacts of climate change on human society, the economy, and the environment. The "broad impacts" of climate change include sea level rise, greater threats of extreme weather events, and increased risk of regional water scarcity, wildfires, and the disturbance of biological systems throughout the United States.

"Climate change is surging through and rending Earth's biodiversity," said Dr. William Y. Brown, President of the Natural Science Collections Alliance. "If we do not stem the tide of our own greenhouse gases now, we simply invite and magnify future harm and cost."

"Climate change is real, and plants know it." said Dr. Kent Holsinger, President of the Botanical Society of America. The consequences will be significant for our food supply, which depends upon plants and their pollinators.

The scientific organizations that sent the letter represent the breadth of the scientific community. Collectively, these organizations serve more than 10 million scientists.

The 18 organizations that signed on to the letter include: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society, American Geophysical Union, American Institute of Biological Sciences, American Meteorological Society, American Society of Agronomy, American Society of Plant Biologists, American Statistical Association, Association of Ecosystem Research Centers, Botanical Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, Ecological Society of America, Natural Science Collections Alliance, Organization of Biological Field Stations, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Society of Systematic Biologists, Soil Science Society of America, and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

That's a pretty broad consensus -- from meteorology and ecology to agronomy, to geophysics and atmospheric research to mathematics. Still not convinced?

Then we still invite you to join us in supporting clean energy solutions...

Read the full letter>>

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