Sunday, September 26, 2010

The GOP and Science, never the twain shall meet ?

On Climate Change, its the Republican Party vs. Reality.

A comprehensive Wonk Room survey of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate finds that nearly all dispute the scientific consensus that the United States must act to fight global warming pollution. In May, 2010, the National Academies of Science reported to Congress that “the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change” because global warming is “caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for — and in many cases is already affecting — a broad range of human and natural systems.”

This finding is shared by hundreds of scientific bodies around the world (over 99%). However, in the alternate reality of the fossil-fueled right wing, climate science is confused or a conspiracy, and policies to limit pollution would destroy the economy.

Remarkably, of the dozens of Republicans vying for the 37 Senate seats in the 2010 election, only one — Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware — supports climate action. Even former climate advocates Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) now toe the science-doubting party line. If Castle loses his primary on Tuesday to Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell, the GOP slate will be unanimous in opposition to a green economy.

Sharron Angle, Republican Tea-Party candidate for the US Senate (Delaware)

I don't, however, buy into the whole ... man-caused global warming, man-caused climate change mantra of the left. I believe that there's not sound science to back that up.
The National Academy of Sciences :

As part of its most comprehensive study of climate change to date, the National Research Council today issued three reports emphasizing why the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. The reports by the Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering, are part of a congressionally requested suite of five studies known as America's Climate Choices....

The compelling case that climate change is occurring and is caused in large part by human activities is based on a strong, credible body of evidence, says Advancing the Science of Climate Change, one of the new reports. While noting that there is always more to learn and that the scientific process is never "closed," the report emphasizes that multiple lines of evidence support scientific understanding of climate change. The core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations.

"Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for — and in many cases is already affecting — a broad range of human and natural systems," the report concludes. It calls for a new era of climate change science where an emphasis is placed on "fundamental, use-inspired" research, which not only improves understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change but also is useful to decision makers at the local, regional, national, and international levels acting to limit and adapt to climate change. Seven cross-cutting research themes are identified to support this more comprehensive and integrative scientific enterprise.

Ken Buck, Republican candidate for Colorado :

I’ll tell you, I have looked at global warming, now climate change, from both sides. While I think the earth is warming, I don’t think that man-made causes are the primary factor. I am one of those people that Al Gore refers to as a skeptic.
The American Geophysical Union :

The Earth's climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming. Many components of the climate system-including the temperatures of the atmosphere, land and ocean, the extent of sea ice and mountain glaciers, the sea level, the distribution of precipitation, and the length of seasons-are now changing at rates and in patterns that are not natural and are best explained by the increased atmospheric abundances of greenhouse gases and aerosols generated by human activity during the 20th century. Global average surface temperatures increased on average by about 0.6¡C over the period 1956-2006. As of 2006, eleven of the previous twelve years were warmer than any others since 1850. The observed rapid retreat of Arctic sea ice is expected to continue and lead to the disappearance of summertime ice within this century. Evidence from most oceans and all continents except Antarctica shows warming attributable to human activities.
Linda McMahon, Republican Senate candidate, Connecticut

I think there's evidence to the positive and to the contrary about global warming.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The 2009 State of the Climate report released today draws on data for 10 key climate indicators that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable. More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the report, which confirms that the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years.
Marco Rubio, Republican Senate candidate, Florida :

In an interview with the Tribune on that subject Friday, Rubio called Crist "a believer in man-made global warming."

"I don't think there's the scientific evidence to justify it," Rubio said.

Asked whether he accepts the scientific evidence that the global climate is undergoing change, he responded, "The climate is always changing. The climate is never static. The question is whether it's caused by man-made activity and whether it justifies economically destructive government regulation."
American Association for the Advancement of Science :

The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society.

Pat Toomey, Republican Senate candidate for Pennsylvania :

There is much debate in the scientific community as to the precise sources of global warming.
American Chemical Society :

Careful and comprehensive scientific assessments have clearly demonstrated that the Earth’s climate system is changing rapidly in response to growing atmospheric burdens of greenhouse gases and absorbing aerosol particles (IPCC, 2007). There is very little room for doubt that observed climate trends are due to human activities. The threats are serious and action is urgently needed to mitigate the risks of climate change.

Roy Blunt, Republican Senate candidate for Missouri :

There isn’t any real science to say we are altering the climate path of the earth.

American Meteorological Society :

Indeed, strong observational evidence and results from modeling studies indicate that, at least over the last 50 years, human activities are a major contributor to climate change.

Direct human impact is through changes in the concentration of certain trace gases such as carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and water vapor, known collectively as greenhouse gases.
American Physical Society :

The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

Carly Fiorina, Republican candidate for Senate, California :

Q: Is climate change real?

Fiorina: I’m not sure. I think we should have the confidence and courage to test the science.

Joint statement by the 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, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research:

Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. 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. Moreover, there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change will have broad impacts on society, including the global economy and on the environment.

This would be funny if it weren't so dangerous. This isn't a debate between Republicans and Democrats about what to do about climate change, it's a debate between Republicans and reality about the very existence of climate change. And it's clear that no amount of science will convince Republicans of something they just don't want to believe. The question is whether the voters want to listen to the scientists or to those whose beliefs are not based on anything remotely rational or factual. And it's only the future of the world as we know it that's at stake.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Easter Island, the Mayans and Us

What do the great Mayan civilization of 800 AD and the peoples of Easter Island circa 1600 AD have in common with us, 21st century mankind with all our technology and connected lifestyle ?  Surely very little.  Well, we have one thing very much in common, and hopefully not, but possibly two.

The Mayan civilization flourished in South America for hundreds of years and built a society similar in technological ability and city building prowess to the ancient Egyptions, with their Pyramid like Zygaruts jutting out of dense jungle, large city developments and extensive farming.  Unfortunately, the Mayans did not adequately respond to seasonal changes in crop production nor did they effectively manage their environment.  Continued over defforrestation and the resulting degradation of soils through over farming of the same fields without crop rotation led the Mayans to a massive collapse of their food production, leading to famine, disease, and in a matter of just a few years, total destruction of their civilization.
If they had paid attention the signs would have been there, rainwater washing away over exposed soils, decreasing crop production as soil quaility diminished, raising disease levels as populations become too concentrated.

The data was there to be understood, but it was overlooked, perhaps they prayed at the top of their Zigaruts for better fortunes the following harvest...

The Easter Islanders also built a great civilization on a small island in the Pacific.  They also performed impressive feats of engineering and mathematics, moving massive columns of volcanic rock to locations around the island and carving them into the world famous Easter island heads.  An incredibly impressive technical feat even today, there is still signficant puzzlement regarding how they managed to move these immensely heavy rocks.

Unfortunately, yet again, the Easter Island civilization perished almost over night.  Defforestation is seen as the root cause, with the removal of the tree cover the soil on Easter Island became exposed to weatherization and degraded to a point in which crops could not adequately grow and feed their population - famine would come, then disease, then the mass die-out.   Yet again the information would have been there to see, steadily declining tree coverage, rains washing away the soils, crop production decreasing with each year as the soil weathered and washed away.

Clearly we must be MUCH more advanced than these societies right ?  We have been to the Moon, we can talk to our loved ones on a device the size of a few playing cards, with moving video.   We can talk with friends all around the world with a few key presses.   We have hundreds of satellites in space monitoring every aspect of our planet, we have scientists at every point of the globe recording, watching and measuring and trending weather and climate change over days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millenium.

In the Antartic circle we take deep core samples of the packed ice, we sample the chemical make up of air bubbles trapped in this ice and can tell the make up of the atmosphere 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, 10,000 years ago and so on.   In Space we have the ISS and hundreds of other satellites measuring global temperatures, forest density, atmospheric gases.   On land we have cameras watching glacier levels, weather stations recording snowfall, wind, rain, temperature.    Surely we have been watching the data, we have been collecting the data, so surely, obviously, we aren't as stupid as the Mayans and Easter Islanders right ?

Umm, actually yes we are.   A majority of Americans still disbelieve climate change is real and man made; over 60% in fact, even though 99% of scientists in this field agree fully with the findings of the major research instituations, and the United Nations, that this is very much real, very dangerous, and needing urgent attention.

We are adopting the same patterns as the Mayans and Easter Islanders, assuming everything will be alright, writing off any evidence to the contrary as a blip, shooting the messenger when we don't like the reality we are being told of...

What kind of information do we have?  How about this ...

Scientists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies reported recently that the average global temperature was higher over the past 12 months than during any other 12-month period in history. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released corroborating data, adding that the past four months, including June, have each individually been the hottest on record as well.
Or this

Marine phytoplankton have a crucial role in Earth's biogeochemical cycles, and form the basis of marine ecosystems. Data from satellite remote sensing — available since 1979 — have provided evidence that phytoplankton biomass has fluctuated on the decadal scale, linked to climate forcing, but a few decades of data are insufficient to indicate long-term trends. Daniel Boyce and colleagues now put these results in a long-term context by estimating local, regional and global trends in phytoplankton biomass since 1899, based on a range of sources including measurements of ocean transparency with a device known as a Secchi disk, and shipboard analyses of various types. What emerges from the records is a century of decline of global phytoplankton biomass. The authors estimate that the decline of phytoplankton standing stock has been greatest at high latitudes, in equatorial regions, in oceanic areas and in more recent years. Trends in most areas are correlated significantly to increasing ocean warming, and leading climate indices
Or this

Global temperatures in the first half of the year were the hottest since records began more than a century ago, according to two of the world's leading climate research centres.

Scientists have also released what they described as the "best evidence yet" of rising long-term temperatures. The report is the first to collate 11 different indicators – from air and sea temperatures to melting ice – each one based on between three and seven data sets, dating back to between 1850 and the 1970s.
Or this

The report emphasizes that human society has developed for thousands of years under one climatic state, and now a new set of climatic conditions are taking shape. These conditions are consistently warmer, and some areas are likely to see more extreme events like severe drought, torrential rain and violent storms.

“Despite the variability caused by short-term changes, the analysis conducted for this report illustrates why we are so confident the world is warming,” said Peter Stott, Ph.D., contributor to the report and head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution of the United Kingdom Met Office Hadley Centre. “When we look at air temperature and other indicators of climate, we see highs and lows in the data from year to year because of natural variability. Understanding climate change requires looking at the longer-term record. When we follow decade-to-decade trends using multiple data sets and independent analyses from around the world, we see clear and unmistakable signs of a warming world.”

While year-to-year changes in temperature often reflect natural climatic variations such as El Niño/La Niña events, changes in average temperature from decade-to-decade reveal long-term trends such as global warming. Each of the last three decades has been much warmer than the decade before. At the time, the 1980s was the hottest decade on record. In the 1990s, every year was warmer than the average of the previous decade. The 2000s were warmer still.

So we have plankton dying off in such numbers in the oceans that their total population has dropped 40% since 1950.  No big deal, they just provide HALF THE OXYGEN WE BREATHE.

We have the hottest global year on record, EVER, yes, even counting the snow we got in the northeast.

CO2 levels are going through the roof and Russia is now burning.  I mention Russia because Siberia has the world's largest volume of trapped methane gas in its soils.   If those frozen soils melt, just once, trillions of tons of CH4 methane will be released.   Methane is many times more dangerous than CO2 as it is a much stronger warming agent in the atmosphere.   In other words, we are VERY CLOSE to a tipping point at which point no change in energy policy, car use or whatever else will slow down warming.   The seas will die, the oxygen levels will drop off, and it will just get hotter and hotter from there...

This is a big deal, so big in fact, that we are close to leaving our children and grand children with a really shitty planet for them to live in.   Yet public apathy continues, reinforced by deliberate misinformation by the various industries that fear pollution controls the most - oil and coal.

In light of the heavy lobbying by these industries, and the public's apathy to the future of the planet, this happened this month :

Conceding that they can't find enough votes for the legislation, Senate Democrats on Thursday abandoned efforts to put together a comprehensive energy bill that would seek to curb greenhouse gas emissions, delivering a potentially fatal blow to a proposal the party has long touted and President Obama campaigned on.

Instead, Democrats will push for a more limited measure that would seek to increase liability costs that oil companies would pay following spills such as the one in the Gulf of Mexico. It also would create additional incentives for the development of natural gas vehicles and would provide rebates for products that reduce home energy use. Senate Democrats said they expected to find GOP support for the bill and pass it in the next two weeks.

ah not so fast, that apparently is also too much to expect, this is what we hear this week :

Senate Democrats and Republicans appear on a collision course that would sink chances of passing oil-spill and energy legislation amid disagreements over both substance and process.

Democratic leaders Wednesday foretold the likely failure of the package and blamed Republicans for obstructing it and other legislation.
So there we have it.   We are trashing the planet and no one is adult enough to do anything about it.  Cheers.
Time to go build some nice Zygaruts and Statues, don't you think ?  Someone will have to find out about us when we are long gone from the planet....


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2010, Hottest Year On Record Already, EVER

Despire the irony that Fox News and other peddlers of disinformation were out in full force in January and February claiming that climate change is a myth because half the US received heavy snowfall in two weeks of the year (!) the latest reports in from NASA confirm what many may have expected looking at GLOBAL average temperatures since year end.

And the data is not pretty.  Even though the Sun has been in a period of solar minimum (low sun activity, few sunspots, lower radiated heat to the Earth), for the first six months of this year we, as a planet, have recorded the hottest period on record, both since scientific records were kept, and also compared to modeled temperatures based on thousands of different sampling techniques (ice cores, tree rinks, sedimentation layers etc).

Coupled with a period of low sun activity, the continued trend to hotter and hotter atmospheric temperatures, during a period of increasing CO2 and CH4 concentrations in th atmosphere, clearly indicates the impact of human activity on the long term climate is direct and consequential.

Meanwhile, in addition to the high temperature trend, Rutgers University is tracking ice and snow coverage in the northern hemisphere.   This June represents yet another period of historically low snow and ice coveage in the entire northern hemisphere, compared to historic averages.

Looking at this from another angle, lets compare record temperatures in Spring and June 2010 for the United States.  Of the total record highs and record lows recorded for the month, record high temps are being recorded at a rate of 5 to 1 vs record lows, yet another indicator of unusual temperature increase, all in one very clear direction.   To be clear, this is comparing against normal June temperatures in the historic record.   Almost everywhere is showing unusualy high temperatures.

All very clear signs of a continuing, building rate of temperature increase, sending us toward a path of crop failure, food chain disruption, and ocean chemistry misbalance.  These should be sobering facts for everyone, and a clear sign that action is needed, and serious action, to change this trajectory before we drop off the chasm into a self-sustaining warming cycle pushed ever faster by thawing permafrost and increasing CO2 and CH4 releases into the atmophere.

Remember, this dramatic increase in temperatures in the last decade has occurred while the Sun has been in a period of very low activity.   This will not be helped by the Sun's movement into a period of high activity.  We are entering such a period later this year, and such periods last around 10 - 12 years...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

UOCS - Man made global warming causing earlier and longer spring, summer

The Union of Concerned Scientists published a paper today discussing the 40 year trend of earlier and longer springs and summers and the correlation to man made climate change.    Definately a recommended read.

Signs of spring are beginning to emerge in many parts of the United States. After months of darkness, it's a welcome sight. But did you know that spring arrives distinctly earlier than it did 40 years ago?

Tree budding, the hatching of animal species, earlier blooms, and other traits of spring show up about 10 days sooner, researchers have long reported. What's more, the earlier onset of spring has been directly linked to human-induced climate change.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Is there scientific consensus regarding global warming ?

Frequently, there is a misconception that there is widescale confusion or disagreement in the science community regarding the reality of climate change and man's direct influence on the rate of warming.  This couldn't be further from the truth, I present here statements from all major international scientific bodies, plus all references linked where possible  :

Statements by concurring organizations

Academies of Science
Joint science academies' statements

Since 2001, 32 national science academies have come together to issue joint declarations confirming anthropogenic global warming, and urging the nations of the world to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The signatories of these statements have been the national science academies:

of Australia,
of Belgium,
of Brazil,
of Cameroon,
Royal Society of Canada,
of the Caribbean,
of China,
Institut de France,
of Ghana,
Leopoldina of Germany,
of Indonesia,
of Ireland,
Accademia nazionale delle scienze of Italy,
of India,
of Japan,
of Kenya,
of Madagascar,
of Malaysia,
of Mexico,
of Nigeria,
Royal Society of New Zealand,
Russian Academy of Sciences,
of Senegal,
of South Africa,
of Sudan,
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences,
of Tanzania,
of Turkey,
of Uganda,
The Royal Society of the United Kingdom,
of the United States,
of Zambia,
and of Zimbabwe.

2001-Following the publication of the IPCC Third Assessment Report, seventeen national science academies issued a joint statement, entitled "The Science of Climate Change", explicitly acknowledging the IPCC position as representing the scientific consensus on climate change science. The statement, printed in an editorial in the journal Science on May 18 2001, was signed by the science academies of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

2005-The national science academies of the G8 nations, plus Brazil, China and India, three of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the developing world, signed a statement on the global response to climate change. The statement stresses that the scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action, and explicitly endorsed the IPCC consensus. The eleven signatories were the science academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

2007-In preparation for the 33rd G8 summit, the national science academies of the G8+5 nations issued a declaration referencing the position of the 2005 joint science academies' statement, and acknowledging the confirmation of their previous conclusion by recent research. Following the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, the declaration states, "It is unequivocal that the climate is changing, and it is very likely that this is predominantly caused by the increasing human interference with the atmosphere. These changes will transform the environmental conditions on Earth unless counter-measures are taken." The thirteen signatories were the national science academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

2008-In preparation for the 34th G8 summit, the national science academies of the G8+5 nations issued a declaration reiterating the position of the 2005 joint science academies’ statement, and reaffirming “that climate change is happening and that anthropogenic warming is influencing many physical and biological systems.” Among other actions, the declaration urges all nations to “(t)ake appropriate economic and policy measures to accelerate transition to a low carbon society and to encourage and effect changes in individual and national behaviour.”  The thirteen signatories were the same national science academies that issued the 2007 joint statement.

2009-In advance of the UNFCCC negotiations to be held in Copenhagen in December 2009, the national science academies of the G8+5 nations issued a joint statement declaring, "Climate change and sustainable energy supply are crucial challenges for the future of humanity. It is essential that world leaders agree on the emission reductions needed to combat negative consequences of anthropogenic climate change". The statement references the IPCC's Fourth Assessment of 2007, and asserts that "climate change is happening even faster than previously estimated; global CO2 emissions since 2000 have been higher than even the highest predictions, Arctic sea ice has been melting at rates much faster than predicted, and the rise in the sea level has become more rapid." The thirteen signatories were the same national science academies that issued the 2007 and 2008 joint statements.

InterAcademy Council

As the representative of the world’s scientific and engineering academies, the InterAcademy Council (IAC) issued a report in 2007 titled Lighting the Way: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future.

Current patterns of energy resources and energy usage are proving detrimental to the long-term welfare of humanity. The integrity of essential natural systems is already at risk from climate change caused by the atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases.
Concerted efforts should be mounted for improving energy efficiency and reducing the carbon intensity of the world economy.

European Academy of Sciences and Arts

In 2007, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts issued a formal declaration on climate change titled
Let's Be Honest:

Human activity is most likely responsible for climate warming. Most of the climatic warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been caused by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Documented long-term climate changes include changes in Arctic temperatures and ice, widespread changes in precipitation amounts, ocean salinity, wind patterns and extreme weather including droughts, heavy precipitation, heat waves and the intensity of tropical cyclones. The above development potentially has dramatic consequences for mankind’s future.

International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences

In 2007, the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS) issued a Statement on Environment and Sustainable Growth:

As reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), most of the observed global warming since the mid-20th century is very likely due to human-produced emission of greenhouse gases and this warming will continue unabated if present anthropogenic emissions continue or, worse, expand without control.
CAETS, therefore, endorses the many recent calls to decrease and control greenhouse gas emissions to an acceptable level as quickly as possible.

Network of African Science Academies

In 2007, the Network of African Science Academies submitted a joint “statement on sustainability, energy efficiency, and climate change” to the leaders meeting at the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany:

A consensus, based on current evidence, now exists within the global scientific community that human activities are the main source of climate change and that the burning of fossil fuels is largely responsible for driving this change.
The IPCC should be congratulated for the contribution it has made to public understanding of the nexus that exists between energy, climate and sustainability.

The thirteen signatories were the science academies of Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, as well as the African Academy of Sciences.

Royal Society of New Zealand

Having signed onto the first joint science academies' statement in 2001, the Royal Society of New Zealand released a separate statement in 2008 in order to clear up "the controversy over climate change and its causes, and possible confusion among the public":

The globe is warming because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Measurements show that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are well above levels seen for many thousands of years. Further global climate changes are predicted, with impacts expected to become more costly as time progresses. Reducing future impacts of climate change will require substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

Polish Academy of Sciences

In December 2007, the General Assembly of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) issued a statement endorsing the IPCC conclusions, and states:

it is the duty of Polish science and the national government to, in a thoughtful, organized and active manner, become involved in realisation of these ideas.
Problems of global warming, climate change, and their various negative impacts on human life and on the functioning of entire societies are one of the most dramatic challenges of modern times.

PAS General Assembly calls on the national scientific communities and the national government to actively support Polish participation in this important endeavor.

National Research Council (US)

In 2001, the Committee on the Science of Climate Change of the National Research Council published Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions. This report explicitly endorses the IPCC view of attribution of recent climate change as representing the view of the scientific community:

The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability. Human-induced warming and associated sea level rises are expected to continue through the 21st century... The IPCC's conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community on this issue.

General science

American Association for the Advancement of Science

As the world's largest general scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science adopted an official statement on climate change in 2006:

The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society....The pace of change and the evidence of harm have increased markedly over the last five years. The time to control greenhouse gas emissions is now.

American Chemical Society

The American Chemical Society stated:

Careful and comprehensive scientific assessments have clearly demonstrated that the Earth’s climate system is changing rapidly in response to growing atmospheric burdens of greenhouse gases and absorbing aerosol particles (IPCC, 2007). There is very little room for doubt that observed climate trends are due to human activities. The threats are serious and action is urgently needed to mitigate the risks of climate change.
The reality of global warming, its current serious and potentially disastrous impacts on Earth system properties, and the key role emissions from human activities play in driving these phenomena have been recognized by earlier versions of this ACS policy statement (ACS, 2004), by other major scientific societies, including the American Geophysical Union (AGU, 2003), the American Meteorological Society (AMS, 2007) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, 2007), and by the U. S. National Academies and ten other leading national academies of science (NA, 2005).

American Institute of Physics

The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics endorsed the AGU statement on human-induced climate change:

The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics has endorsed a position statement on climate change adopted by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Council in December 2003.

American Physical Society

In November 2007, the American Physical Society (APS) adopted an official statement on climate change:

Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

Australian Institute of Physics

In 2005, the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) issued a science policy document in which they stated:

Policy: The AIP supports a reduction of the green house gas emissions that are leading to increased global temperatures, and encourages research that works towards this goal.
Reason: Research in Australia and overseas shows that an increase in global temperature will adversely affect the Earth’s climate patterns. The melting of the polar ice caps, combined with thermal expansion, will lead to rises in sea levels that may impact adversely on our coastal cities. The impact of these changes on biodiversity will fundamentally change the ecology of Earth.

European Physical Society

In 2007, the European Physical Society issued a position paper regarding energy:

The emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, among which carbon dioxide is the main contributor, has amplified the natural greenhouse effect and led to global warming. The main contribution stems from burning fossil fuels. A further increase will have decisive effects on life on earth. An energy cycle with the lowest possible CO2 emission is called for wherever possible to combat climate change.

European Science Foundation

In 2007, the European Science Foundation issued a Position Paper on climate change:

There is now convincing evidence that since the industrial revolution, human activities, resulting in increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases have become a major agent of climate change. These greenhouse gases affect the global climate by retaining heat in the troposphere, thus raising the average temperature of the planet and altering global atmospheric circulation and precipitation patterns.
While on-going national and international actions to curtail and reduce greenhouse gas emissions are essential, the levels of greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere, and their impact, are likely to persist for several decades. On-going and increased efforts to mitigate climate change through reduction in greenhouse gases are therefore crucial.

Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies

In 2008, the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS) issued a policy statement on climate change:

Global climate change is real and measurable. Since the start of the 20th century, the global mean surface temperature of the Earth has increased by more than 0.7°C and the rate of warming has been largest in the last 30 years.
Key vulnerabilities arising from climate change include water resources, food supply, health, coastal settlements, biodiversity and some key ecosystems such as coral reefs and alpine regions. As the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases increases, impacts become more severe and widespread. To reduce the global net economic, environmental and social losses in the face of these impacts, the policy objective must remain squarely focused on returning greenhouse gas concentrations to near pre-industrial levels through the reduction of emissions.

The spatial and temporal fingerprint of warming can be traced to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, which are a direct result of burning fossil fuels, broad-scale deforestation and other human activity.

Earth sciences

American Geophysical Union

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) statement, adopted by the society in 2003 and revised in 2007, affirms that rising levels of greenhouse gases have caused and will continue to cause the global surface temperature to be warmer:

The Earth's climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming. Many components of the climate system—including the temperatures of the atmosphere, land and ocean, the extent of sea ice and mountain glaciers, the sea level, the distribution of precipitation, and the length of seasons—are now changing at rates and in patterns that are not natural and are best explained by the increased atmospheric abundances of greenhouse gases and aerosols generated by human activity during the 20th century. Global average surface temperatures increased on average by about 0.6°C over the period 1956–2006. As of 2006, eleven of the previous twelve years were warmer than any others since 1850. The observed rapid retreat of Arctic sea ice is expected to continue and lead to the disappearance of summertime ice within this century. Evidence from most oceans and all continents except Antarctica shows warming attributable to human activities. Recent changes in many physical and biological systems are linked with this regional climate change. A sustained research effort, involving many AGU members and summarized in the 2007 assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, continues to improve our scientific understanding of the climate.

European Federation of Geologists

In 2008, the European Federation of Geologists (EFG) issued the position paper Carbon Capture and geological Storage :

The EFG recognizes the work of the IPCC and other organizations, and subscribes to the major findings that climate change is happening, is predominantly caused by anthropogenic emissions of CO2, and poses a significant threat to human civilization.
It is clear that major efforts are necessary to quickly and strongly reduce CO2 emissions. The EFG strongly advocates renewable and sustainable energy production, including geothermal energy, as well as the need for increasing energy efficiency.

CCS [Carbon Capture and geological Storage] should also be regarded as a bridging technology, facilitating the move towards a carbon free economy.
European Geosciences Union

In 2005, the Divisions of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) issued a position statement in support of the joint science academies’ statement on global response to climate change. The statement refers to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as "the main representative of the global scientific community", and asserts that the IPCC

represents the state-of-the-art of climate science supported by the major science academies around the world and by the vast majority of science researchers and investigators as documented by the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
Additionally, in 2008, the EGU issued a position statement on ocean acidification which states, "Ocean acidification is already occurring today and will continue to intensify, closely tracking atmospheric CO2 increase. Given the potential threat to marine ecosystems and its ensuing impact on human society and economy, especially as it acts in conjunction with anthropogenic global warming, there is an urgent need for immediate action." The statement then advocates for strategies "to limit future release of CO2 to the atmosphere and/or enhance removal of excess CO2 from the atmosphere."

Geological Society of America

In 2006, the Geological Society of America adopted a position statement on global climate change:

The Geological Society of America (GSA) supports the scientific conclusions that Earth’s climate is changing; the climate changes are due in part to human activities; and the probable consequences of the climate changes will be significant and blind to geopolitical boundaries. Furthermore, the potential implications of global climate change and the time scale over which such changes will likely occur require active, effective, long-term planning.

Geological Society of Australia

In July 2009, the Geological Society of Australia issued the position statement Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change:

Human activities have increasing impact on Earth’s environments. Of particular concern are the well-documented loading of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere, which has been linked unequivocally to burning of fossil fuels, and the corresponding increase in average global temperature. Risks associated with these large-scale perturbations of the Earth’s fundamental life-support systems include rising sea level, harmful shifts in the acid balance of the oceans and long-term changes in local and regional climate and extreme weather events.
GSA therefore recommends…strong action be taken at all levels, including government, industry, and individuals to substantially reduce the current levels of greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the likely social and environmental effects of increasing atmospheric CO2.

International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics

In July 2007, the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) adopted a resolution titled “The Urgency of Addressing Climate Change”. In it, the IUGG concurs with the “comprehensive and widely accepted and endorsed scientific assessments carried out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and regional and national bodies, which have firmly established, on the basis of scientific evidence, that human activities are the primary cause of recent climate change.” They state further that the “continuing reliance on combustion of fossil fuels as the world’s primary source of energy will lead to much higher atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasses, which will, in turn, cause significant increases in surface temperature, sea level, ocean acidification, and their related consequences to the environment and society.”

National Association of Geoscience Teachers

In July 2009, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) adopted a position statement on climate change in which they assert that "Earth's climate is changing [and] "that present warming trends are largely the result of human activities":

NAGT strongly supports and will work to promote education in the science of climate change, the causes and effects of current global warming, and the immediate need for policies and actions that reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

Meteorology and oceanography

American Meteorological Society

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) statement adopted by their council in 2003 said:

There is now clear evidence that the mean annual temperature at the Earth's surface, averaged over the entire globe, has been increasing in the past 200 years. There is also clear evidence that the abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased over the same period. In the past decade, significant progress has been made toward a better understanding of the climate system and toward improved projections of long-term climate change... Human activities have become a major source of environmental change. Of great urgency are the climate consequences of the increasing atmospheric abundance of greenhouse gases... Because greenhouse gases continue to increase, we are, in effect, conducting a global climate experiment, neither planned nor controlled, the results of which may present unprecedented challenges to our wisdom and foresight as well as have significant impacts on our natural and societal systems.

Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society

The Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society has issued a Statement on Climate Change, wherein they conclude:

Global climate change and global warming are real and observable ... It is highly likely that those human activities that have increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have been largely responsible for the observed warming since 1950. The warming associated with increases in greenhouse gases originating from human activity is called the enhanced greenhouse effect. The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has increased by more than 30% since the start of the industrial age and is higher now than at any time in at least the past 650,000 years. This increase is a direct result of burning fossil fuels, broad-scale deforestation and other human activity.”

Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences

In November 2005, the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS) issued a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada stating that

We concur with the climate science assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2001 ... We endorse the conclusions of the IPCC assessment that 'There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities'. ... There is increasingly unambiguous evidence of changing climate in Canada and around the world. There will be increasing impacts of climate change on Canada’s natural ecosystems and on our socio-economic activities. Advances in climate science since the 2001 IPCC Assessment have provided more evidence supporting the need for action and development of a strategy for adaptation to projected changes.

Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society

The Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society 2002 Position Statement on Climate Change states that the society:

endorses the process of periodic climate science assessment carried out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and supports the conclusion, in its Third Assessment Report, which states that the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.

Royal Meteorological Society (UK)

In February 2007, after the release of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, the Royal Meteorological Society issued an endorsement of the report. In addition to referring to the IPCC as “world’s best climate scientists”, they stated that climate change is happening as “the result of emissions since industrialization and we have already set in motion the next 50 years of global warming – what we do from now on will determine how worse it will get.”

World Meteorological Organization

In its Statement at the Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change presented on November 15, 2006, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirms the need to “prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The WMO concurs that “scientific assessments have increasingly reaffirmed that human activities are indeed changing the composition of the atmosphere, in particular through the burning of fossil fuels for energy production and transportation.” The WMO concurs that “the present atmospheric concentration of CO2 was never exceeded over the past 420,000 years;” and that the IPCC “assessments provide the most authoritative, up-to-date scientific advice.”


American Quaternary Association

The American Quaternary Association (AMQUA) has stated

Few credible Scientists now doubt that humans have influenced the documented rise of global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution,” citing “the growing body of evidence that warming of the atmosphere, especially over the past 50 years, is directly impacted by human activity.

International Union for Quaternary Research

The statement on climate change issued by the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) reiterates the conclusions of the IPCC, and urges all nations to take prompt action in line with the UNFCCC principles.

Human activities are now causing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasses - including carbon dioxide, methane, tropospheric ozone, and nitrous oxide - to rise well above pre-industrial levels….Increases in greenhouse gasses are causing temperatures to rise…The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action….Minimizing the amount of this carbon dioxide reaching the atmosphere presents a huge challenge but must be a global priority.

Biology and life sciences

American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians

The American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians (AAWV) has issued a position statement regarding "climate change, wildlife diseases, and wildlife health":

There is widespread scientific agreement that the world’s climate is changing and that the weight of evidence demonstrates that anthropogenic factors have and will continue to contribute significantly to global warming and climate change. It is anticipated that continuing changes to the climate will have serious negative impacts on public, animal and ecosystem health due to extreme weather events, changing disease transmission dynamics, emerging and re-emerging diseases, and alterations to habitat and ecological systems that are essential to wildlife conservation. Furthermore, there is increasing recognition of the inter-relationships of human, domestic animal, wildlife, and ecosystem health as illustrated by the fact the majority of recent emerging diseases have a wildlife origin.

American Society for Microbiology

In 2003, the American Society for Microbiology issued a public policy report in which they recommend “reducing net anthropogenic CO2 emissions to the atmosphere” and “minimizing anthropogenic disturbances of” atmospheric gases:

Carbon dioxide concentrations were relatively stable for the past 10,000 years but then began to increase rapidly about 150 years ago…as a result of fossil fuel consumption and land use change.
Of course, changes in atmospheric composition are but one component of global change, which also includes disturbances in the physical and chemical conditions of the oceans and land surface. Although global change has been a natural process throughout Earth’s history, humans are responsible for substantially accelerating present-day changes. These changes may adversely affect human health and the biosphere on which we depend.

Outbreaks of a number of diseases, including Lyme disease, hantavirus infections, dengue fever, bubonic plague, and cholera, have been linked to climate change.

Australian Coral Reef Society

In 2006, the Australian Coral Reef Society issued an official communique regarding the Great Barrier Reef and the "world-wide decline in coral reefs through processes such as overfishing, runoff of nutrients from the land, coral bleaching, global climate change, ocean acidification, pollution", etc.:

There is almost total consensus among experts that the earth’s climate is changing as a result of the build-up of greenhouse gases. The IPCC (involving over 3,000 of the world’s experts) has come out with clear conclusions as to the reality of this phenomenon. One does not have to look further than the collective academy of scientists worldwide to see the string (of) statements on this worrying change to the earth’s atmosphere.
There is broad scientific consensus that coral reefs are heavily affected by the activities of man and there are significant global influences that can make reefs more vulnerable such as global warming....It is highly likely that coral bleaching has been exacerbated by global warming.

Institute of Biology (UK)

The UK's Institute of Biology states “there is scientific agreement that the rapid global warming that has occurred in recent years is mostly anthropogenic, ie due to human activity.” As a consequence of global warming, they warn that a “rise in sea levels due to melting of ice caps is expected to occur. Rises in temperature will have complex and frequently localised effects on weather, but an overall increase in extreme weather conditions and changes in precipitation patterns are probable, resulting in flooding and drought. The spread of tropical diseases is also expected.” Subsequently, the Institute of Biology advocates policies to reduce “greenhouse gas emissions, as we feel that the consequences of climate change are likely to be severe.”

Society of American Foresters

In 2008, the Society of American Foresters (SAF) issued two position statements pertaining to climate change in which they cite the IPCC and the UNFCCC:

Forests are shaped by climate....Changes in temperature and precipitation regimes therefore have the potential to dramatically affect forests nationwide. There is growing evidence that our climate is changing. The changes in temperature have been associated with increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and other GHGs in the atmosphere.
Forests play a significant role in offsetting CO2 emissions, the primary anthropogenic GHG.

The Wildlife Society (international)

The Wildlife Society has issued a position statement titled Global Climate Change and Wildlife:

Scientists throughout the world have concluded that climate research conducted in the past two decades definitively shows that rapid worldwide climate change occurred in the 20th century, and will likely continue to occur for decades to come. Although climates have varied dramatically since the earth was formed, few scientists question the role of humans in exacerbating recent climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases. The critical issue is no longer “if” climate change is occurring, but rather how to address its effects on wildlife and wildlife habitats.
The statement goes on to assert that “evidence is accumulating that wildlife and wildlife habitats have been and will continue to be significantly affected by ongoing large-scale rapid climate change.”

The statement concludes with a call for “reduction in anthropogenic (human-caused) sources of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global climate change and the conservation of CO2- consuming photosynthesizers (i.e., plants).”

Human health

American Academy of Pediatrics

In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued the policy statement Global Climate Change and Children's Health:

There is broad scientific consensus that Earth's climate is warming rapidly and at an accelerating rate. Human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels, are very likely (+/-;90% probability) to be the main cause of this warming. Climate-sensitive changes in ecosystems are already being observed, and fundamental, potentially irreversible, ecological changes may occur in the coming decades. Conservative environmental estimates of the impact of climate changes that are already in process indicate that they will result in numerous health effects to children.

Anticipated direct health consequences of climate change include injury and death from extreme weather events and natural disasters, increases in climate-sensitive infectious diseases, increases in air pollution–related illness, and more heat-related, potentially fatal, illness. Within all of these categories, children have increased vulnerability compared with other groups.

American College of Preventive Medicine

In 2006, the American College of Preventive Medicine issued a policy statement on “Abrupt Climate Change and Public Health Implications”:

The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) accept the position that global warming and climate change is occurring, that there is potential for abrupt climate change, and that human practices that increase greenhouse gases exacerbate the problem, and that the public health consequences may be severe.

American Medical Association

In 2008, the American Medical Association issued a policy statement on global climate change declaring that they:

Support the findings of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which states that the Earth is undergoing adverse global climate change and that these changes will negatively affect public health.
Support educating the medical community on the potential adverse public health effects of global climate change, including topics such as population displacement, flooding, infectious and vector-borne diseases, and healthy water supplies.

American Public Health Association

In 2007, the American Public Health Association issued a policy statement titled ‘’Addressing the Urgent Threat of Global Climate Change to Public Health and the Environment’’:

The long-term threat of global climate change to global health is extremely serious and the fourth IPCC report and other scientific literature demonstrate convincingly that anthropogenic GHG emissions are primarily responsible for this threat….US policy makers should immediately take necessary steps to reduce US emissions of GHGs, including carbon dioxide, to avert dangerous climate change.

Australian Medical Association

In 2004, the Australian Medical Association issued the position statement Climate Change and Human Health in which they recommend policies "to mitigate the possible consequential health effects of climate change through improved energy efficiency, clean energy production and other emission reduction steps."

This statement was revised again in 2008:

The world’s climate – our life-support system – is being altered in ways that are likely to pose significant direct and indirect challenges to health. While ‘climate change’ can be due to natural forces or human activity, there is now substantial evidence to indicate that human activity – and specifically increased greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions – is a key factor in the pace and extent of global temperature increases.
Health impacts of climate change include the direct impacts of extreme events such as storms, floods, heatwaves and fires and the indirect effects of longer-term changes, such as drought, changes to the food and water supply, resource conflicts and population shifts.

Increases in average temperatures mean that alterations in the geographic range and seasonality of certain infections and diseases (including vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, Ross River virus and food-borne infections such as Salmonellosis) may be among the first detectable impacts of climate change on human health.

Human health is ultimately dependent on the health of the planet and its ecosystem. The AMA believes that measures which mitigate climate change will also benefit public health. Reducing GHGs should therefore be seen as a public health priority.

World Federation of Public Health Associations

In 2001, the World Federation of Public Health Associations issued a policy resolution on global climate change:

Noting the conclusions of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other climatologists that anthropogenic greenhouse gases, which contribute to global climate change, have substantially increased in atmospheric concentration beyond natural processes and have increased by 28 percent since the industrial revolution….Realizing that subsequent health effects from such perturbations in the climate system would likely include an increase in: heat-related mortality and morbidity; vector-borne infectious diseases,… water-borne diseases…(and) malnutrition from threatened agriculture….the World Federation of Public Health Associations…recommends precautionary primary preventive measures to avert climate change, including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and preservation of greenhouse gas sinks through appropriate energy and land use policies, in view of the scale of potential health impacts....

World Health Organization

In 2008, the United Nations' World Health Organization issued their report Protecting health from climate change:

There is now widespread agreement that the earth is warming, due to emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human activity. It is also clear that current trends in energy use, development, and population growth will lead to continuing – and more severe – climate change.
The changing climate will inevitably affect the basic requirements for maintaining health: clean air and water, sufficient food and adequate shelter. Each year, about 800,000 people die from causes attributable to urban air pollution, 1.8 million from diarrhoea resulting from lack of access to clean water supply, sanitation, and poor hygiene, 3.5 million from malnutrition and approximately 60,000 in natural disasters. A warmer and more variable climate threatens to lead to higher levels of some air pollutants, increase transmission of diseases through unclean water and through contaminated food, to compromise agricultural production in some of the least developed countries, and increase the hazards of extreme weather.


American Astronomical Society

The American Astronomical Society has endorsed the AGU statement:

In endorsing the "Human Impacts on Climate" statement [issued by the American Geophysical Union], the AAS recognizes the collective expertise of the AGU in scientific subfields central to assessing and understanding global change, and acknowledges the strength of agreement among our AGU colleagues that the global climate is changing and human activities are contributing to that change.

American Statistical Association

On November 30, 2007, the American Statistical Association Board of Directors adopted a statement on climate change:

The ASA endorses the IPCC conclusions.... Over the course of four assessment reports, a small number of statisticians have served as authors or reviewers. Although this involvement is encouraging, it does not represent the full range of statistical expertise available. ASA recommends that more statisticians should become part of the IPCC process. Such participation would be mutually beneficial to the assessment of climate change and its impacts and also to the statistical community.

Engineers Australia (The Institution of Engineers Australia)

"Engineers Australia believes that Australia must act swiftly and proactively in line with global expectations to address climate change as an economic, social and environmental risk... We believe that addressing the costs of atmospheric emissions will lead to increasing our competitive advantage by minimising risks and creating new economic opportunities. Engineers Australia believes the Australian Government should ratify the Kyoto Protocol."

International Association for Great Lakes Research

In February 2009, the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) issued a Fact Sheet on climate change:

While the Earth’s climate has changed many times during the planet’s history because of natural factors, including volcanic eruptions and changes in the Earth’s orbit, never before have we observed the present rapid rise in temperature and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Human activities resulting from the industrial revolution have changed the chemical composition of the atmosphere....Deforestation is now the second largest contributor to global warming, after the burning of fossil fuels. These human activities have significantly increased the concentration of “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere.

As the Earth’s climate warms, we are seeing many changes: stronger, more destructive hurricanes; heavier rainfall; more disastrous flooding; more areas of the world experiencing severe drought; and more heat waves.

Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand

In October 2001, the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) published an Informatory Note entitled "Climate Change and the greenhouse effect":

Human activities have increased the concentration of these atmospheric greenhouse gases, and although the changes are relatively small, the equilibrium maintained by the atmosphere is delicate, and so the effect of these changes is significant. The world’s most important greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, a by-product of the burning of fossil fuels. Since the time of the Industrial Revolution about 200 years ago, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased from about 280 parts per million to 370 parts per million, an increase of around 30%.
On the basis of available data, climate scientists are now projecting an average global temperature rise over this century of 2.0 to 4.5ºC. This compared with 0.6ºC over the previous century – about a 500% increase... This could lead to changing, and for all emissions scenarios more unpredictable, weather patterns around the world, less frost days, more extreme events (droughts and storm or flood disasters), and warmer sea temperatures and melting glaciers causing sea levels to rise.

... Professional engineers commonly deal with risk, and frequently have to make judgments based on incomplete data. The available evidence suggests very strongly that human activities have already begun to make significant changes to the earth’s climate, and that the longterm risk of delaying action is greater than the cost of avoiding/minimising the risk.

Non-committal statements

American Association of Petroleum Geologists(!)

The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Position Statement on climate change states that

the AAPG membership is divided on the degree of influence that anthropogenic CO2 has on recent and potential global temperature increases ... Certain climate simulation models predict that the warming trend will continue, as reported through NAS, AGU, AAAS and AMS. AAPG respects these scientific opinions but wants to add that the current climate warming projections could fall within well-documented natural variations in past climate and observed temperature data. These data do not necessarily support the maximum case scenarios forecast in some models.
Prior to the adoption of this statement in June 2007, the AAPG was the only major scientific organization that rejected the finding of significant human influence on recent climate, according to a statement by the Council of the American Quaternary Association. Explaining the plan for a revision, AAPG president Lee Billingsly wrote in March 2007 that

Members have threatened to not renew their memberships... if AAPG does not alter its position on global climate change.... And I have been told of members who already have resigned in previous years because of our current global climate change position.... The current policy statement is not supported by a significant number of our members and prospective members.
AAPG President John Lorenz announced the sunsetting of AAPG’s Global Climate Change Committee in January 2010. The AAPG Executive Committee determined that:

Climate change is peripheral at best to our science…. AAPG does not have credibility in that field…….and as a group we have no particular knowledge of global atmospheric geophysics.

American Association of State Climatologists

The Association has no current statement. The previous statement, discussed below, became inoperative in 2008.

The 2001 statement from the American Association of State Climatologists noted the difficulties with predicting impacts due to climate change, while acknowledging that human activities are having an effect on climate:

Climate prediction is difficult because it involves complex, nonlinear interactions among all components of the earth’s environmental system.... The AASC recognizes that human activities have an influence on the climate system. Such activities, however, are not limited to greenhouse gas forcing and include changing land use and sulfate emissions, which further complicates the issue of climate prediction. Furthermore, climate predictions have not demonstrated skill in projecting future variability and changes in such important climate conditions as growing season, drought, flood-producing rainfall, heat waves, tropical cyclones and winter storms. These are the type of events that have a more significant impact on society than annual average global temperature trends. Policy responses to climate variability and change should be flexible and sensible – The difficulty of prediction and the impossibility of verification of predictions decades into the future are important factors that allow for competing views of the long-term climate future. Therefore, the AASC recommends that policies related to long-term climate not be based on particular predictions, but instead should focus on policy alternatives that make sense for a wide range of plausible climatic conditions regardless of future climate... Finally, ongoing political debate about global energy policy should not stand in the way of common sense action to reduce societal and environmental vulnerabilities to climate variability and change. Considerable potential exists to improve policies related to climate.

American Geological Institute

In 1999, the American Geological Institute (AGI) issued the position statement ‘’Global Climate Change’’:

The American Geological Institute (AGI) strongly supports education concerning the scientific evidence of past climate change, the potential for future climate change due to the current building of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and the policy options available.
Understanding the interactions between the solid Earth, the oceans, the biosphere, and the atmosphere both in the present and over time is critical for accurately analyzing and predicting global climate change due to natural processes and possible human influences.

American Institute of Professional Geologists

In 2009, the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) sent a statement to President Barack Obama and other US government officials:

The geological professionals in AIPG recognize that climate change is occurring and has the potential to yield catastrophic impacts if humanity is not prepared to address those impacts. It is also recognized that climate change will occur regardless of the cause. The sooner a defensible scientific understanding can be developed, the better equipped humanity will be to develop economically viable and technically effective methods to support the needs of society.
Concerned that the original statement issued in March 2009 was too ambiguous, AIPG’s National Executive Committee approved a revised position statement issued in January 2010:

The geological professionals in AIPG recognize that climate change is occurring regardless of cause. AIPG supports continued research into all forces driving climate change.

In August 2009, the Ohio Section of AIPG submitted a position statement to Senators Brown and Voinovich opposing H.R. 2454, the Markey-Waxman climate bill. The statement professed that “there is no scientific evidence supporting…. the premise that human production of CO2 gas is responsible for ‘global warming’….” The statement went on to challenge the findings of the IPCC and made numerous references to articles published by the Heartland Institute.

In March 2010, AIPG’s Executive Director issued a statement regarding polarization of opinions on climate change within the membership and announced that the AIPG Executive had made a decision to cease publication of articles and opinion pieces concerning climate change in AIPG’s news journal, The Professional Geologist. The Executive Director noted that “the question of anthropogenicity of climate change is contentious.”

Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences

In 2001, the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences issued the position paper Mitigating climate change: Putting our carbon dioxide back into the ground:

We contribute to the global problem of changing climate by our emissions of greenhouse gases - especially carbon dioxide – from industrial processes. A warming Earth has significant problems for Canada – instability in agricultural productivity, sinking of northern infrastructrure into melting permafrost, greater vulnerability of low-lying coastlines to storms.
While the Canadian Geoscience Council is not at this time taking a particular position specifically on the issue of global warming, the Council is establishing a position on the use of geological sinks to mitigate emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly CO2.

Statements by dissenting organizations

With the release of the revised statement by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in 2007, no remaining scientific body of national or international standing is known to reject the basic findings of human influence on recent climate change.

Statements by individual scientists opposing the mainstream assessment of global warming do include opinions that the earth has not warmed, or that warming is attributable to causes other than increasing greenhouse gases.

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