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Climate Change Letter Delivered to Senate

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  • npat1@juno.com
    THE STATE OF CLIMATE SCIENCE: JULY 2003 -- A LETTER FROM U.S. SCIENTISTS July 29, 2003 United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senators First and
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2003
      THE STATE OF CLIMATE SCIENCE: JULY 2003 -- A LETTER FROM U.S. SCIENTISTS
      July 29, 2003
      United States Senate
      Washington, DC 20510
      Dear Senators First and Daschle:
      ... letter below ...

      Signatures of approval: 725 scientists (high level degrees, Ph.D. or
      M.S.) from 45 states & D.C.
      Scientists with signatures of approval on the letter were from 45 states
      (all but MS WY ID ND SD).

      Pat Neuman

      http://madison.indymedia.org/newswire/display_any/13606

      ------------------------------------------------------------
      Climate Change Letter Delivered to Senate
      ------------------------------------------------------------
      Thursday, 31 July 2003
      by Michael Neuman

      Summary: Over 700 U.S. climate scientists from all regions of the U.S.
      stated in a letter delivered to the U.S. Senate Tuesday that greenhouse
      gas emissions will have to be reduced even faster now that two years of
      no-action on reducing them have elapsed since publication of the most
      recent reports by the IPCC and NRC.

      The scientists claim that "the longer emissions increase, the faster they
      will ultimately have to be decreased in order to avoid dangerous
      interference with the climate system".

      The letter was delivered in time for the Senate to debate amendments to
      "The Energy Policy Act of 2003" (S-14), expected to address the issue of
      climate change/global warming. A copy of the letter follows.

      THE STATE OF CLIMATE SCIENCE: JULY 2003 -- A LETTER FROM U.S. SCIENTISTS

      July 29, 2003
      United States Senate
      Washington, DC 20510
      Dear Senators First and Daschle:

      Two years have elapsed since the publication of the most recent reports
      by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the National
      Research Council (NRC) on the state of the science of climate change and
      its impacts on the United States and the rest of the world. As scientists
      engaged in research on these subjects, we are writing to confirm that the
      main findings of these documents continue to represent the consensus
      opinion of the scientific community. Indeed, these findings have been
      reinforced rather than weakened by research reported since the documents
      were released.

      In brief, the findings are that:

      1) Anthropogenic climate change, driven by emissions of greenhouse gases,
      is already underway and likely responsible for most of the observed
      warming over the last 50 years—the largest warming that has
      occurred in the Northern Hemisphere during at least the past 1000 years;

      2) Over the course of this century the Earth is expected to warm an
      additional 2.5 to 10.5 �F, depending on future emissions levels and on
      the climate sensitivity—a sustained global rate of change exceeding
      any in the last 10,000 years;

      3) Temperature increases in most areas of the United States are expected
      to be considerably higher than these global means because of our nation's
      northerly location and large average distance from the oceans;

      4) Even under mid-range emissions assumptions, the projected warming
      could cause substantial impacts in different regions of the U.S.,
      including an increased likelihood of heavy and extreme precipitation
      events, exacerbated drought, and sea level rise;

      5) Almost all plausible emissions scenarios result in projected
      temperatures that continue to increase well beyond the end of this
      century; and,

      6) Due to the long lifetimes of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the
      longer emissions increase, the faster they will ultimately have to be
      decreased in order to avoid dangerous interference with the climate
      system.
      Evidence that climate change is already underway includes the
      instrumental record, which shows a surface temperature rise of
      approximately 1�F over the 20th century, the accelerated sea level rise
      during that century relative to the last few thousand years, global
      retreat of mountain glaciers, reduction in snow cover extent, earlier
      thawing of lake and river ice, the increase in upper air water vapor over
      most regions in the past several decades, and the 0.09�F warming of the
      world's deep oceans since the 1950's.

      Evidence that the warmth of the Northern Hemisphere during the second
      half of the last century was unprecedented in the last 1000 years comes
      from three major reconstructions of past surface temperatures, which used
      indicators such as tree rings, corals, ice cores, and lake sediments for
      years prior to 1860, and instrumental records for the interval between
      1865 and the present.

      On the subject of human causation of this warmth, the NRC report stated
      that, "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." Indeed, computer simulations do not
      reproduce the late 20th century warmth if they include only natural
      climate forcings such as emissions from volcanoes and solar activity. The
      warmth is only captured when the simulations include forcings from
      human-emitted greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere.

      In summary, the main conclusions of the IPCC and NRC reports remain
      robust consensus positions supported by the vast majority of researchers
      in the fields of climate change and its impacts. The body of research
      carried out since the reports were issued tends to strengthen their
      conclusions.

      Sincerely,

      [names of 725 scientists, from 45 states] {corrected from 43}
      Madison IMC: http://madison.indymedia.org/



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