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AAAS Board Releases New Statement on Climate Change 18 February 2007

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  • Pat Neuman
    18 February 2007 AAAS Board Releases New Statement on Climate Change The retreating Qori Kalis glacier in the Andes of Peru in 2000 Photograph courtesy of
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 17, 2007
      18 February 2007
      AAAS Board Releases New Statement on Climate Change

      The retreating Qori Kalis glacier in the Andes of Peru in 2000
      Photograph courtesy of Lonnie Thompson, Ohio State University

      The following statement on global climate change was released today
      during the AAAS Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The statement was
      approved by the board on 9 December 2006.

      Print and read the statement as an Acrobat PDF.

      The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by
      human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to
      society. Accumulating data from across the globe reveal a wide array
      of effects: rapidly melting glaciers, destabilization of major ice
      sheets, increases in extreme weather, rising sea level, shifts in
      species ranges, and more. 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.

      The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, a critical greenhouse
      gas, is higher than it has been for at least 650,000 years. The
      average temperature of the Earth is heading for levels not experienced
      for millions of years. Scientific predictions of the impacts of
      increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases from fossil
      fuels and deforestation match observed changes. As expected,
      intensification of droughts, heat waves, floods, wildfires, and severe
      storms is occurring, with a mounting toll on vulnerable ecosystems and
      societies. These events are early warning signs of even more
      devastating damage to come, some of which will be irreversible.

      Delaying action to address climate change will increase the
      environmental and societal consequences as well as the costs. The
      longer we wait to tackle climate change, the harder and more expensive
      the task will be.

      History provides many examples of society confronting grave threats by
      mobilizing knowledge and promoting innovation. We need an aggressive
      research, development and deployment effort to transform the existing
      and future energy systems of the world away from technologies that
      emit greenhouse gases. Developing clean energy technologies will
      provide economic opportunities and ensure future energy supplies.

      In addition to rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it is
      essential that we develop strategies to adapt to ongoing changes and
      make communities more resilient to future changes.

      The growing torrent of information presents a clear message: we are
      already experiencing global climate change. It is time to muster the
      political will for concerted action. Stronger leadership at all levels
      is needed. The time is now. We must rise to the challenge. We owe this
      to future generations.

      The conclusions in this statement reflect the scientific consensus
      represented by, for example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
      Change, and the joint National Academies' statement.

      For more information, see the AAAS Global Climate-Change Resources page.

      18 February 2007

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