Scientists to Congress: Strongly Worded Letter About Climate Change

A reprint of an important letter to Congress:

June 28, 2016

Dear Members of Congress,

We, as leaders of major scientific organizations, write to remind you of the consensus scientific view of climate change.

Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research concludes that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. This conclusion is based on multiple independent lines of evidence and the vast body of peer-reviewed science.

There is strong evidence that ongoing climate change is having broad negative impacts on society, including the global economy, natural resources, and human health. For the United States, climate change impacts include greater threats of extreme weather events, sea level rise, and increased risk of regional water scarcity, heat waves, wildfires, and the disturbance of biological systems. The severity of climate change impacts is increasing and is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades.(1)

To reduce the risk of the most severe impacts of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be substantially reduced. In addition, adaptation is necessary to address unavoidable consequences for human health and safety, food security, water availability, and national security, among others.

We, in the scientific community, are prepared to work with you on the scientific issues important to your deliberations as you seek to address the challenges of our changing climate.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Chemical Society

American Geophysical Union

American Institute of Biological Sciences

American Meteorological Society

American Public Health Association

American Society of Agronomy

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists

American Society of Naturalists

American Society of Plant Biologists

American Statistical Association

Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography

Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation

Association of Ecosystem Research Centers

BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium

Botanical Society of America

Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Crop Science Society of America Ecological Society of America

Entomological Society of America

Geological Society of America

National Association of Marine Laboratories

Natural Science Collections Alliance

Organization of Biological Field Stations

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

Society for Mathematical Biology

Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Society of Nematologists

Society of Systematic Biologists Soil Science

Society of America University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

 

(1) The conclusions in this and the preceding paragraph reflect the scientific consensus represented by, for example, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the U.S. National Academies, and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Many scientific societies have endorsed these findings in their own statements, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society, American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, American Statistical Association, Ecological Society of America, and Geological Society of America.

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