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National and international science academies and professional societies have assessed the current scientific opinion on climate change, in particular recent global warming. These assessments have largely followed or endorsed the IPCC position of January 2001 that

An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system... There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.[1]

This article documents scientific opinion as given by synthesis reports, scientific bodies of national or international standing, and surveys of opinion among climate scientists. It does not document the views of individual scientists, individual universities or laboratories, nor self-selected lists of individuals such as petitions.

Synthesis ReportsEdit

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 Edit

Main article: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

In February 2007, the IPCC released a summary of the forthcoming Fourth Assessment Report. According to this summary, the Fourth Assessment Report finds that human actions are "very likely" the cause of global warming, meaning a 90% or greater probability. Global warming in this case is indicated by an increase of 0.75 degrees in average global temperatures over the last 100 years.[2]

The New York Times reported:

The world's leading climate scientists said global warming has begun, is very likely caused by man, and will be unstoppable for centuries, ... . The phrase very likely translates to a more than 90 percent certainty that global warming is caused by man's burning of fossil fuels. That was the strongest conclusion to date, making it nearly impossible to say natural forces are to blame.[3]
The report said that an increase in hurricane and tropical cyclone strength since 1970 more likely than not can be attributed to man-made global warming. The scientists said global warming's connection varies with storms in different parts of the world, but that the storms that strike the Americas are global warming-influenced.[4]

The Associated Press summarized the position on sea level rise:

On sea levels, the report projects rises of 7-23 inches by the end of the century. That could be augmented by an additional 4-8 inches if recent polar ice sheet melt continues.[5]

Federal Climate Change Science Program (US) Edit

On May 2, 2006, the Federal Climate Change Science Program, commissioned by the Bush administration in 2002, released the first of 21 assessments. Though it did not state what percentage of climate change might be anthropogenic, the assessment concluded:

Studies ... show clear evidence of human influences on the climate system (due to changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols, and stratospheric ozone). ... The observed patterns of change over the past 50 years cannot be explained by natural processes alone, nor by the effects of short-lived atmospheric constituents (such as aerosols and tropospheric ozone) alone.[6]

In a May 29, 2008 assessment, they stated:

It is well established through formal attribution studies that the global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases.[7]

Arctic Climate Impact AssessmentEdit

In 2004, the intergovernmental Arctic Council and the non-governmental International Arctic Science Committee released the synthesis report of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment[8]:

Climate conditions in the past provide evidence that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are associated with rising global temperatures. Human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas), and secondarily the clearing of land, have increased the concentration of carbon dioxide. methane, and other heat-trapping ("greenhouse") gases in the atmosphere...There is international scientific consensus that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.[9]

Statements by concurring organizationsEdit

Academies of ScienceEdit

European Academy of Sciences and Arts Edit

In 2007, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts issued a formal declaration on climate change entitled 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. [10]

InterAcademy Council Edit

As the representative of the world’s scientific and engineering academies,[11][12] the InterAcademy Council (IAC) issued a report in 2007 entitled 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.[13]
Concerted efforts should be mounted for improving energy efficiency and reducing the carbon intensity of the world economy.[14]

International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences Edit

In 2007, the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS) issued a Statement on Environment and Sustainable Growth[15]

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.

Joint science academies' statementsEdit

Since 2001, various 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 gasses. The 32 signatories of these statements have been the national science academies of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, the Caribbean, China, France, Ghana, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, India, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, New Zealand, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 2001-Following the publication of the IPCC Third Assessment Report, sixteen national science academies issued a joint statement explicitly acknowledging the IPCC position as representing the scientific consensus on climate change science. The sixteen science academies that issued the statement were those of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.[16]
  • 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[17], 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 2007 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."[18] 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.”[19] The thirteen signatories were the same national science academies that issued the 2007 joint statement.

Network of African Science Academies Edit

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.”[20]

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 Edit

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.[21]

General ScienceEdit

American Association for the Advancement of ScienceEdit

In 2006, the American Association for the Advancement of Science adopted an official statement on climate change in which they stated, "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."[22]

European Science Foundation Edit

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.[23]

National Research Council (US) Edit

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.[24] 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.[24]

BiologyEdit

American Association of Wildlife VeterinariansEdit

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.[25]

American Society for MicrobiologyEdit

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 gasses:[26]

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.[27]
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.[28]
Outbreaks of a number of diseases, including Lyme disease, hantavirus infections, dengue fever, bubonic plague, and cholera, have been linked to climate change.[29]

Australian Coral Reef SocietyEdit

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 thousand 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.[30]

Institute of Biology (UK)Edit

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.”[31]

Society of American ForestersEdit

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.[32]
Forests play a significant role in offsetting CO2 emissions, the primary anthropogenic GHG.[33]

The Wildlife Society (international)Edit

The Wildlife Society has issued a position statement entitled Global Climate Change and Wildlife:[34]

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 an 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).”

GeologyEdit

American Geophysical Union Edit

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) statement, [35] 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.

Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences Edit

The Canadian Federation Of Earth Sciences has issued a position paper on global climate change in which they state, “ Canada's Earth scientists also recognize that humans are adding greenhouse gases (GHGs) to our atmosphere at an ever increasing rate. The level of CO2 in our atmosphere is now greater than at any time in the past 500,000 years; there will be consequences for our global climate and natural systems as a result….These could include: increased frequency and severity of drought, coastal erosion, sea level change, permafrost degradation, impact of reduced glacier cover on water resources, groundwater quality and quantity, and occurrence of climate-related natural hazards such as flooding, dust storms and landslides.”[36]

European Federation of GeologistsEdit

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.[37]

European Geosciences Union Edit

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.”[38]

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."[39]

Geological Society of AmericaEdit

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.[40]

International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics Edit

In July 2007, the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) adopted a resolution entitled “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 International 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.” [41]

Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of LondonEdit

In its position paper on global warming, the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London declares, "Global climate change is increasingly recognised as the key threat to the continued development – and even survival - of humanity." They refer to the IPCC as providing the "most authoritative assessment of climate change", and further state, "We find that the evidence for human-induced climate change is now persuasive, and the need for direct action compelling."[42]

Human HealthEdit

American Academy of PediatricsEdit

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.[43]

American College of Preventive MedicineEdit

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.[44]

American Medical AssociationEdit

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 effect 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.[45]

American Public Health AssociationEdit

In 2007, the American Public Health Association issued a policy statement entitled ‘’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.[46]

Australian Medical AssociationEdit

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."[47]

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.[48]

World Federation of Public Health AssociationsEdit

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....[49]

Meteorology/OceanographyEdit

American Meteorological Society Edit

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.[50]

Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Edit

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.”[51]

Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences Edit

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."[52]

Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Edit

"CMOS 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."[53]

Royal Meteorological Society (UK) Edit

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.” [54]

World Meteorological Organization Edit

In its Statement at the Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, 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.” [55]

PaleoclimatologyEdit

American Quaternary Association Edit

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.” [56]

International Union for Quaternary Research Edit

The statement on climate change issued by the International Union for Quaternary Research 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.” [57]

MiscellaneousEdit

American Astronomical Society Edit

The American Astronomical Society has endorsed the AGU statement:[58]

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 Chemical SocietyEdit

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).[59]

American Institute of Physics Edit

The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics endorsed the AGU statement on human-induced climate change:[60]

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 Edit

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."[61]

American Statistical AssociationEdit

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.[62]

Engineers Australia (The Institution of Engineers Australia)Edit

"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."[63]

Noncommittal statementsEdit

American Association of State ClimatologistsEdit

The Association has no current statement. The previous statement, discussed below, became inoperative in 2008. A committee has been formed to develop a new statement.

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.[64]

American Association of Petroleum Geologists Edit

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."[65]

Prior to the adoption of this statement, 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.[66] 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."[67]

Statements by dissenting organizationsEdit

Although there have been some individual scientists who have made statements opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming, 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 changes.[66]

Scientific consensusEdit

A question which frequently arises in popular discussion of climate change is whether there is a scientific consensus. Several scientific organizations have explicitly used the term "consensus" in their statements:

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2006: "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."[22]
  • US National Academy of Science: "In the judgment of most climate scientists, Earth’s warming in recent decades has been caused primarily by human activities that have increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. ... On climate change, [the National Academies’ reports] have assessed consensus findings on the science..."[68]
  • Joint Science Academies' statement, 2005: "We recognise the international scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)."[69]
  • Joint Science Academies' statement, 2001: "The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the consensus of the international scientific community on climate change science. We recognise IPCC as the world’s most reliable source of information on climate change and its causes, and we endorse its method of achieving this consensus."[70]
  • American Meteorological Society, 2003: "The nature of science is such that there is rarely total agreement among scientists. Individual scientific statements and papers—the validity of some of which has yet to be assessed adequately—can be exploited in the policy debate and can leave the impression that the scientific community is sharply divided on issues where there is, in reality, a strong scientific consensus. ...IPCC assessment reports are prepared at approximately five-year intervals by a large international group of experts who represent the broad range of expertise and perspectives relevant to the issues. The reports strive to reflect a consensus evaluation of the results of the full body of peer-reviewed research. ... They provide an analysis of what is known and not known, the degree of consensus, and some indication of the degree of confidence that can be placed on the various statements and conclusions."[71]
  • Network of African Science Academies: “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.” [20]
  • Australian Coral Reef Society, 2006: "There is almost total consensus among experts that the earth’s climate is changing as a result of the build-up of greenhouse gases....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....[73]

Surveys of scientists and scientific literatureEdit

Various surveys have been conducted to determine a scientific consensus on global warming.

Doran and Kendall Zimmerman, 2009Edit

A poll performed by Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman at Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago received replies from 3,146 of the 10,257 polled Earth scientists. Results were analyzed globally and by specialization. 96.2% of climatologists who are active in climate research believe that mean global temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800s levels, and 97.4% believe that human activity is a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures. Among all respondents, 90% agreed that temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800 levels, and 80% agreed that humans significantly influence the global temperature. Petroleum geologists and meteorologists were among the biggest doubters, with only 47 percent and 64 percent, respectively, believing in human involvement. A summary from the survey states that:

"It seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes."[74]

STATS, 2007 Edit

In 2007, Harris Interactive surveyed 489 randomly selected members of either the American Meteorological Society or the American Geophysical Union for the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University. The survey found 97% agreed that global temperatures have increased during the past 100 years; 84% say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that “currently available scientific evidence” substantiates its occurrence. Only 5% believe that that human activity does not contribute to greenhouse warming; the rest are unsure; and 84% believe global climate change poses a moderate to very great danger.[75][76]

Oreskes, 2004 Edit

A 2004 article by geologist and historian of science Naomi Oreskes summarized a study of the scientific literature on climate change.[77] The essay concluded that there is a scientific consensus on the reality of anthropogenic climate change. The author analyzed 928 abstracts of papers from refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, listed with the keywords "global climate change". Oreskes divided the abstracts into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. 75% of the abstracts were placed in the first three categories, thus either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, thus taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change; none of the abstracts disagreed with the consensus position, which the author found to be "remarkable". According to the report, "authors evaluating impacts, developing methods, or studying paleoclimatic change might believe that current climate change is natural. However, none of these papers argued that point."

Bray and von Storch, 2003 Edit

A survey was conducted in 2003 by Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch.[78][79] Bray's submission to Science on December 22, 2004 was rejected, but the survey's results were reported through non-scientific venues.[80][81] The survey received 530 responses from 27 different countries. One of the questions asked was "To what extent do you agree or disagree that climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic causes?", with a value of 1 indicating strongly agree and a value of 7 indicating strongly disagree. The results showed a mean of 3.62, with 50 responses (9.4%) indicating "strongly agree" and 54 responses (9.7%) indicating "strongly disagree". The same survey indicates a 72% to 20% endorsement of the IPCC reports as accurate, and a 15% to 80% rejection of the thesis that "there is enough uncertainty about the phenomenon of global warming that there is no need for immediate policy decisions."

The survey has been criticized on the grounds that it was performed on the web with no means to verify that the respondents were climate scientists or to prevent multiple submissions. The survey required entry of a username and password, but the username and password were circulated to a climate skeptics mailing list and elsewhere on the internet.[82][83] Bray and von Storch defended their results[84] and accused climate change skeptics of interpreting the results with bias.

Bray and von Storch distributed an updated version of their survey in August 2008, sent to 1842 selected scientists drawn from authors in ISI listed climate related journals for the past 10 years, as well as lists used in previously published analyses. This survey contains a web link with a unique identifier for each respondent. Results of this survey are not yet available.

Survey of U.S. state climatologists, 1997 Edit

In 1997, the conservative think tank Citizens for a Sound Economy surveyed America's 48 state climatologists on questions related to climate change.[85] Of the 36 respondents, 44% considered global warming to be a largely natural phenomenon, compared to 17% who considered warming to be largely man-made. The survey further found that 58% disagreed or somewhat disagreed with then-President Clinton's assertion that "the overwhelming balance of evidence and scientific opinion is that it is no longer a theory, but now fact, that global warming is for real". Eighty-nine percent agreed that "current science is unable to isolate and measure variations in global temperatures caused ONLY by man-made factors," and 61% said that historical data do not indicate "that fluctuations in global temperatures are attributable to human influences such as burning fossil fuels."

Sixty percent of the respondents said that reducing man-made CO2 emissions by 15% below 1990 levels would not prevent global temperatures from rising, and 86% said that reducing emissions to 1990 levels would not prevent rising temperatures. Thirty nine percent agreed and 33% disagreed that "evidence exists to suggest that the earth is headed for another glacial period,"[86] though the time scale for the next glacial period was not specified.

Bray and von Storch, 1996 Edit

In 1996, Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch undertook a survey of climate scientists on attitudes towards global warming and related matters. The results were subsequently published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.[87] The paper addressed the views of climate scientists, with a response rate of 40% from a mail survey questionnaire to 1000 scientists in Germany, the USA and Canada. Most of the scientists believed that global warming was occurring and appropriate policy action should be taken, but there was wide disagreement about the likely effects on society and almost all agreed that the predictive ability of currently existing models was limited.

The abstract says:

The international consensus was, however, apparent regarding the utility of the knowledge to date: climate science has provided enough knowledge so that the initiation of abatement measures is warranted. However, consensus also existed regarding the current inability to explicitly specify detrimental effects that might result from climate change. This incompatibility between the state of knowledge and the calls for action suggests that, to some degree at least, scientific advice is a product of both scientific knowledge and normative judgment, suggesting a socioscientific construction of the climate change issue.

The survey was extensive, and asked numerous questions on many aspects of climate science, model formulation, and utility, and science/public/policy interactions. To pick out some of the more vital topics, from the body of the paper:

The resulting questionnaire, consisting of 74 questions, was pre-tested in a German institution and after revisions, distributed to a total of 1,000 scientists in North America and Germany... The number of completed returns was as follows: USA 149, Canada 35, and Germany 228, a response rate of approximately 40%...
...With a value of 1 indicating the highest level of belief that predictions are possible and a value of 7 expressing the least faith in the predictive capabilities of the current state of climate science knowledge, the mean of the entire sample of 4.6 for the ability to make reasonable predictions of inter-annual variability tends to indicate that scientists feel that reasonable prediction is not yet a possibility... mean of 4.8 for reasonable predictions of 10 years... mean of 5.2 for periods of 100 years...
...a response of a value of 1 indicates a strong level of agreement with the statement of certainty that global warming is already underway or will occur without modification to human behavior... the mean response for the entire sample was 3.3 indicating a slight tendency towards the position that global warming has indeed been detected and is underway.... Regarding global warming as being a possible future event, there is a higher expression of confidence as indicated by the mean of 2.6.

Other older surveys of scientists Edit

  • Global Environmental Change Report, 1990: GECR climate survey shows strong agreement on action, less so on warming. Global Environmental Change Report 2, No. 9, pp. 1-3
  • Stewart, T.R., Mumpower, J.L., and Reagan-Cirincione, P. (1992). Scientists' opinions about global climate change: Summary of the results of a survey. NAEP (National Association of Environmental Professionals) Newsletter, 17(2), 6-7.
  • In 1991, the Center for Science, Technology, and Media commissioned a Gallup poll of 400 members of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society along with an analysis of reporting on global warming by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, a report on which was issued in 1992.[88] Accounts of the results of that survey differ in their interpretation and even in the basic statistical percentages:
    • Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting states that the report said that 67% of the scientists said that human-induced global warming was occurring, with 11% disagreeing and the rest undecided.[89]
    • George Will reported "53 percent do not believe warming has occurred, and another 30 percent are uncertain." (Washington Post, September 3, 1992). In a correction Gallup stated: "Most scientists involved in research in this area believe that human-induced global warming is occurring now."[90]
    • A 1993 publication by the Heartland Institute reports: "A Gallup poll conducted on February 13, 1992 of members of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society-the two professional societies whose members are most likely to be involved in climate research-found that 18 percent thought some global warming had occurred, 33 percent said insufficient information existed to tell, and 49 percent believed no warming had taken place."[91]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  4. On the Climate Change Beat, Doubt Gives Way to Certainty Stevens, William for The New York Times, February 2007
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  7. Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate www.climatescience.gov
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  9. ACIA Impacts of a Warming Arctic: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
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  25. AAWV Position Statement on Climate Change, Wildlife Diseases, and Wildlife Health
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  27. ASM “Global Environmental Change - Microbial Contributions, Microbial Solutions” p.1
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  29. ASM “Global Environmental Change - Microbial Contributions, Microbial Solutions” p.5
  30. Australian Coral Reef Society official letter
  31. Institute of Biology policy page ‘Climate Change’
  32. SAF Forest Management and Climate Change
  33. SAF Forest Offset Projects in a Carbon Trading System
  34. Wildlife Society Global Climate Change and Wildlife pdf
  35. Human Impacts on Climate
  36. CFES ‘’Global Climate Change’’
  37. EFG Carbon Capture and geological Storage
  38. EGU Divisions of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences position statement
  39. EGU statement on ocean acidification
  40. Global Climate Change Position Statement
  41. IUGG Resolution 6
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  44. ACPM Policy Statement
  45. American Medical Association Policy Statement
  46. American Public Health Association Policy Statement
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  48. AMA Climate Change and Human Health - 2004. Revised 2008.
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  54. Royal Meteorological Society’s statement on the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report.
  55. WMO’s Statement at the Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  56. AMQUA “Petroleum Geologists’ Award to Novelist Crichton Is Inappropriate”
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  59. American Chemical Society Global Climte Change
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  62. American Statistical Association Statement on Climate Change
  63. Policy Statement, Climate Change and Energy February 2007
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  67. Volunteers: Good For AAPG Climate
  68. Understanding and Responding to Climate Change
  69. Joint Science Academies' Statement
  70. The Science of Climate Change
  71. Climate Change Research: Issues for the Atmospheric and Related Sciences February 2003
  72. INQUA statement on climate change
  73. Australian Coral Reef Society official letter, June 16, 2006
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  75. U.S.New & World Report Survey Tracks Scientists' Growing Climate Concern
  76. STATS: Climate Scientists Agree on Warming
  77. Naomi Oreskes (December 3, 2004 (Erratum January 21, 2005)). "Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change" (PDF). Science 306 (5702): 1686. doi:10.1126/science.1103618, http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/306/5702/1686.pdf.  (see also for an exchange of letters to Science)
  78. survey of climate scientists 1996 - 2003
  79. The Perspectives of Climate Scientists on Global Climate Change
  80. Leading scientific journals 'are censoring debate on global warming', Matthews, Robert Telegraph, May 2005
  81. Climate of Hostility Surrounds Global Warming Debate
  82. "Useless on-line survey of climate scientists"
  83. DIALOG and DISCCRS News
  84. Climate scientists' views on climate change: a survey Hans von Storch and Dennis Bray
  85. Citizens For a Sound Economy Foundation
  86. Satellite Temperature Data: How Accurate? Cooler Heads Coalition October 1997
  87. Bray, Dennis; Hans von Storch (1999). "Climate Science: An Empirical Example of Postnormal Science" (PDF). Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, http://coast.gkss.de/staff/storch/pdf/bray_storch_1999.pdf. Retrieved on 4 September 2007. 
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  89. R. Nixon, "Limbaughesque Science", citing a press release by Gallup in the San Francisco Chronicle, 9/27/92.
  90. Steve Rendall, "The Hypocrisy of George Will", FAIR report, citing the San Francisco Chronicle, 9/27/92.
  91. J.L. Best et al. Eco-Sanity, p. 55

External linksEdit

pl:Opinia naukowa o zmianie klimatu

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