WASHINGTON A statement released on January 24 by the worlds largest scientific society of Earth and space scientiststhe American Geophysical Union, or AGUupdates the organizations position on climate change: the evidence for it, potential consequences from it, and how to respond to it.
The statement is the first revision since 2003 of the climate-change position of the AGU, which has a membership of 50,000 researchers, teachers, and students in 137 countries. The society adopted the statement at a meeting of AGUs leadership body, the AGU Council, in San Francisco, California, on 14 December 2007. AGU position statements expire in four years, unless extended by the Council.
Following is the text of the revised statement (also available online at http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/policy/positions/climate_change2008.shtml).
Human Impacts on Climate
The Earth's climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming. Many components of the climate systemincluding 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 seasonsare 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 0.6C over the period 19562006. 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 cli
|Contact: Peter Weiss|
American Geophysical Union