AAAS is the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They publish Science magazine and several other journals, and are considered in many ways the lead and integrated professional organization representing all sciences in the United States. Alan Leshner, CEO, recently sent this letter to all members:
As you may know, AAAS recently launched a major initiative to expand public dialogue on the risks of and possible responses to climate change. We are undertaking this effort by addressing the fact that many Americans still erroneously believe that the scientific community is divided on the issue and are largely unaware of the full spectrum of climate risks.
As a first step, we have released a short report, “What We Know: The Reality, Risks and Response to Climate Change,” an assessment of current climate science and projected impacts. It contains messages about climate change that every American should know, explained in layman’s terms:
Scientific agreement that climate change is happening here and now—a consensus held by about 97 percent of climate scientists;
The core science of global warming and its impacts on sea ice, oceans, biodiversity, weather, human health and security;
Projected high-risk scenarios, including collapsing Arctic sea ice and ecosystems.
As the world’s largest general scientific society, we believe we have a responsibility and a unique opportunity to voice the science community’s unified concern about the single greatest challenge of our time—and possibly of all time. If you have not yet visited the What We Know website, I urge you to do so and read the report.
AAAS worked with a team of top climate scientists to produce this report, including Nobel laureate Dr. Mario Molina, at the University of California, San Diego, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Dr. Diana Wall, at Colorado State University’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability; and Dr. James McCarthy, at Harvard University.
I hope “What We Know” will be a useful reference to help you talk about climate change with students, the public and policymakers. We need each one of your voices if we are to reduce risks for future generations and ourselves.
Alan I. Leshner, CEO, AAAS