Posted on | May 6, 2010 | 5 Comments
It’s a rare letter whose content runs a page and a half and whose signatures take up four and a half more. But that is the scale of consensus about climate change from 255 of the country’s leading scientists, including 11 Nobel laureates, who in today’s Science magazine once again try to drive home the message that Climate Change is Real. To get through to the likes of George Will, they keep it simple:
(i) The planet is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. A snowy winter in Washington does not alter this fact.
(ii) Most of the increase in the concentration of these gases over the last century is due to human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.
(iii) Natural causes always play a role in changing Earth’s climate, but are now being overwhelmed by human-induced changes.
(iv) Warming the planet will cause many other climatic patterns to change at speeds unprecedented in modern times, including increasing rates of sea-level rise and alterations in the hydrologic cycle. Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are making the oceans more acidic.
(v) The combination of these complex climate changes threatens coastal communities and cities, our food and water supplies, marine and freshwater ecosystems, forests, high mountain environments, and far more.
To read the letter, click here. To read what Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick, a signatory of the letter, has to add for climate change deniers today in the San Francisco Chronicle blog “City Brights,” click here.