This month, the American Meteorological Society issued a new statement on human-caused climate change. If possible, this statement is even stronger than their previous one issued in 2007.
The statement comes down hard on the side of anthropogenic global warming. It notes that humans are the dominant cause of global warming. That evidence for a warming climate is now unequivocal. And that rapid reductions in CO2 are necessary to deal with an ongoing global warming crisis.
Some key statements from the paper include:
Warming of the climate system now is unequivocal, according to many different kinds of evidence. Observations show increases in globally averaged air and ocean temperatures, as well as widespread melting of snow and ice and rising globally averaged sea level.
The effects of this warming are especially evident in the planet’s polar regions. Arctic sea ice extent and volume have been decreasing for the past several decades. Both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have lost significant amounts of ice. Most of the world’s glaciers are in retreat.
Globally averaged sea level has risen by about 17 cm (7 inches) in the 20th century, with the rise accelerating since the early 1990s. Close to half of the sea level rise observed since the 1970s has been caused by water expansion due to increases in ocean temperatures. Sea level is also rising due to melting from continental glaciers and from ice sheets on both Greenland and Antarctica.
It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide. The most important of these over the long term is CO2, whose concentration in the atmosphere is rising principally as a result of fossil-fuel combustion and deforestation.
There is unequivocal evidence that Earth’s lower atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; sea level is rising; and snow cover, mountain glaciers, and Arctic sea ice are shrinking. The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities. This scientific finding is based on a large and persuasive body of research. The observed warming will be irreversible for many years into the future, and even larger temperature increases will occur as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere. Avoiding this future warming will require a large and rapid reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.
The American Meteorological Society was founded in 1919 and includes over 14,000 weather and climate professionals as well as enthusiasts. Its goal is to promote the advancement of the atmospheric sciences and to aid in the distribution of information and in education relating to those fields of study.
The American Meteorological Society is part of a long list of scientific organizations that recognize the impacts and potential harm caused by global warming. It is also one of the most vocal watch-dogs on the issue of human caused climate change. As such, it has been the brunt of a series of attacks by industry, individuals, and climate change denial groups.
About 97% of climate scientists and 60% of meteorologists are aware of and acknowledge the impacts of human-caused global warming.