The American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, announced a new initiative on Tuesday, which will bring together the world’s top scientists to spread awareness about the risks of climate change in the U.S. and around the world.
As part of the initiative, AAAS has prepared a report titled “What We Know,” which provides an assessment of current climate science and emphasizes the need to understand and recognize potential high-risk scenarios. The report was prepared by a climate-science panel, chaired by Nobel laureate Mario Molina of the University of California, San Diego; Diana Wall of Colorado State University; and James McCarthy of Harvard University.
“We're the largest general scientific society in the world, and therefore we believe we have an obligation to inform the public and policymakers about what science is showing about any issue in modern life, and climate is a particularly pressing one,” Alan Leshner, CEO of AAAS, said in a statement. “As the voice of the scientific community, we need to share what we know and bring policymakers to the table to discuss how to deal with the issue.”
According to AAAS, the panel of climate-science specialists will engage in the initiative in various ways ranging from speaking engagements to posting testimonials on a new interactive website. The initiative is expected to encourage Americans to think of climate change as a risk-management issue while the panel will work to clarify underlying issues so the public and policy makers can be more adequately informed.
According to the report, here are the three messages that every American should understand about climate change:
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- Climate change is happening here and now.
- We are at risk of pushing our climate system toward abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts.
- The sooner we act, the lower the risk and cost. And there is much we can do.
“This new effort is intended to state very clearly the exceptionally strong evidence that Earth's climate is changing, and that future climate change can seriously impact natural and societal systems,” McCarthy said, in a statement.
“Even among members of the broader public who already know about the evidence for climate change and what is causing it, some do not know the degree to which many climate scientists are concerned about the risks of possibly rapid and abrupt climate.”