Is there a scientific consensus on climate change?
Question: Is there a scientific consensus on climate change?
The major scientific agencies of the United States — including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — agree that climate change is occurring and that humans are contributing to it. In 2010, the National Research Council concluded that "Climate change is occurring, is very likely caused by human activities, and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems". 1 Many independent scientific organizations have released similar statements, both in the United States and abroad. This doesn't necessarily mean that every scientist sees eye to eye on each component of the climate change problem, but broad agreement exists that climate change is happening and is primarily caused by excess greenhouse gases from human activities.Scientists are still researching a number of important questions, including exactly how much the Earth will warm, how quickly it will warm, and what the consequences of the warming will be in specific regions of the world. Scientists continue to research these questions so society can be better informed about how to plan for a changing climate. However, enough certainty exists about basic causes and effects of climate change to justify taking actions that reduce future risks.
» Learn more about climate change science.
1. NRC (2011). America's Climate Choices: Final Report . National Research Council. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, USA.
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- Date Created: 4/16/2012
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