The American Association for the Advancement of Science reaffirms “The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society.”


“The pace of change and the evidence of harm have increased markedly over the last five years. The time to control greenhouse gas emissions is now.”

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has reaffirmed the position of its Board of Directors and the leaders of 18 respected organizations, who concluded based on multiple lines of scientific evidence that global climate change caused by human activities is now underway, and it is a growing threat to society.

“The vast preponderance of evidence, based on years of research conducted by a wide array of different investigators at many institutions, clearly indicates that global climate change is real, it is caused largely by human activities, and the need to take action is urgent,” said Alan I. Leshner, chief executive officer of AAAS and executive publisher of the journal Science.

That’s from the AAAS press release.  The headline quotes come from the reaffirmed December 2006 statement (here).

The AAAS was one of the 18 leading scientific organizations that sent a letter to Senators affirming the climate is changing, “human activities are the primary driver,” impacts are projected to worsen “substantially” and “If we are to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change, emissions of greenhouse gases must be dramatically reduced.”

AAAS expressed grave concerns that the illegal release of private emails stolen from the University of East Anglia should not cause policy-makers and the public to become confused about the scientific basis of global climate change. Scientific integrity demands robust, independent peer review, however, and AAAS therefore emphasized that investigations are appropriate whenever significant questions are raised regarding the transparency and rigor of the scientific method, the peer-review process, or the responsibility of individual scientists. The responsible institutions are mounting such investigations….

“AAAS takes issues of scientific integrity very seriously,” Leshner said. “It is fair and appropriate to pursue answers to any allegations of impropriety. It’s important to remember, though, that the reality of climate change is based on a century of robust and well-validated science.”

The AAAS has joined many recent scientific institutions in reasserting the science in the wake of the swifthack affair:

6 Responses to The American Association for the Advancement of Science reaffirms “The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society.”

  1. Jeff Huggins says:

    Let’s see if The New York Times covers it this time around, on the front page. Given public confusion, the front-page coverage of the e-mail thing, and the fact that The Times didn’t cover the AAAS-etc. letter a month or so ago, you would think that there would be NO EXCUSES for not giving this whole matter prominent coverage this time around. The ball is in your court, New York Times.

    Also, I think (as I’ve mentioned before) that it would be most helpful and most illuminating for The Observatory (Curtis Brainard) to monitor and report back on the media’s coverage of the AAAS’s major statements and letters of this sort. Are the media covering these things? To what degree? How well? With what placement? Who is, and who isn’t? Why not?

    You know, the same sorts of questions that inquisitive children ask when they are eager to understand a topic vital to them!

    Bravo to the AAAS and the other scientific organizations. That said, please PUSH to get this covered, prominently, and don’t take “no” for an answer.

    Please, report back here if any major news outlet says “no” or doesn’t provide the prominent coverage!

    Be Well,


  2. clarkbeast says:

    Thanks for passing this along. I wrote the following on my blog yesterday . . .

    “[A]s an interested layperson who is unable to fully evaluate the sometimes complex scientific back-and-forth or separate a legitimate scientific question from a spurious politically-motivated smokescreen, I stand by my thoughts . . . about whom to trust. In an age when anybody can present anything on the internet and every claim has a counterclaim, the major scientific organizations—who are scientifically conservative by nature when their institutional credibility is on the line—have the last word for me.”

    I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have heard this from the mainstream media.

  3. John Kotcher says:

    The National Academies also has a brief statement on the matter.

  4. Eric Williams says:


    that bit needs to be echoed…again, and again…more, again, yes, not yet, dont stop.

    once the lay public finally gets wind that every major US scientific institution has stated an unequivocal stance on AGW and continues to do so, it may transition from an uphill battle to, at least, level. am I too eager to suggest that someday we could be running down hill with this?

  5. Jim Sochacki says:


    I am a mathematics professor at James Madison University who develops and publishes numerical methods for solving complicated systems. The weather modeling systems are extremely complicated, extremely sensitive to initial conditions and therefore, need very accurate input. Unfortunately, none of this is humanly possible.

    At one point the AAS says climate change and at another point they say global warming. Clearly, climate change is taking place and humans have an impact on that. Of course, we are not pointing out all the ways that this human impact is doing this.

    It is clear that the bulldozer is the greatest reason for the destruction of the natural beauty of the Earth. Although it is true that humans have always caused ecological damage, it has never been done at the rate it is now happening. Unfortunately, we do not consider
    some of the main reasons for this.

    We are bulldozing mountains, forests and farmlands away to build lavish universities to teach students to live extravagant life styles. We are bulldozing mountains, forests and farmlands away to build lavish hospitals and extravagant cancer research centers. We are bulldozing mountains, forests and farmlands away to build lavish schools and scientific research centers. We are bulldozing mountains, forests and farmlands away to build extravagant shopping malls, strip malls and fitness centers. We are bulldozing mountains, forests and farmlands away to build airplanes, satellites and space stations to float in our atmosphere and affect the weather.

    We are not learning to live more like the Indians who lived in North and South America for thousands of years and enjoyed the natural beauty. In a little over 100 years we have managed to destroy these two continents. It used to be that it was easy to find places that were quiet during the day and dark at night.

    Over 95% of the problems facing the world and the Earth today have been caused by highly educated people. Engineers, scientists and doctors have created most of the ills on this Earth. Some of these scientists eventually point out these mistakes. However, people are not now willing to give up the lavish lifestyles that scientists have helped to create.

    The majority of the people who live long healthy lives are people who are away from all the scientific advancements. These are people who live with the Earth instead of off the Earth. These are people who have lived to grow their own food and clothing in environmentally sound ways.

    Unfortunately, most of the solutions proposed by scientists require us to continue bulldozing the Earth and cause climate change. We do not need wind turbines, solar panels, cell towers, satellites to live an exciting, happy and meaningful life filled with discovery and creativity. We can build human powered vehicles made out of products that are grown rather than mined. We can transmit information through means that are environmentally friendly using human powered vehicles, simple papers, natural dyes, etc.

    Many of the ‘natural’ disasters that have occurred in the last 20 years would not have been such great disasters if people focused more on their natural surroundings rather than the equipment that was given to them by highly educated engineers and scientists.

    I hope to hear back from you, but I probably will not and soon more of the Earth will be bulldozed away for scientific endeavors.