U.S. faces small but real chance of "unpredictable, highly damaging" impacts from climate change

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has issued perhaps the strongest warning yet to U.S. citizens about the dangers they face from climate change due to human activities.

"There is a small, but real chance of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts on people in the United States and around the world," it said in a statement on 19 March 2014.

It noted: "Surveys show that many Americans think climate change is still a topic of significant scientific disagreement.[i] Thus, it is important and increasingly urgent for the public to know there is now a high degree of agreement among climate scientists that human-caused climate change is real."

Later on the statement rephrases its warning to read: "There is a real risk, however small, that one or more critical parts of the Earth's climate system will experience abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes." (our emphasis).

At the end it switches back to full warning mode: "We face risks of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes," but adds_ "responding now will lower the risk and cost of taking action."

This may be why a Google News search brought up so little reportage links. John Light at Moyers and Company describes the initiative as "a rare move" by U.S. scientists.


AAAS Moyers and Company