Dr. Dan Lashof, science director, NRDC Climate Center, 202-289-2399 or Eben Burnham-Snyder, 202-513-6254
New Position Recognizes Human Impacts on Global Warming
WASHINGTON (December 16, 2003) - The American Geophysical Union (AGU) today released a new position statement on global warming, reinforcing the mainstream scientific consensus that global warming is caused by human activities. Joining this new announcement was Dr. John Christy, a prominent skeptic of global warming, who publicly recognized the reality of human impacts -- carbon dioxide emissions from cars and power plants, for example -- on global warming.
The position statement, "Human Impacts on Climate," follows a recent article in the journal Science as well as the previous findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Academy of Sciences, all stating that global warming is caused by human activities. The AGU states that "Scientific evidence strongly indicates that natural influences cannot explain the rapid increase in global near-surface temperatures observed during the second half of the 20th century." The new AGU position statement replaces a less definitive statement adopted four years ago.
With over 41,000 members, of which 20-25% are engaged in research related to global warming, the AGU is the largest organization of scientists studying global warming in the world. The statement was adopted unanimously by the AGU Council, a body consisting of elected representatives of the entire membership. The drafting committee consisted of prominent scientists, including Dr. Marvin Geller, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the State University of New York, Dr. Ellen Druffel an oceanographer at the University of California, and Dr. John Christy, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Alabama.
John Christy's participation is particularly noteworthy as his work to measure atmospheric temperatures using satellites is often cited by global warming naysayers, such as Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), who has called global warming a "hoax."
The AGU statement is available online. Click here for details.
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 550,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.