American Geophysical Union Reacts to Latest IPCC Report

Immediate Action Is Needed to Address Growing Impacts of Climate Change, Says International Organization of Earth and Space Scientists

4 April 2014

Washington, D.C.—The following statement is attributable to American Geophysical Union (AGU) executive director/CEO Christine McEntee:

“The recent release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Assessment 5, Working Group II report has been viewed by many as a wakeup call. Not only is our climate changing, but the impacts of that change are already occurring and increasing faster than previously thought. This poses a real, direct and immediate threat to human health, the performance and sustainability of our agriculture systems, the availability and reliability of natural resources—including water supplies—the health of ecosystems on land and in the oceans, and the economic stability of nations around the world.

That doesn’t mean that it’s too late to address the impacts of climate change, but it does mean that the window for meaningful action is closing. Lessening the negative outcomes will require rapid societal responses that are informed by science and that reflect the perspectives and commitment of all stakeholders, including international, national, regional, and local governments, the business community, industry, scientific researchers, and many others.

The bottom line is this: Climate change is real – the science is clear and the scientific community is in agreement. Its impacts are being felt today in communities and countries around the world . . . and those effects touch Fortune 500 companies and families alike. There is much that can be done to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, but without immediate action, they will only continue to worsen. And, while some solutions will require us to make difficult decisions, many of them have the potential to open up innovative new avenues for economic growth and development.

The IPCC report clearly demonstrates that we cannot continue to hit the snooze button when it comes to addressing climate change. From taking steps to reduce the magnitude of climate change, such as substantially cutting emissions, to providing vulnerable communities with the resources they need to adapt and ensuring that policy decisions are informed by credible and up-to-date science, the time for action is now.”

AGU’s Climate Change Position Statement

The American Geophysical Union is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing more than 62,000 members in 144 countries. Join our conversation on FacebookTwitter, YouTube, and other social media channels.

AGU Contact:

Joan Buhrman, 202-777-7509, 571-213-3812 (c), [email protected]