Geoscientists call for immediate collective action on climate crisis

Editors-in-chief of AGU’s 22 journals say COP26 is our “last best chance” to mitigate the devastating impact from human-caused climate change

26 October 2021

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WASHINGTON—In the run-up to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, in Glasgow this November, researchers studying Earth’s systems are urging world leaders to take immediate, concerted action during the “last best chance” to mitigate devastating impacts on people and the planet from human-caused climate change.

“We are running out of time,” the editors-in-chief of AGU’s 22 journals stated in an editorial published today in Geophysical Research Letters. “We must make the switch to a green economy, put a just and effective price on carbon now, and consider a portfolio of other equitable public investments in climate solutions.”

Geophysical Research Letters is AGU’s journal for high-impact, short-format reports with immediate implications spanning all Earth and space sciences. AGU journals have documented many and diverse lines of evidence for human-caused changes to Earth’s climate for decades. Over 2,000 AGU research articles are cited in the latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR6), released in August 2021, which found intensifying changes to weather and climate now affecting every region on Earth.

The editorial called on wealthier nations to take the lead on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and developing sustainable alternatives. It also called on geoscientists to move research efforts to more cross-sector, solution-based science in support of this mission. To that end, AGU is creating a new publication forum for community science, in partnership with associations outside the geosciences, to open the door to equal cooperation between scientists and local communities working toward solutions to environmental challenges.

“We are trained to be dispassionate observers and cautious thinkers, yet the alarming rate of recent climate change impels us to turn our attention directly toward mitigating this impending crisis,” the editorial stated.


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Notes for Journalists:

This commentary is freely available. Download a PDF copy of the editorial here. Neither the editorial nor this press release is under embargo.

Paper title:

“Geoscientists, who have documented the rapid and accelerating climate crisis for decades, are now pleading for immediate collective action”


  • Gabriel Filippelli, GeoHealth
  • Harihar Rajaram, Geophysical Research Letters
  • Lisa Beal, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
  • Susan Trumbore, AGU Advances
  • Benoît Pirenne, Earth and Space Science
  • Amir AghaKouchak, Earth’s Future
  • Claudio Faccenna, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
  • Peter Raymond, Global Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Stephen Griffies, Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth
  • Marguerite Xenopoulos, Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
  • Amy East, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
  • Laurent Montési, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets
  • Isabelle Manighetti, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
  • Michael Balikhin, Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
  • Matthew Huber, Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology
  • Michael Wysession, Perspectives of Earth and Space Scientists
  • Carol Frost, Chair, AGU Publications Committee
  • Sana Salous, Radio Science
  • Fabio Florindo, Reviews of Geophysics
  • Georgia Destouni, Water Resources Research
  • Noé Lugaz, Space Weather
  • Taylor Schildgen, Tectonics
  • Minghua Zhang, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres