Climate researchers to world: Wake the hell up

Scientific evidence supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 Endangerment Finding for greenhouse gases is even stronger and more conclusive now, according to a new study published today in the journal Science. This finding could strengthen challenges to proposed efforts to rollback emissions standards and carbon emissions regulations in the United States.

In the landmark Endangerment Finding the EPA determined that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare, which created a legal obligation for the agency to regulate greenhouse gases emissions under the Clean Air Act. The Science paper comes three months after a senior Republican senator said that the Trump Administration might still try to repeal the landmark decision.

“There is no question that public health and welfare are endangered by climate change and we know that with much more confidence now than we did in 2009,” said Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Director Chris Field, who jointly led the study with fellow Stanford climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh and Philip Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center. The Science paper includes 16 authors from 15 different research institutions. It assesses how the scientific evidence has changed in the nine years since the finding was issued, with a specific focus on climate change impacts for public health, air quality, agriculture, forestry, water resources, sea level rise, energy, infrastructure, wildlife, ocean acidification, social instability, and the economy.

The paper examines each topic covered by the Endangerment Finding and characterizes changes since 2009 in terms of evidence of links to anthropogenic climate change, severity of observed and projected impacts, and new risks.

“For each of the areas addressed in the [Endangerment Finding], the amount, diversity, and sophistication of the evidence has increased dramatically, clearly strengthening the case for endangerment,” according to the paper.

The study expands the range of negative impacts from climate change beyond those listed in 2009 to include increased dangers from ocean acidification, effects on national security and economic well-being, and even threats from violence.

“Much of what we’ve learned since the original Endangerment Finding in 2009 arises from extreme events,” said Diffenbaugh, the Kara J Foundation Professor of Earth System Science at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and Kimmelman Family Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. “Our understanding of how global warming influences the odds of heat waves, droughts, heavy precipitation, storm surge flooding, and wildfires has increased dramatically in the last decade, as has our understanding of the related impacts, such as how hot conditions affect mental health, violence, and economic productivity.”

The Endangerment Finding was the focus of  a panel discussion at the recent Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco where several Stanford scholars shared their perspectives on the evidence surrounding broader impacts of climate change. The findings of this new study reinforce previous studies on the dangers of climate change related impacts including the Fourth National Climate Assessment released by the federal government last month.

“When the Endangerment Finding was issued, the evidence supporting it was extremely compelling,” Duffy said. “Now, that evidence is even stronger and more comprehensive. There’s no scientific basis for questioning the endangerment finding.”

For more information on this study, read the Woods Institute for the Environment’s research brief summarizing the findings.

Also this:

A new study, published this week in the journal Science by a University of Virginia environmental scientist and colleagues at other academic organizations, has found that evidence supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 “endangerment finding” for greenhouse gases is even stronger and more conclusive in the changing climate of today.

The finding could strengthen challenges to proposed rollbacks of emissions standards and carbon emissions regulations in the United States.

In the landmark 2009 endangerment finding, the EPA determined that excessive amounts of six so-called greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, endanger public health and welfare. This finding created a legal obligation for the agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

The new Science paper comes three months after a senior Republican senator said that the Trump administration may seek to repeal the landmark decision.

“The scientific case is clear and compelling: greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate change and ocean acidification, with a host of negative consequences for people, communities, the economy and the environment,” said study co-author Scott Doney, Joe D. & Helen J. Kington Professor of Environmental Sciences at UVA and a member of the UVA Environmental Resilience Institute.

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Climate researchers to world: Wake the hell up“Climate change is a problem facing us today, not just an issue for the future,” said study co-author Scott Doney, a UVA environmental scientist. (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)

The Science paper includes 16 authors from 15 different organizations. It assesses how the scientific evidence has changed in the nine years since the original finding was issued, with a specific focus on climate change impacts for public health, air quality, agriculture, forestry, water resources, sea-level rise, energy, infrastructure, wildlife, ocean acidification, social instability and the economy.

The new paper examines each topic covered by the endangerment finding and characterizes changes since 2009 in terms of evidence of links to anthropogenic climate change, severity of observed and projected impacts, and new risks.

“When the endangerment finding was issued, the evidence supporting it was extremely compelling,” said Woods Hole Research Center President Philip Duffy, lead author on the paper. “Now, that evidence is even stronger and more comprehensive. There’s no scientific basis for questioning the endangerment finding.”

The study expands the range of negative impacts from climate change beyond those listed in 2009 to include increased dangers from ocean acidification, negative effects on national security and economic well-being, and even threats from violence in the wake of increasing natural disasters.

“For each of the areas addressed in the [endangerment finding], the amount, diversity and sophistication of the evidence has increased dramatically, clearly strengthening the case for endangerment,” the researchers state in their paper.

“Climate change is a problem facing us today, not just an issue for the future,” Doney said. “Climate warming caused by elevated greenhouse gases is exacerbating droughts and wildfires in the western U.S., coastal communities are experiencing more frequent flooding due to sea-level rise, and storms bring more intense rainfall because of a warmer ocean and stronger water cycle.”


The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Have a question? Let us know.

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1 thought on “Climate researchers to world: Wake the hell up”

  1. Other than a 1 degree average rise in temperature over the last 100 years (which has nothing to do with atmospheric CO2 levels) this degree of “climate change” has had massive benefits to the world population in the form of better crop yields and greening the earth. The Artic and Antartic have tons of ice and the sea level rise is insignificant, oftentimes due to sinking land mass. We are entering a period of less solar sunspot activity which will lead to a colder winter and if the trend continues, global cooling………again all part of the natural cycle of nature over which man has no control. That means more snow and more water come next spring when it melts. Wake up is right………your climate change alarmists have no control over the planet’s weather except to screw it up by more geoengineered spraying of our skies.

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