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Statement on Climate Change

The faculty of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences of Texas A&M University has extensive knowledge about the Earth’s climate. As employees of a state university, it is our responsibility to offer our expertise on scientific issues that are important to the citizens of Texas, including whether and why the climate is changing.

We all agree with the following three conclusions based on current evidence:

  1. The Earth’s climate is warming, meaning that the temperatures of the lower atmosphere and ocean have been increasing over many decades. Average global surface air temperatures warmed by about 1.5° between 1880 and 2012.
  2. It is extremely likely that humans are responsible for more than half of the global warming between 1951 and 2012.
  3. Under so-called “business-as-usual” emissions scenarios, additional global-average warming (relative to a 1986-2005 baseline) would likely be 2.5-7°F by the end of this century.

Continued rising temperatures risk serious challenges for human society and ecosystems. It is difficult to quantify such risks, except to say that the potential magnitude of impacts rises rapidly as temperatures approach the high end of the range quoted above.

This statement was unanimously adopted by the faculty on Nov. 14, 2014. It is in effect until Jan. 1, 2020 or until revised.

Additional resources

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: http://www.ipcc.ch
The American Geophysical Union statement on climate change: http://sciencepolicy.agu.org/files/2013/07/AGU-Climate-Change-Position-Statement_August-2013.pdf
The American Meteorological Society statement on climate change: http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/2012climatechange.html

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