Former Director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA
Pro to the question "Is Human Activity Primarily Responsible for Global Climate Change?"
"The greatest barrier to public recognition of human-made climate change is probably the natural variability of local climate...
Actions to stem emissions of the gases that cause global warming are unlikely to approach what is needed until the public recognizes that human-made climate change is underway and perceives that it will have unacceptable consequences...
Recent high profile heat waves, such as the one in Texas and Oklahoma in the summer of 2011, raise the question of whether these extreme events are related to the on-going global warming trend, which has been attributed with a high degree of confidence to human-made greenhouse gases...
The increase of these extreme anomalies, by more than an order of magnitude, implies that we can say with a high degree of confidence that events such as the extreme summer heat in the Moscow region in 2010 and Texas in 2011 were a consequence of global warming...
There are many other human-induced stresses on life… yet global warming caused by fossil fuel burning may be a unique threat because of the millennial time scale of anthropogenic carbon within surface carbon reservoirs.
It has been argued that a scenario phasing out carbon emissions fast enough to stabilize climate this century, limiting further warming to a maximum of several tenths of a degree Celsius, is still possible, but it would require a rising price on carbon emissions sufficient to spur transition to a clean energy future without burning all fossil fuels.”
Cowritten with Makiko Sato and Reto Ruedy, "Perception of Climate Change," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Aug. 6, 2012
Experts Individuals with PhDs, heads of government, members of federal legislative bodies, and individuals with graduate degrees and significant post-graduate involvement in fields relevant to the study of climate. [Note: Experts definition varies by site.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
Adjunct Professor, Earth Institute, Columbia University, 1985-present
Former Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 1981-2013
Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1995-present
Recipient, Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Medal, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 2006
Recipient, John Heinz Environment Award, 2001
Recipient, NASA Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive, 1997
Recipient, National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award, 1989
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Columbia University, 1978-1985
Staff Member/Space Scientist, Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS),
Manager of GISS Planetary and Climate Programs, 1972-1981
Research Associate, Columbia University, 1969-1972