Last updated on: 6/11/2010 | Author: ProCon.org

National Academy of Sciences Biography

Position:
Pro to the question "Is Human Activity Primarily Responsible for Global Climate Change?"
Reasoning:

“[H]uman activities are influencing the climate. As discussed in the following chapters, scientific evidence that the Earth is warming is now overwhelming. There is also a multitude of evidence that this warming results primarily from human activities, especially burning fossil fuels and other activities that release heat-trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere.

Projections of future climate change indicate that Earth will continue to warm unless significant and sustained actions are taken to limit emissions of GHGs. These increases in temperature and GHG concentrations are driving a multitude of related and interacting changes in the Earth system, including decreases in the amounts of ice stored in mountain glaciers and Polar Regions, increases in sea level, changes in ocean chemistry, and changes in the frequency and intensity of heat waves, precipitation events, and droughts. These changes in turn pose significant risks to both human and ecological systems.”

“Advancing the Science of Climate Change,” www.americasclimatechoices.org, May 19, 2010

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Organizations/VIPs/Others
Individuals and organizations that do not fit into the other star categories.
Description:

“The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is an honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare…

The NAS was established by an Act of Congress that was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on March 3, 1863…

To expand the expertise available to it in its advisory service to the government, the NAS created the National Research Council under its charter in 1916. To keep pace with the growing roles that science and technology would play in public life, the National Academy of Engineering was established under the NAS charter in 1964, and the Institute of Medicine followed in 1970.

Since 1863, the nation’s leaders have often turned to these non-profit organizations for advice on the scientific and technological issues that frequently pervade policy decisions. Most of the institution’s science policy and technical work is conducted by its operating arm, the National Research Council, created expressly for this purpose and which provides a public service by working outside the framework of government to ensure independent advice on matters of science, technology, and medicine. The NRC enlists committees of the nation’s top scientists, engineers, and other experts, all of whom volunteer their time to study specific concerns.”

Email to ProCon.org from Kenneth R. Fulton, Executive Director of the National Academy of Sciences, June 23, 2010

Mission:

“As mandated in its Act of Incorporation, the NAS has, since 1863, served to ‘investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art’ whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government.”

“About the NAS,” www.nasonline.org (accessed June 24, 2010)

Other:
National membership academy
Contact Info:
Phone
202-334-2000
Email
webmailbox@nas.edu
Website
www.nasonline.org
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Is Human Activity Primarily Responsible for Global Climate Change?