AAAS provides resources for scientists to act as leaders on the issue of global climate change. Information about AAAS efforts related to climate change and links to relevant resources are provided here.
AAAS Program Work on Climate Change
The AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science & Technology leads several efforts related to climate communication. These include:
- The 2019 How We Respond project, which highlights 18 communities responding to climate change using science. The website includes many short films, stories, and a brief report about climate change responses, as well as resources on climate communication and taking action. There is also a Facebook Live event about one of the How We Respond communities: the Savannah Smart Sea Level Sensors.
- The 2014 What We Know report which summarizes the reality, risks and responses to climate change.
- The Center’s Communicating Science workshop program includes a climate communication fundamentals module.
- The inaugural cohort of AAAS Leshner Leadership Fellows in Public Engagement with Science (2016-2017) included researchers focused on engaging public audiences on climate change.
- In 2015, AAAS co-organized Climate Science, 50 Years Later: A Scientific Symposium Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the First Official Climate-Change Warning to a U.S. President.
The AAAS Office of Government Relations conducts and supports engagement with policymakers, often related to climate change. In one of its newer initiatives, the Local Science Engagement Network is working to build engagement opportunities between scientists and local and state policymakers, community stakeholders, and the public to leverage scientific evidence and inform efforts to address varied local impacts of climate change.
The AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion (DoSER) held its 2019 holiday lecture on climate change: A Climate of Hope: Scientists and Faith Communities Addressing the Climate Crisis. This was followed by a DoSER/Center for Public Engagement event: Telling Stories About Climate Change Responses, with Katharine Hayhoe. Both events were recorded and are available via these links.
The AAAS Annual Meeting has many sessions every year focused on climate science and communication, and the meeting itself is working to reduce its environmental impact. Plenary talks on climate change have included:
- When Facts Are Not Enough, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe (2018); editorial in Science
- We Need You, Former Vice President Al Gore (2009); article in Science
The Science family of journals publishes many scientific and policy-oriented articles on climate change.
SciLine is an independent, freely available service providing timely access to trustworthy, articulate experts for journalists and other communicators producing print, broadcast, or digital stories about science-related issues. SciLine fact sheets are evidence-based, factual summaries of newsworthy scientific issues, designed to be quickly and easily scanned by journalists and others. Many of these are climate-related.
How Can Individuals Help?
- See the AAAS How You Respond page
- See the AAAS Take Action toolkit
- For more on climate science, see the Resources page on the How We Respond website, and the U.S. National Climate Assessment, which has projected impacts for every region in the country.
AAAS Statements and Letters to Policymakers
AAAS statements include many on climate change and related issues, such as:
- Response to Draft Prospectus of the Fifth National Climate Assessment (10 August 2020)
- AAAS page on EPA Transparency Rule, with background on the rule, a March 2020 statement from AAAS CEO Sudip Parikh, talking points for public comments, and joint statements from leaders of several scientific journals expressing concern about proposed EPA Transparency Rule
- Comments to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis (22 November 2019)
- AAAS Statement on Release of 4th National Climate Assessment (23 November 2018)
- Statement on Trump Administration disbanding National Climate Assessment Advisory Committee (22 August 2017)
- Letter to EPA requesting meeting on climate science (31 July 2017)
- Statement on Paris Agreement on Climate Change (1 June 2017)
- Joint letter to Congress on the scientific consensus on climate change (28 June 2016)
- Statement of the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Regarding Personal Attacks on Climate Scientists (29 June 2011)
- AAAS Reaffirms Statement on Climate Change and Integrity (4 December 2009)
- Letter to Members of the U.S. Senate by AAAS and 17 Other Groups (21 October 2009)
- AAAS Board Statement on Climate Change (9 December 2006)
AAAS Opinion Articles
“N.C. can’t outlaw global climate change,” Alan I. Leshner and William L. Chameides, The News & Observer (1 August 2012)
“Don't let the climate doubters fool you,” Alan I. Leshner, in response to essay by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, The Washington Post (9 December 2009)