Chapter 4 / Science Consensus Regarding Climate Change

Science Consensus Regarding Climate Change

Climate change is a global challenge that is not in debate among climate scientists. Educators have the responsibility to focus on facts and evidence with students.

The purpose of this module is to explain the agreement, or consensus, scientists have reached on climate change.


Professional Development for Educators  

Duration: 30 min

Science Consensus Regarding Climate Change

Scientific consensus regarding climate change is definite. Following are some of the things that underpin this scientific consensus.

  • There is a strong scientific consensus that the global climate is changing and that human activity contributes significantly.
  • Human-induced climate change is caused by greenhouse gas emissions from industry, transport, agriculture and other vital economic sectors.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was formed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is one of the major bodies of scientists who are studying the scientific findings and reporting conclusions to the scientific community and public.

See the full report by the WMO published in March of 2013.

According to the California’s Office of Planning and Research, approximately 200 scientific organizations support the consensus position - human actions are responsible for climate change.

Science Consensus and the Climate Change Debate

Science Consensus and the Climate Change Debate.jpg

Joel Pett, Lexington Herald-Leader Cartoonist, USA Today, December 7, 2009

Entities that have identified their consensus that climate change is happening

This is a selected list of scientific organizations that have published statements articulating consensus on climate change:

  • U. S. National Academy of Sciences
  • The American Meteorological Society
  • The American Geophysical Union  

"Human-induced climate change requires urgent action. Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years. Rapid societal responses can significantly lessen negative outcomes." (Adopted 2003, revised and reaffirmed 2007, 2012, 2013)  Human‐Induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action (2013)

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Chemical Society  

"Comprehensive scientific assessments of our current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities, and potentially a very serious problem." (2004)  ACS Public Policy Statement: Climate Change (2010-2013)

  • American Medical Association
  • American Physical Society
  • The Geological Society of America
  • U. S. Global Change Research Program
  • For a list of scientific organizations that have come to this consensus, visit this website:
  • Over 200 worldwide scientific organizations :


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Science Consensus Regarding Climate Change

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