The report is released just a couple of weeks before the large IPCC report on Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability is presented in Yokohama, Japan. The American Association for the Advancement of Science has written this report to give Americans a clear and short overview of what scientists know about climate change and why there is an urgent need to act. The scientists are concerned that the public has not understood the gravity of the climate change problem and by using a risk perspective they hope that people will think about minimizing the risks from climate change.
“As scientists, it is not our role to tell people what they should do or must believe about the rising threat of climate change. But we consider it to be our responsibility as professionals to ensure, to the best of our ability, that people understand what we know: human-caused climate change is happening, we face risks of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes, and responding now will lower the risk and cost of taking action.”