I am immensely proud of the Texas climate science community today, and particularly of my young boss at the Institute for Geophysics, Charles S. Jackson, who helped lead the charge to get this clear, forthright, substantive and substantively article into the Houston Chronicle today, along with first author Andrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M University; Katharine Hayhoe, research associate professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas Tech University; Gerry North, distinguished professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M University; André Droxler, professor of earth science and director of the Center for the Study of Environment and Society, Rice University; and Rong Fu, professor, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin.
In summary, the article asserts:
• • The global climate is changing.
• • Human activities produce heat-trapping gases.
• • Heat-trapping gases are very likely responsible for most of the warming observed over the past half century. No one has been able to propose a credible alternative.
• • The higher the levels of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, the higher the risk of potentially dangerous consequences for humans and our environment.
The entire faculty of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M as well as the Climate System Science group at the University of Texas have issued their own statements endorsing these views (atmo.tamu.edu/weather-and-climate/climate-change-statement; www.ig.utexas.edu/jsg/css/statement.html). In fact, to the best of our knowledge, there are no climate scientists in Texas who disagree with the mainstream view of climate science.
These are strange times indeed, but the article is something we in Texas can take pride in.
The only sad part is that this totally factual article is published as an “opinion” piece.
Still, as Brad Johnson has pointed out, this is exactly the sort of thing climate scientists ought to be doing. Though of course I am also ashamed that it is we who have had the opportunity to do so, I’m almost giddy with delight that it’s Texans who have the gumption to show the way.