Congress has asked the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to conduct special studies through the year 2010 – focused on climate change. Here’s National Academy of Sciences president, Ralph Cicerone, speaking at a March 2009 summit centered on America’s climate choices.
Ralph Cicerone: This is a study that was requested by the United States Congress basically to analyze the latest information on climate and to give some policy guidance to the federal government on what actions they should take to deal with climate change to limit its scope and to adapt to whatever does happen.
Cicerone said the urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels is clear.
Ralph Cicerone: It’s really long overdue because the United States has wasted a lot of time in getting started. Probably what’s going to be required is a series of actions, a lot of them having to do with energy efficiency and energy technology that are not going to happen in one month.
EarthSky asked, what’s the most important thing about climate change people today should know?
Ralph Cicerone: That it’s real. We’ve seen the big signs. Now we’re trying to figure out better what’s happening in everybody’s individual geographical region and then to try and limit it. It’s going to take from everybody. That’s the big message: how much understanding and cooperation and commitment it’s going to take from everybody.
Our thanks to:
National Academy of Sciences
Jorge Salazar has conducted thousands of in-depth interviews with scientists in the process of creating science content for EarthSky. He also helps host the 90-second EarthSky podcasts. Jorge has a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. He knows a lot about a lot of different things. For EarthSky, he has explored subjects as diverse as nanotechnology, ecosystem-based management, climate change, global health, international environmental treaties, astrophysics and cosmology, and environmental security. His penetrating research style, poetic writing, and ability to track down and speak with Nobel prize-winning laureates, all make him a huge asset to EarthSky.