American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) "What We Know" Initiative

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest non-government general science membership organization and the executive publisher of Science, a leading scientific journal.

AAAS' mission is to “advance science for the benefit of all people.” Its goals include providing a voice for science on societal issues and promoting the responsible use of science in public policy. To guide the "What We Know" initiative, AAAS convened a group of prominent experts in climate science to address the fact that many Americans still erroneously believe that the scientific community is divided on the issue and that Americans are largely unaware of the full spectrum of climate risks – both what is likely to happen and what might happen - that human-caused climate change presents to Americans now and in the future.

The"What We Know" initiative is dedicated to ensuring that three “R’s” of climate change communicated to the public.

1. Reality - about 97% of climate experts have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening.

2. Risk - that the reality of climate change means that there are climate change impacts we can expect, but we also must consider what might happen, especially the small, but real, chance that we may face abrupt changes with massively disruptive impacts.

3. Response - that there is much we can do and that the sooner we respond, the better off we will be.

The "What We Know" initiative includes outreach to scientists, economists, community leaders, policy makers and the public at large via meetings and media outreach.


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