March 26, 2014

APS Begins Climate Change Statement Review as Part of Its Standard, Five-Year Process

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Physical Society (APS) recently began reviewing its Climate Change Statement. In accordance with that process, the APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) formed a Subcommittee to review the statement.

Contrary to some blog reports, APS has not appointed Richard Lindzen, John Christy or Judith Curry to its Panel on Public Affairs (POPA). APS recently asked these scientists, as well as William Collins, Isaac Held and Benjamin Santer, to participate in a workshop to inform the POPA committee during the statement review process.

The following is an overview of the process:

The American Physical Society (APS) formally reviews its statements every five years. As part of the POPA-approved process, on Jan. 8, 2014 the Subcommittee convened a workshop with six climate experts. The Subcommittee used that meeting to delve more deeply into aspects of the IPCC consensus view of the physical basis of climate science. In doing so, it hoped to illuminate for itself, for the APS membership, and for the broader public both the certainties and boundaries of current climate science understanding. The framing document, expert bios, and the complete transcript for the workshop are included in the Supporting Documents links.

The workshop was the first step in a deliberative process. As a membership organization of over 50,000 physicists, APS adheres to rigorous scientific standards in developing all its statements. If the Subcommittee recommends updating the existing APS Climate Change Statement, then, consistent with APS by-laws, all APS members will be given an opportunity to review the statement and provide input during a comment period.

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The American Physical Society is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 53,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, D.C.