An Open Letter to Congress From US Scientists on Climate Change and Recently Stolen Emails

As U.S. scientists with substantial expertise on climate change and its impacts on natural
ecosystems, our built environment and human well-being, we want to assure policy makers and
the public of the integrity of the underlying scientific research and the need for urgent action to
reduce heat-trapping emissions. In the last few weeks, opponents of taking action on climate
change have misrepresented both the content and the significance of stolen emails to obscure
public understanding of climate science and the scientific process.

We would like to set the record straight.

The body of evidence that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming is
overwhelming. The content of the stolen emails has no impact whatsoever on our overall
understanding that human activity is driving dangerous levels of global warming. The scientific
process depends on open access to methodology, data, and a rigorous peer-review process.
The robust exchange of ideas in the peer-reviewed literature regarding climate science is
evidence of the high degree of integrity in this process.

As the recent letter to Congress from 18 leading U.S. scientific organizations, including the
American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and the
American Meteorological Society, states:

"Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is
occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse
gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. These conclusions are
based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are
inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed
science. ... If we are to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change,
emissions of greenhouse gases must be dramatically reduced."

These "multiple independent lines of evidence" are drawn from numerous public and private
research centers all across the United States and beyond, including several independent
analyses of surface temperature data. Even without including analyses from the UK research
center from which the emails were stolen, the body of evidence underlying our understanding
of human-caused global warming remains robust.

We urge you to take account of this as you make decisions on climate policy.

^ = Member of National Academy of Sciences

Institutional affiliation for identification purposes only


David Archer, Ph.D.


Department of the Geophysical Sciences

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

William C. Clark, Ph.D.^
Harvey Brooks Professor of International
Science, Public Policy, and Human

John F. Kennedy School of Government

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Peter C. Frumhoff, Ph.D.

Director of Science and Policy

Chief Scientist, Climate Campaign

Union of Concerned Scientists

Cambridge, MA

Inez Fung, Ph.D.^

Professor of Atmospheric Science

Co-Director, Berkeley Institute of the

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

Neal Lane, Ph.D.


Rice University

Former Director, National Science

Former Director, White House Office of
Science and Technology Policy

Houston, TX

Michael MacCracken, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs

The Climate Institute

Washington, DC

Pamela Matson, Ph.D.^


School of Earth Sciences

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

James J. McCarthy, Ph.D.

Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Jerry Melillo, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist and Director Emeritus

The Ecosystems Center

Marine Biological Laboratory

Woods Hole, MA

Edward L. Miles, Ph.D.^

Bloedel Professor of Marine Studies and
Public Affairs

School of Marine Affairs

Co-Director, Center for Science in the Earth
System, JISAO

University of Washington

Seattle, WA

Mario J. Molina, Ph.D.^

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

University of California, San Diego

Nobel Laureate, Chemistry

San Diego, CA

Ellen Mosley-Thompson, Ph.D.^

Director, Byrd Polar Research Center

Professor of Geography and University
Distinguished Scholar

The Ohio State University

Columbus, OH

Gerald R. North, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric
Sciences and Oceanography

Texas A&M University

College Station, TX

Michael Oppenheimer, Ph.D.

Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences
and International Affairs

Department of Geosciences and Woodrow
Wilson School of Public and International

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

Jonathan T. Overpeck, Ph.D.

Co-Director, Institute of the Environment


Department of Geosciences

Department of Atmospheric Sciences

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ

Ronald G. Prinn, Ph.D.

TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Science

Director, Center for Global Change Science

Co-Director, Joint Program on the Science
and Policy of Global Change

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

Alan Robock, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor

Rutgers University

President, Atmospheric Sciences Section,
American Geophysical Union

Chair-Elect, Atmospheric and Hydrospheric
Sciences Section, American Association for
the Advancement of Science

New Brunswick, NJ

Benjamin D. Santer, Ph.D.

Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Livermore, CA

William H. Schlesinger, Ph.D.^

President, Cary Institute of Ecosystem

Millbrook, NY

Daniel P. Schrag, Ph.D.

Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology

Professor of Environmental Science and

Director, Harvard University Center for the

Cambridge, MA

Drew Shindell, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

New York, NY

Richard C. J. Somerville, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor Emeritus and
Research Professor

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

University of California, San Diego

La Jolla, CA

Warren M. Washington, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Boulder, CO

Donald J. Wuebbles, Ph.D
The Harry E. Preble Professor of
Atmospheric Sciences

Department of Atmospheric Sciences

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Urbana, IL

Carl Wunsch, Ph.D.^

Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physical

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

Join Us: News for people demanding a better world

Common Dreams is powered by optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.

We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter makes the difference.

Your contribution supports this bold media model—free, independent, and dedicated to reporting the facts every day. Stand with us in the fight for economic equality, social justice, human rights, and a more sustainable future. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.