Canada’s leading scientists: Evidence calls for going “far beyond” the Kyoto Protocol

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The Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS) wrapped up its 40th annual Congress on June 1 and issued a strong statement on climate change science and policy.  The statement says: “The scientific evidence dictates that in order to stabilize the climate, global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions need to go far beyond those mandated under [the] Kyoto Protocol.”  The CMOS is Canada’s leading organization of atmospheric and oceanic scientists, including most of the climate scientists who work for the federal government.  Their statement can reasonably be construed as a rejection of the policy of the current Tory leadership.

The CMOS Congress affirmed the reality of climate change through many related presentations and papers given during the scientific sessions.  At the conclusion of the Congress, a CMOS Press Release was issued which summarized the Society’s position on Climate Change and called upon governments and decision-makers to take urgent action. (HTML version) (PDF version)

Full text:

CANADIAN METEOROLOGICAL AND OCEANOGRAPHIC SOCIETY

Congress Statement on Climate Change

The Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS) represents Canadian scientists carrying out research on the atmosphere, the oceans and related environmental issues. It has more than 800 members from Canada’s major research centres, universities, private corporations and government institutes. CMOS is uniquely positioned to provide expert advice on the issue of climate change. Understanding this complex issue requires atmospheric and oceanic scientists working together with those in related environmental, social and economic disciplines - precisely the goal of this Congress.

At the conclusion of this, our 40th Annual Congress, we are issuing the following statement:

The state of climate change:

Climate change is happening now, both in Canada and around the world. Most of this change is attributable to human activities that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The effect of these additional greenhouse gases is clearly detectable on continental and global scales.
Canada’s North is experiencing particularly rapid and widespread climate warming. This warming will have significant impact and will accelerate climate change globally.

The urgent need for action:

We call on all levels of governments to take immediate action. We must both reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and prepare for climate change.
We congratulate our host city for the Congress, Toronto, on its innovative approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

On the Climate Convention and its Kyoto Protocol:

We advocate a co-ordinated, global response to climate change. We urge all governments to work together toward a single international agreement to address climate change, as was recognized in the 1992 U. N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The Climate Convention’s Kyoto Protocol is an important first step towards reducing the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. However, the scientific evidence dictates that in order to stabilize the climate, global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions need to go far beyond those mandated under this Kyoto Protocol. We recognize the challenge of implementing the current agreement; nonetheless we urge Canada to contribute effectively to this global effort.
It is to be noted that Canada also has other obligations under Articles 4, 5 and 6 of the Climate Convention and Article 10 of the Kyoto Protocol regarding research and systematic observations related to the climate system.

On preparing for climate change:

Canada has no choice but to adapt to present and future climate change. A national adaptation strategy is needed.
Research is critical for defining options, reducing the effects of climate change and understanding and dealing with its impacts on Canada. This should include more accurate predictions of future climate on seasonal, decadal and century time scales.

Toronto, Ontario
June 1, 2006

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