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Scientists Tell Americans: This Climate Change Thing Really Is a Big Deal

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One of the world's largest and most influential science organizations is launching a new campaign to cut through the noise of climate denialism and help the public understand the threat of climate change.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science kicked things off on Monday by publishing a 20-page report entitled What We Know. The gist: We know that global warming is real, risky, and demands a serious response - "the three Rs of climate change."

"We're trying to provide a voice for the scientific community on this issue so that we can help the country, help the world move this issue forward," AAAS CEO Alan Leshner said during a call with reporters on Tuesday morning. "If we don't move now we are at tremendous risk for some very high impact consequences, many of which are laid out in the report."

The AAAS has also assembled a panel of a 13 leading scientists who will make public presentations and try to spread climate smarts far and wide.  

Here's an explanation of those three climate Rs from the initiative's website:

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

The second is 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.

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

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