Strengthened scientific support for the Endangerment Finding for atmospheric greenhouse gases

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  08 Feb 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6427, eaat5982
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat5982


  • New evidence relevant to the EF.

    New evidence strengthens the link with anthropogenic climate change (category 1); suggests more severe observed and/or projected impacts (category 2); or identifies new types of risks beyond those considered in the EF (category 3). Examples discussed in this Review include, for category 1, wildfire (left); for category 2, coastal flooding (center); and for category 3, ocean acidification (right).

  • Fig. 1 New evidence since the EF.

    The columns summarize changes in the amount and implications of new evidence since the EF for each of the impact areas discussed in the EF and four additional impact areas where evidence of climate sensitivity has matured since the EF. An upward-pointing arrow indicates increasing evidence of endangerment. A downward-pointing arrow would indicate decreasing evidence of endangerment. A plain red arrow indicates that the new evidence is abundant and robust. An outlined arrow indicates that the new evidence, in addition, comes from multiple approaches, is derived from independent lines of information, or builds on a new level of mechanistic understanding. The left column refers to confidence in the impacts discussed in the EF. The middle column refers to impact areas that are discussed in the EF but where new evidence points to specific impacts that are fundamentally more severe or pervasive than those discussed in the EF. The right column refers to types of impacts not discussed in the EF.

  • Fig. 2 The frequency of years from 2080 to 2099 of the RCP8.5 scenario in which the June-July-August (JJA) seasonal temperature equals or exceeds the warmest JJA value in the period from 1986 to 2005.

    [Adapted from (282)]

  • Fig. 3 Western U.S. forest-fire area for 1984 to 2017.

    (Top) Map of forest-fire areas. (Bottom) Annual forest-fire area according to the U.S. Forest Service Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) project for 1984 to 2016 (90) and the MODIS version 6 burned-area product for 2017 (91). The MODIS burned-area record was linearly calibrated to the MTBS record during overlapping years of 2001 to 2016. The linear trend is derived from least-squares regression.

  • Fig. 4 Total direct economic damage integrated over agriculture, crime, coastal storms, energy, human mortality, and labor in 2080 to 2099 under a scenario of continued high emissions (RCP8.5).

    (Left) Damages in the median scenario for each county. Negative damages indicate benefits. (Right) Range of economic damages per year for groupings of U.S. counties, on the basis of income (with 29,000 simulations for each of 3143 counties) as a fraction of county income (white lines, median; boxes, inner 66% of possible outcomes; outer whiskers, inner 90% of possible outcomes). [Adapted from (238)]

Stay Connected to Science

Navigate This Article