New study says scientific basis for EPA's Endangerment Finding is stronger than ever

December 13, 2018, Woods Hole Research Center
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new study published by Science this week has found that scientific evidence supporting the EPA's 2009 Endangerment Finding for greenhouse gases is even stronger and more conclusive now. This finding could strengthen challenges to proposed efforts to rollback emissions standards and carbon emissions regulations in the United States.

In the landmark Endangerment Finding the EPA determined that endanger public health and welfare, which created a legal obligation for the agency to regulate greenhouse gases emissions under the Clean Air Act. The Science paper comes three months after a senior Republican senator said that the Trump Administration might still try to repeal the landmark decision.

"When the Endangerment Finding was issued, the evidence supporting it was extremely compelling," said Woods Hole Research Center President Philip Duffy, lead author on the paper. "Now, that evidence is even stronger and more comprehensive. There's no scientific basis for questioning the endangerment finding."

The Science paper includes 16 authors from 15 different organizations. It assesses how the has changed in the nine years since the finding was issued, with a specific focus on for public health, air quality, agriculture, forestry, water resources, sea level rise, energy, infrastructure, wildlife, ocean acidification, social instability, and the economy.

"There is no question that and welfare are endangered by climate change and we know that with much more confidence now than we did in 2009," said study co-author Chris Field, Director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.

The paper examines each topic covered by the Endangerment Finding and characterizes changes since 2009 in terms of evidence of links to , severity of observed and projected impacts, and new risks.

"For each of the areas addressed in the [Endangerment Finding], the amount, diversity, and sophistication of the evidence has increased dramatically, clearly strengthening the case for endangerment," according to the paper.

The study expands the range of negative impacts from beyond those listed in 2009 to include increased dangers from ocean acidification, effects on national security and economic well-being, and even threats from violence.

"Much of what we've learned since the original Endangerment Finding in 2009 arises from extreme events," said study co-author Noah Diffenbaugh, Kara J Foundation Professor of Earth System Science and Kimmelman Family Senior Fellow at Stanford University. "Our understanding of how influences the odds of heat waves, droughts, heavy precipitation, flooding, and wildfires has increased dramatically in the last decade, as has our understanding of the related impacts, such as how hot conditions affect mental health, violence, and economic productivity."

Explore further: EPA finds greenhouse gases pose a danger to health

More information: P. Duffy el al., "Strengthened scientific support for the Endangerment Finding for atmospheric greenhouse gases," Science (2018). science.sciencemag.org/lookup/ … 1126/science.aat5982

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14 comments

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michael_frishberg
3.8 / 5 (5) Dec 13, 2018
Cool.
Are we doing ANYTHING about it?
Can humans do ANYTHING sustainably?
What's going to stop habitat destruction?
Dead Zones?
Fisheries failing?
Lack of drinking water?
ddaye
5 / 5 (1) Dec 13, 2018
Can humans do ANYTHING sustainably?
Sure they can, human tribes have adapted to life in almost every ecosystem north of Antarctica. Civilization however is a different matter. The problem is that we don't have permission to address the problem as strongly and fast as needed. And the problem behind that is that there is no politically important faction of educated or other leadership people in the world that supports creating the power and authority to do it. Certainly not in the US. But we mustn't confuse humans with civilization. On paper it should be possible to reorganize it to behave more sustainably, although again there's no will to do it in time for climate change.
aksdad
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 14, 2018
There's no scientific basis for questioning the endangerment finding.

Oh yes there is!

1. The theory that human CO2 emissions are the main reason for warming in the last several decades is unproven because it is impossible to measure how much human CO2 emissions may be warming the planet.

2. All the claims about catastrophic warming come from climate models which attempt to simulate global climate, which is also impossible.

3. The measured temperature trend is significantly lower than that predicted by climate models, proving that climate model projections are wrong.
aksdad
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 14, 2018
Even assuming that the postulated correlation between CO2 emissions and future temperature were true (it's not), if the U.S. reduced emissions to zero in 2019 (no CO2 emissions at all) according to the math from the climate models (which is wrong), it would reduce global temperatures less than one-tenth of 1° C by 2050 (and only a little more than one-tenth, 0.137° C, by 2100) because:

a.) U.S. CO2 emissions are a fraction of the rest of the world, and

b.) while U.S. emissions have declined since 2007, emissions from other countries (China, India, etc.) continue to skyrocket.

CO2 is a trace atmospheric gas essential to all plant life on earth making it essential to ALL life on earth. Calling it "pollution" in order for the EPA to be authorized to regulate it according to the Clean Air Act is not only perverse, it would have an insignificant impact on reducing global temperatures according to the math of the climate alarmists.
Old_C_Code
1.8 / 5 (4) Dec 14, 2018
CO2 is in effect a trace gas. They are so full of never ending chit
katesisco
1 / 5 (3) Dec 14, 2018
I looked at EPA charts online and see that the mobile non road CO production is little changed. Thats rail and plane, right? And the biggie is CO from mobile road, cars and trucks, has dropped but of course that is due to catalytic converters that change CO to CO2 and that wasn't tracked so claiming a reduction while omitting CO2 is akin to fraud.
gkam
3 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2018
Kids, this all subject to your actually driving an electric car. Once you drive one, feel the performance, and understand the lack of maintenance and how cheap they are to drive, you will never go back.

Mating it to a PV system gives you free house power and horsepower.
philecrawford
5 / 5 (3) Dec 14, 2018
I see the sock puppets are out in force.
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
5 / 5 (4) Dec 14, 2018
Take that, "promoting-coal-on-a-key-global-warming-conference" US administration.

"Are we doing ANYTHING about it? Can humans do ANYTHING".

Yes, UN has had 30+ conferences in the last 20+ years, and everyone - except latest US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and some player I can't remember (North Korea?) - are doing lots. Too slow to prevent damage still, but possibly ... we have 10+ years.

Responses to sock puppetry troll comments:

"unproven".

False, the article discussed a test that showed what earlier tests showed: humans cause dangerous global warming by greenhouse gas emissions.

"trace gas".

Yes, a dangerous one with rapid and global climate change consequences as we handle it right now.

"CO".

Way to go - if everything else is obviously failing, try to divert to something else.

And with the trolling behind us, maybe we can return to the grown up discussion of immediate, serious and costly danger,
antigoracle
1 / 5 (2) Dec 14, 2018
Hundreds of MILLIONs of dollars, squandered on thousands of "studies", yet the AGW Cult cannot provide a single one that conclusively show that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for any of the doom and gloom bullshit they feed to their ignorant hungry Chicken Littles.
Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 14, 2018
Wellp, so much for a grown up discussion. @tehalgore found the thread.
V4Vendicar
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 15, 2018
"AGW Cult cannot provide a single one that conclusively show that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible" - antigoracle

Well, we certainly can't provide a single one to denialists who strive above all to remain ignorant.
rrwillsj
3 / 5 (2) Dec 16, 2018
Okay, all you denialist shills line up over here.
Then start blathering your tobacco/carbon/ice agitprop lies about Climate Change being unproven.
Then criticize the scientific method of modeling & simulations.
While Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo & Newton walk along this lineup of the usual suspects.
While gifting each of you a firm bitch slapping for being such useless prats!
Gigel
5 / 5 (1) Dec 16, 2018
Hundreds of MILLIONs of dollars, squandered on thousands of "studies", yet the AGW Cult cannot provide a single one that conclusively show that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for any of the doom and gloom bullshit they feed to their ignorant hungry Chicken Littles.

You know, in the end it is not that important whether CO2 emissions cause global warming or not. Because in the end we still may be forced to do something to curb global warming, before it destroys current agriculture. Even if it is not caused by humans.

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