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American Chemical Society Climate Science Toolkit: Fostering climate science understanding

American Chemical Society

A new web-based resource on climate science, designed to help scientists and others understand this key topic, is the focus of a Comment article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the American Chemical Society's weekly newsmagazine. ACS, the world's largest scientific society, launched the resource this week.

ACS President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri explains in the article that the Society is among the major scientific organizations with position statements acknowledging the reality of climate change and recommending action. ACS' policy statement mentions that people need a basic understanding of climate science in order to make informed personal decisions, and it describes climate change education for the public as "essential." In 2011, Shakhashiri formed the ACS Presidential Working Group on Climate Science to develop a toolkit to guide members' self-education about the fundamental chemical and physical processes that determine Earth's climate.

Shakhashiri points out that the American Chemical Society Climate Science Toolkit, available at, includes explanations of the greenhouse effect, how vibrational energy from molecules changes into translational kinetic energy and more. It also provides "Climate Science Narratives" that can be adapted and personalized for speaking to students, educators, public officials and other audiences.


The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 164,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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