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The 97% consensus on global warming

What the science says...

Select a level... Basic Intermediate Advanced

97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming.

Climate Myth...

There is no consensus

"[...] And I'll mention that the stat on the 97% of - of scientists is based on one discredited study." (Ted Cruz)

At a glance

What is consensus? In science, it's when the vast majority of specialists agree about a basic principle. Thus, astronomers agree that the Earth orbits around the Sun. Biologists accept that tadpoles hatch out from frog-spawn and grow into adult frogs. Almost all geologists agree that plate tectonics is real and you'd be hard-placed to find a doctor who thinks smoking is harmless.

In each above case, something has been so thoroughly looked into that those who specialise in its study have stopped arguing about its basic explanation. Nevertheless, the above examples were all once argued about, often passionately. That's how progress works.

The reaching of scientific consensus is the product of an often lengthy time-line. It starts with something being observed and ends with it being fully explained. Let's look at a classic and highly relevant example.

In the late 1700s, the Earth-Sun distance was calculated. The value obtained was 149 million kilometres. That's incredibly close to modern measurements. It got French physicist Joseph Fourier thinking. He innocently asked, in the 1820s, something along these lines:

"Why is Planet Earth such a warm place? It should be an ice-ball at this distance from the Sun."

Such fundamental questions about our home planet are as attractive to inquisitive scientists as ripened fruit is to wasps. Fourier's initial query set in motion a process of research. Within a few decades, that research had experimentally shown that carbon dioxide has heat-trapping properties.

Through the twentieth century the effort intensified, particularly during the Cold War. At that time there was great interest in the behaviour of infra-red (IR) radiation in the atmosphere. Why? Because heat-seeking missiles home in on jet exhausts which are IR hotspots. Their invention involved understanding what makes IR tick.

That research led to the publication of a landmark 1956 paper by Gilbert Plass. The paper's title was, “The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic Change”. It explained in detail how CO2 traps heat in our atmosphere. Note in passing that Plass used the term "Climatic Change" all the way back then. That's contrary to the deniers' frequent claim that it is used nowadays because of a recent and motivated change in terminology.

From observation to explanation, this is a classic illustration of the scientific method at work. Fourier gets people thinking, experiments are designed and performed. In time, a hypothesis emerges. That is a proposed explanation. It is made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.

Once a hypothesis is proposed, it becomes subject to rigorous testing within the relevant specialist science groups. Testing ensures that incorrect hypotheses fall by the wayside, because they don't stand up to scrutiny. But some survive such interrogation. As their supporting evidence mounts up over time, they eventually graduate to become theories.

Theories are valid explanations for things that are supported by an expert consensus of specialists. Gravity, jet aviation, electronics, you name it, all are based on solid theories. They are known to work because they have stood the test of time and prolonged scientific inquiry.

In climate science today, there is overwhelming (greater than 97%) expert consensus that CO2 traps heat and adding it to the atmosphere warms the planet. Whatever claims are made to the contrary, that principle has been established for almost seventy years, since the publication of that 1955 landmark paper.

Expert consensus is a powerful thing. None of us have the time or ability to learn about everything/ That's why we frequently defer to experts, such as consulting doctors when we’re ill.

The public often underestimate the degree of expert consensus that our vast greenhouse gas emissions trap heat and warm the planet. That is because alongside information, we have misinformation. Certain sections of the mass-media are as happy to trot out the latter as the former. We saw a very similar problem during the COVID-19 pandemic and it cost many lives.

For those who want to learn more, a much longer detailed account of the history of climate science is available on this website.

Please use this form to provide feedback about this new "At a glance" section. Read a more technical version below or dig deeper via the tabs above!


Further details

We know full well that we don’t have the time or capacity to learn about everything, so we frequently defer to the conclusions of experts. Without experienced people using their expertise to perform many vital tasks – and without new people constantly entering such occupations – society would quickly disintegrate.

The same is true of climate change: we defer to the expert consensus of climate scientists. Indeed, public perception of the scientific consensus with regard to global warming has been found to be an important gateway into other enlightened climate-related attitudes - including policy support. 

Nine consensus studies

Let's take a look at summaries of the key studies, featured in the graphic above, into the degree of consensus. These have been based on analyses of large samples of peer-reviewed climate science literature or surveys of climate and Earth scientists. These studies are available online through e.g. Google Scholar. That slightly different methodologies reached very similar conclusions is a strong indicator that those conclusions are robust.

Oreskes 2004

In this pioneering paper, a survey was conducted into all peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject 'global climate change', published between 1993 and 2003. The work showed that not a single paper, out of the 928 examined, rejected the consensus position that global warming is man-made. 75% of the papers agreed with the consensus position while 25% made no comment either way.

Doran & Zimmerman 2009

A survey of 3,146 Earth scientists asked the question, "Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?" Overall, 82% of the scientists answered yes. However, what was most interesting was the type of response compared to the level of expertise in climate science. Of scientists who were non-climatologists and didn't publish research, 77% answered yes. In contrast, 97.5% of actively-publishing climatologists responded yes. As the level of active research and specialization in climate science increases, so does agreement that humans are significantly changing global temperatures. The paper concludes:

"It seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely non-existent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes. The challenge, rather, appears to be how to effectively communicate this fact to policy makers and to a public that continues to mistakenly perceive debate among scientists."

Anderegg et al. 2010

This study of 1,372 climate science researchers found that (i) 97–98% of the researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of anthropogenic climate change (ACC) as outlined by the IPCC and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers. 

Cook et al. 2013

A Skeptical Science-based analysis of over 12,000 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject 'global climate change' and 'global warming', published between 1991 and 2011, found that over 97% of the papers taking a position on the subject agreed with the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of the project, the scientist authors were emailed and rated over 2,000 of their own papers. Once again, over 97% of the papers taking a position on the cause of global warming agreed that humans are causing it.

Verheggen et al. 2014

Results were presented from a survey held among 1868 scientists studying various aspects of climate change, including physical climate, climate impacts, and mitigation. The survey was at the time unique in its size, broadness and level of detail. Consistent with other research, it was found that as the level of expertise in climate science grew, so too did the level of agreement on anthropogenic causation. 90% of respondents with more than 10 climate-related peer-reviewed publications (about half of all respondents), explicitly agreed with anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) being the dominant driver of recent global warming. The respondents’ quantitative estimate of the GHG contribution appeared to strongly depend on their judgement or knowledge of the cooling effect of aerosols.

Stenhouse et al. 2014

In a survey of all 1,854 American Meteorological Society members with known e-mail addresses, achieving a 26.3% response rate, perceived scientific consensus was the strongest predictor of views on global warming, followed by political ideology, climate science expertise, and perceived organisational conflict.

Carlton et al 2015

Commenting that the extent to which non-climate scientists are skeptical of climate science had not so far been studied via direct survey, the authors did just that. They undertook a survey of biophysical scientists across disciplines at universities in the Big 10 Conference. Most respondents (93.6%) stated that mean temperatures have risen. Of the subset that agreed temperatures had risen, the following question was then asked of them: "do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?" The affirmative response to that query was 96.66%.

Cook et al. 2016

In 2015, authors of the above studies joined forces to co-author a paper, “Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming”. Two key conclusions from the paper are as follows:

(i) Depending on exactly how you measure the expert consensus, somewhere between 90% and 100% of climate scientists agree humans are responsible for climate change, with most of our studies finding 97% consensus among publishing climate scientists. (ii) The greater the climate expertise among those surveyed, the higher the consensus on human-caused global warming.

Lynas et al. 2021

In this paper, from a dataset of 88,125 climate-related peer-reviewed papers published since 2012, these authors examined a randomly-selected subset of 3000 such publications. They also used a second sample-weighted approach that was specifically biased with keywords to help identify any sceptical papers in the whole dataset. Twenty-eight sceptical papers were identified within the original dataset using that approach, as evidenced by abstracts that were rated as implicitly or explicitly sceptical of human-caused global warming. It was concluded that the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change, expressed as a proportion of the total publications, exceeds 99% in the peer reviewed scientific literature.

Myers et al. 2021

This study revisited the 2009 consensus among geoscientists, while exploring different ways to define expertise and the level of agreement among them. The authors sent 10,929 invitations to participate in the survey, receiving 2,780 responses. In addition, the number of scientific publications by these self-identified experts in the field of climate change research was quantified and compared to their survey response on questions about climate change. Perhaps not surprisingly, the study found that agreement on anthropogenic global warming was high at 91% to 100% and generally increases with expertise. Out of a group of 153 independently confirmed climate experts, 98.7% of those scientists agreed that the Earth is warming mostly because of human activities such as burning fossil fuels. Among the subset with the highest level of expertise, these being independently-confirmed climate experts who each published 20+ peer-reviewed papers on climate change between 2015 and 2019, there was 100% agreement.

Public Polls and Consensus

Opinion polls are not absolute in the same way as uncontestable scientific evidence but they nevertheless usefully indicate in which way public thinking is heading. So let's look at a couple taken 13 years apart. A 15-nation World Public Opinion Poll in 2009 PDF), with 13,518 respondents, asked, among other questions, “Is it your impression that among scientists, most think the problem is urgent and enough is known to take action?” Out of all responses, just 51% agreed with that. Worse, in six countries only a minority agreed: United States (38%), Russia (23%), Indonesia (33%), Japan (43%), India (48%), and Mexico (48%). Conversely, the two highest “agree” scores were among Vietnamese (69%) and Bangladeshis (70%) - perhaps unsurprisingly.

The two other options people had to choose from were that “views are pretty evenly divided” (24% of total respondents), or “most think the problem is not urgent, and not enough is known to take action“ (15%). American and Japanese respondents scored most highly on “views are pretty evenly divided” (43 and 44% respectively).

How such a pervasive misperception arose, regarding the expert consensus on climate change, is no accident. Regular readers of this website's resources will know that instead, it was another product of deliberate misinformation campaigning by individuals and organizations in the United States and other nations around the world. These are people who campaign against action to reduce carbon emissions because it suits their paymasters if we continue to burn as much as possible. 

Step forward to 2022 and the situation has perhaps improved, but there's still some way to go. A recent poll, Public Perceptions on Climate change (PDF), was conducted by the Policy Institute, based at King's College London, UK. It quizzed samples of just over 2,000 people from each of six countries (UK, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Italy and Germany). The survey asked the question: “To the best of your knowledge, what percentage of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening?” The following averages were returned: the UK sample thought 65%, the average of the whole survey was 68% and the highest was Ireland at 71%. Clearly, although public perception of expert consensus is growing, there's still plenty of room for strategies to communicate the reality and to shield people from the constant drip-feed of misinformation.

Expert and Public Consensus

Finally, let's consider the differences between expert and public consensus. Expert consensus is reached among those who have studied complex problems and know how to collect and work with data, to identify what constitutes evidence and evaluate it. This is demanding work requiring specific skill-sets and areas of expertise, preparation for which requires years of study and training. 

Public consensus, in contrast, tends to occur only when something is blindingly obvious. For example, a serial misinformer would struggle if they tried running a campaign denying the existence of owls. Everyone already knows that of course there are owls. There is public consensus because we see and hear owls, for real or on the TV or radio. But complex issues are more prone to the antics of misinformers. We saw examples of misinformation during the COVID pandemic, in some cases with lethal outcomes when misinformed people failed to take the risks seriously. There's a strong parallel with climate change: it is imperative we accept the expert consensus and not kick the can down the road until the realisation it is real becomes universal – but utterly inescapable.


Update May 26, 2023: The "At a glance" section was updated to improve readability.

Last updated on 26 May 2023 by John Mason. View Archives

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Further reading

Richard Black at the BBC investigates whether there is a bias against skepticism in the scientific community.

More on what we're talking about when we say "scientific consensus,"  in an essay founded on Denial101x and scientific literature: Scientific Consensus isn’t a “Part” of the Scientific Method: it’s a Consequence of it. (or via archive.org)

Further viewing

The "Climate Denial Crock of the Week" video series examines the list of "32,000 leading skeptical scientists."

Naomi Oreskes gives a thorough presentation of the development of our scientific understanding of anthropogenic global warming:

Lead author John Cook explains the 2016 "Consensus on consensus" paper.

Here is a video summary of the various studies quantifying the scientific consensus on human-caused global warming, as well as the misinformation campaigns casting doubt on the consensus.

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Joe Crouch for his efforts in tracking down scientific organizations endorsing the consensus as well as links to their public statements.

Update

On 21 Jan 2012, we revised 'the skeptic argument' with a minor quote formatting correction.

Comments

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Comments 851 to 875 out of 908:

  1. To all posters:

    Moderator DB posted data that shows klmartinson's claim that

    "last winter in continental USA was the coldest in 110 years. I don't understand how we can have "record heat" and yet have "record cold seasons"

    was simply made up.  I note that several informed posters replied to this claim as if it were actually correct.  This shows how difficult it is to argue with deniers: they simply lie about data to support their wild claims.  No-one can know all the data so all of us can be fooled.  data that is numerical and very specific ("coldest in 110 years") is genrally aclcepted as from a reliable source.

    My questions to klmartinson: who told you this deliberate lie?  Why do you believe them?

  2. Michael, the claims of Klmartinson are in the category of "amusing".

    I am reasonably sure that even he himself doesn't believe them.

  3. For a follow up to my post at 851 on being fooled by lies:

    While I do not know all the data and can be fooled by deliberate lies, I find that between my friends Eclectic, DB, Bob Loblaw and the other posters here at SkS, someone recognizes the lie and links to the actual data.   All of us have different interests and are knowledgable about different facets of climate change.  We have strength in numbers to fight deliberate propaganda.

  4. @Postkey

    Are those peer-reviewed articles publicly available maybe?

    And I also wonder if there is any conclusion (concensus) about how significant actually is AGW (what percentage of "global warming" is contributed to humans)?

    Thanks!

  5. "I also wonder if there is any conclusion (concensus) about how significant actually is AGW (what percentage of "global warming" is contributed to humans)?"

    In the early 20th century human activities caused about one-third of the observed warming and most of the rest was due to low volcanic activity. Since about 1950 it's all humans and their activities.

    https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0555.1
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/wcc.522

    Further, the detection of the human fingerprint in the observed tropospheric warming caused by the increase in atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases like CO2 has reached 6-sigma levels of accuracy.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-019-0424-x

  6. Hi All. I think it's essential that we all think for ourselves on this topic. I wanted to do that, and I started recently by looking at the scientific consensus.

    I now have lots of problems with the information on this page, which I think is misleading in several different ways. From what I can see, this is an argument between the people who think that doubling CO2 will raise the world temp by about 1C (which they think will not be a major problem) and those who think that doubling CO2 will raise the world temp by about 3C (which, they think, would be a major problem). So it is very misleading to say, above, that "97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming", because both sides agree on that.

    Secondly I have a lot of problems with the way that the consensus is reported both here and in eg Wikipedia. I decided to look at the data. I looked at what seemed to be the most recent paper on this, by Bart Verheggen and colleagues, called Scientists’ view about attribution of global warming.

    https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es501998e

    In the light of my first point above, the only question that you really want to hear about is their Q12, "How concerned are you about climate change as a long-term global problem?". What is quite extraordinary is that Bart and colleagues don't mention this question, or the responses to it, in the whole of their article. How could that happen?

    Fortunately they have published a summary of the responses:

    https://www.pbl.nl/en/publications/climate-science-survey-questions-and-responses

    Now we discover that only 33% of climate scientists are more than "somewhat concerned", and 8.5% are "not very concerned" or "not concerned at all".

    That doesn't really look like a consensus.

    The main argument in the abstract of Bart's paper is that the authors who publish a lot on climate science are more likely to agree that anthropogenic gasses are the dominant driver of recent climate change. John Cook's graph, above, makes a similar point. Given that scientists, such as Judith Curry, who take a "contrarian" view of climate change complain that they can't get their work published, this doesn't see like a very good argument.

    With the best will in the world, none of this looks good for the consensus.

    Would it be possible to change the information on this page to encourage people to look at the original data in Bart's report? And also to highlight areas of agreement - such as that most contrarians are "lukewarmers" who agree that human activities cause some warming? That way lay-people such as myself would be in a much better position to think about this for ourselves.

  7. PatrickSS @856,

    You say that there is "an argument between the people who think that doubling CO2 will raise the world temp by about 1C ... and those who think that doubling CO2 will raise the world temp by about 3C ..." Do you consider the folk saying that Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (from 2 x CO2) is about +1.0ºC to be more than just a few contrarians and that their supporting evidence is well-founded? And if you do consider them to be thus, providing a serious scientific position, perhaps you should name their leading members so their position within the 'consensus' can be properly adjudged along with showing how numerous they are and how well-founded their arguments.

  8. Just a minor point - anyone saying "they cant get their papers published" - in any field, let alone climate science, - ask them to publish their reviewers comments. I will bet that most wont, largely because I think the "papers" are mythical and simply a rhetorical point, but others would be embarrassing. If they are prepared to do so, then sure, you can read the comments and see whether you think the reviewers have a point.


    As to sensitivity, someone who thinks ECS is 1 degree is frankly a denier not a skeptic. This requires the existance of unobserved negative feedbacks and really only "exists" in the statistical evaluation of error not in the physics. Against this is the overwhelming evidence of net positive feedback.
    You need speculative processes to drive the ice-age cycles with a sensitivity of 2.0 or less. On the other hand, an ECS of 2.5 or higher fits well with known physics, observations and models. That is where the evidence is pointing. Lukewarmers are generally trying frantically to magnify unquantified uncertainties to support a ideologically or identity based positions. Wishful thinking not evidence-based thinking.

  9. A further comment. I see most "lukewarmers" as too honest as to deny physics, but unable to imagine a policy response that is compatiable with their values/identity, hence work hard to try and deny the need for action. A pity because coming up with an acceptable and effective response is something the right wing badly need. The political debate should be about best policy not science denial.

    However, I also acknowledge that there are people who frankly see the threats posed by climate change as an excuse to beat a different political drum and like the hard right, they are more interested in pushing their ideology than science. Most scientists dont appreciate being lumped with them simply because they do exist.

    A good question to ask, "if we knew for sure that ECS was 2.0, then would you still be arguing for same policy response as if we knew for sure that ECS was 4.5?" My answer would be no way. Yes, it is still highly desirable to get off FF if no other reason than they are limited and sooner or later will run out anyway, but the urgency of the time frame is different and the scope for damage much less.

    Reality is that we dont know ECS with certainty and evidence would have it closer to 3 than 2. Reducing the uncertainty is extremely difficult so the precautionary principle applies.

    Anyone else notice that while climate scientists come in all political colours, climate science deniers seem to be overwhelmingly right wing?

  10. Why my comment wasn't published?

    Response:

    [PS]There is no sign of a deleted comment from you in our moderation database. Last comment showing up from you was 12 Dec and it is visible (no 854). If you have posted since then I suspect a technical glitch. Sorry about that. Try again.

  11. scaddenp @859: You asked:

    Anyone else notice that while climate scientists come in all political colours, climate science deniers seem to be overwhelmingly right wing?

    Actually, many are Russian BOTs.

  12. Thx so much for your replies.

    It’s incredibly unfortunate that climate science has become political – on both sides IMO.

    Actually I don’t feel that any of you have really engaged with my main argument: does this page give a fair summary of scientists’ views? E.g. does sticking up the percentage “91%” give a fair summary of Vergehhen’s data?  (Obviously not.)

    Science is IMO very subject to fashions. When authors, reviewers and the people who award grants all have the same point of view it can all go wrong. E.g. a few years ago almost everyone believed that fat in the diet was a kind of poison – which we now know is nonsense.

    What I notice is that most scientists who are contrarians are either old and retired, or else somehow supporting themselves on private means or as consultants. That doesn’t seem like a good situation. It could mean that only crazy old men and women believe this nonsense, or it could mean that young climate scientists would damage their careers if they expressed contrarian views. MA Roger @857, I've listened to Freeman Dyson, Richard Lindzen and William Happer on youtube and none of them seem crazy, they seem to be good scientists. Judith Curry said that she couldn’t get her work published. I’ve just checked what she said – in fact she did publish one reviewer’s comment:

    “Overall, there is the danger that the paper is used by unscrupulous people to create confusion or to discredit climate or sea-level science. Hence, I suggest that the author reconsiders the essence of its contribution to the scientific debate on climate and sea-level science.”

    Hmm.  That’s definitely a very dangerous argument.  In fact it's very worrying indeed.

    Scaddemp, most lukewarmers that I've listened to (including Judith C and Matt Ridley) definitely want to protect the environment, and they propose the expansion of research into new energy systems, but they worry about taking it to an extreme.

    But . . . .  although the process looks bad, there could be a real problem here.  I find it incredibly hard to know.  Unfoortunately we all have this thing called confirmation bias, and that makes everything tricky. 

    Response:

    [DB]  Sloganeering snipped.

  13. Patrick$$ @862,

    It is well established understanding that expanded awareness and improved understanding are easily compromised by misleading marketing that is based on carefully prepared fictions that are based on minimal factual evidence and designed to appeal to a person's developed preferences.

    There is a massive diversity of evidence supporting the climate science consensus understanding that human activities, particularly fossil fuel use, are significantly impacting the global climate in ways that are detrimental to the future generations.

    Revisit the claim-making by the people you list from the context of that understanding. They may sound reasonable. But are they Really helping expand awareness and improve understanding?

    Apply the same context of understanding to the criticism of Currie's story, and any 'concern' about her 'concern' is likely just another part of the fiction she is making-up in an attempt to appeal to learning resistant believers who are easily tempted to prefer poor excuses for harmful behaviour rather than expand their awareness and improve their understanding in ways that would require them to change their mind about how they like to live.

  14. DB, can't I say that it's incredibly unfortunate that climate science has become political?

    One Planet, when I listen to “consensus” climate scientists, they say that sunlight comes in, heats the Earth, and the heat escapes from the Earth via IR. Increased CO2 absorbs and blocks more IR, so the Earth gets warmer.

    When I listen to Richard Lindzen he says that CO2 and H2O already absorb all the IR emitted at the Earth's surface, and that the IR that escapes is actually emitted high in the atmosphere. Increasing CO2 causes the IR to be emitted at slightly greater altitude. This warms the surface because the temperature at which the emission takes place is the same, so when the lower atmosphere is chaotically mixed the air reaching the surface is hotter (because it gets compressed as it comes down).

    That seems to me to be "expanding awareness and improving understanding". He seems to be a good communicator and a good scientist. It seems unlikely that he invented the whole thing.

    Then I watched Richard Alley on youtube. He is a very good communicator, and at first I found his argument very convincing. He said that the ice ages were driven by cycles of the sun at 100,000, 41,000, 23,000 and (I think it was) 19,000 years. Then he said that the sun cycles (periodically) released CO2, and the CO2 drove temperature. So we have sun -> CO2 -> temp. But the sun can only act through temperature. So we have sun -> temp -> CO2 -> temp. Suddenly it seems much less plausible. What's wrong with sun drives temperature?

    One Planet, I don't get your point about Curry's reviewer. Surely we can agree that his or her comment was extraordinary, and showed dishonest thinking? Curry's other reviewers may have been good and rational, but one at least was not. Of course she could have made that comment up – but I have no reason to believe that. It seems more likely that she is sincere because she has put her career on the line.


    None of this means that the “consensus view” is wrong. But it makes it very difficult to know who we should listen to.

    Response:

    [DB] Moderation complaints snipped.

  15. PartickSS @864,

    Expanded awareness and improved understanding are based on all available evidence, not bits of it.

    A person who makes a solid sounding science statement but then also makes an unscientific claim that is contrary to aspects of 'all of the available evidence (makes an illogical leap that is happily followed by someone who was impressed by the earlier Sciency Show and likes where the leap takes them thought-wise), is not helping to expand awareness and understanding. They are potentially corrupting efforts to expand awareness and improve understanding by the use of misleading marketing.

    Seek out detailed explanations of the incorrect aspects of the claims made by Lindzen, Alley and Curry. There are many sources for the corrected expanded understanding (and a vast amount is available right here on the SkS site).

    You should find many explanations that are 'even more compelling than the claim made that you liked', unless you choose not to become more aware (don't seek out the expanded awareness and improved understanding), or not want to develop improved understanding (do not wish to accept that fossil fuel burning has to be rapidly ended).

    That understanding should clarify my comment regarding Curry.

  16. PatrickSS @862,

    You present three names in response to my request @858 for the scientists you tell us "think that doubling CO2 will raise the world temp by about 1C," a position you appear to set as equal in importance to "those who think that doubling CO2 will raise the world temp by about 3C." It's not much of a list. Do note that two of these are not climatologists and further, I do not see that any of them present substantive reasons to support their bold claims. This is evidently not two sets of scientists arguing. It is sadly science under attack from a handful of swivel-eyed lunatics.

    In support of my own rather bold statement, I would share with you my view of the one climatologist you name - the veteran climate denier Richard Lindzen. He has been at this game so long that he has lost entirely his grasp on the science he is supposed to be practising and now resorts to bare-faced-lies/deluded-foolishness [delete as applicable]. He has certainly ventured far beyond the science of climatology with his nonsense. See his 2017 version here and tick off the numerous examples of untruth he presents. (And to keep us on-topic, note his first attempt to refute AGW is "The 97 Percent Meme".)

    I note you cite Dickie Lindzen when you say "Increasing CO2 causes the IR to be emitted at slightly greater altitude. This warms the surface because the temperature at which the emission takes place is the same, so when the lower atmosphere is chaotically mixed the air reaching the surface is hotter (because it gets compressed as it comes down)." I am not sure where Lindzen explaining this mechanism but the way you phrase it is subject to vast misinterpretation.

    You add that Judy Curry has had difficulty getting published yet if she has anything worth publishing she only has to post it on her website to get it into the scientific/public domain. Yet there is complete absence of any substantive comtribution from Curry, an absence that speaks volumes.

    @862 you say you do not feel your "main argument" has not be "really engaged." You appear to be arguing that the scientific view of AGW is not truly reflected in the 97% consensus and specifically that Verheggen et al (2014) is 'obviously not' fairly summarised by the 91% value. I find this difficult to accept. Perhaps we are reading a different paper.

  17. I don't make many posts but as far as my knowledge of Lindzen, he's always been a luke warmer who believes the doubling of CO2 will only produce a temperature rise of 1 degree celcius, ignoring any type of feedbacks. We've already risen 1 degree and we've increased CO2 less than 50% of a doubling.

    In addition, his Iris effect theory, that as temperature increases they'll be less moisture and fewer clouds that will cause more infrared radition to escape has been shown by several studies since then, to not be the case.

  18. Estoma I will check out the Iris Effect

    Rodger, did you read the summary of the raw data that I pointed you to?  Here's the link again:

    https://www.pbl.nl/en/publications/climate-science-survey-questions-and-responses

    What do you think of the responses to Q12?

    Isn't it very odd that Bart V and colleagues didn't mention Q12 in their paper?

    And do you realize that the "91%" quoted on this page includes Lindzen, Happer, Dyson, Curry and Ridley?

    Thx for all your responses.  I'm going to the "It's the sun" page.

  19. PatrickSS @868,

    My appologies for not spotting @856 your referencing of Question 12 in the Climate Science Survey which sets out the data used within Verheggen et al (2014). Your complain was that this Q12 was not featured within Verheggen et al (2014). Were the responses to Q12 as you set out up-thread @856 it may perhaps be considered an omission. You wrote:-

    Now we discover that only 33% of climate scientists are more than "somewhat concerned", and 8.5% are "not very concerned" or "not concerned at all".

    This is completely incorrect. The more than "somewhat concerned" figure (so "very concerned") is not 33% but 67%. More exactly, if the data for the "respondents with more than 10 climate-related peer-reviewed publications" reported by Verheggen et al is gleaned from Figure 12.2, it is 71% who are 'very concerned', 22% 'somewhat concerned' and just 7% who are less concerned than this. To me, here is a 93% concensus.

    Those who may be inclined to peel off the 22% 'somewhat concerned' from this concensus should consider how the question would be answered in 2012. "How concerned are you about climate change as a long-term global problem?" For a climatologist in 2012, a 'somewhat concerned' response could result from a belief that mitigation measures will arrive to to prevent AGW becoming a serious crisis for humanity, or that in the "long term" AGW is not a serious crisis because, whatever the damage through the next century, in the "long term" humanity will survive, the natural world will survive. We are not taking about a humanless or lifeless planet by the end of the millennium.

    The additional comment @868 that various swivel-eyed denialists would have been included in the headline 91% result of Verheggen et al (2014) is firstly incorrect as three of them are not qualified as authors and secondly, while Dickie Lindzen & Judy Curry sometimes try to argue that they would be part of such a consensus gathered from such surveys, their position is not entirely sincere and they surely could not honestly feature in the Q12 result.

  20. PatrickSS - WRT those three you mentioned:

    Dyson is a brilliant physicist - but not a climate scientist. Lindzen, who has worked at the CATO Institute, is well known in the field for a series of papers claiming a strong negative feedback; he has never actually addressed actual (and numerous) criticisms of the first 'Iris effect' paper, simply repeating his claims over and over. In the last version I'm aware of he directly invoked 'cloud forcing', when clouds are, rather, a short lived (hours) feedback to temperature and humidity. And as for Happer (also not a climate scientist), he has been documented as writing climate science for pay, with fossil fuel money routed through nonprofit organizations for anonymity. Happer is more properly a lobbyist, not a researcher.

    You might want to look for better references.

  21. Well he's some denier comments that seem misinformed...especially the bit about funding.  How do deniers know how funding works in the academic setting? 

    However I do think this denier has a point in that many countries are never going to agree to lower carbon emissions.

     

    Not all climate scientists agree with the current CO2 modeling being used. Academics and other grant seekers are producing what the government wants to market. No agreement no funding. Universities don't lift a finger unless they get a grant.

    If the US went dark it would not change or reverse the climate dynamics on a global scale.

    Certainly China, India, Africa, et al, will not comply with the Paris agreement or any other agreement in the next 12 years or next 5 generations. So what are you going to do today? Support countries like China and India, buy vinyl siding, heat your home, drive a car? Logic and common sense have been left behind and the only way to run a government is with the aid of a propaganda machine to create a false reality.

    The more I see what is occurring worldwide with respect to climate change and all the dreadful news we are seeing now in Australis and the Amazon, how can anyone feel hope for this situation?

  22. Cheer up, TVC15.   Put a smile on your face, and know that things will get worse before they . . . er . . . stop getting worse.

    It sounds like your denier friend is a quitter ~ he gives up, just partway into the battle to do the right thing.   I wonder what his great-grandparents would have thought of his lack of moral character?

    Sure, most  countries are dawdling on carbon emission reductions ~ and there's no realistic hope of limiting world temperature rise to merely 1.5 degreesC.   The question is, will we collectively take enough action to hold things to a 2 degreeC rise (or will it be much more)??   Already we are seeing problems & extremes cropping up more intensely . . . with only the (so far) rise of 1 degreeC.    A full 2 degrees or 3 degrees will give our great-grandchildren some very "interesting times" indeed !

    Eventually there will be no choice ~ almost all nations will have to (rather desperately & expensively) take belated major action against emissions.   Common sense tells you that the ground-swell from voting citizens will simply get stronger and stronger.   And future politicians will become increasingly nervous about "the alternative use of lamp-posts"  !!!

    The denialist's thinking is crazy if he reckons the upper echelons of government want  to fund truth-speaking science researchers ~ in reality, most politicians want the the whole AGW thing to disappear as an election issue.   They'd rather not hear about it.   (It sounds like his brain is switched to stand-by mode.)

    Such people as your denialist, who think that humans mostly just do stuff for money . . . well, the psychologists would say that these denialists are "projecting" their own trashy money-grubbing attitude onto everyone else.

  23. TVC 15 @871, Building on Eclectic's response.

    The Delayer you have encountered is attempting to distract attention from expanded awareness and improved understanding of the current day and future problem.

    The current day and future problem is the result of the highest per-capita impacting people, and the nations they controlled, in the 1980s failing to responsibly lead the correction of economic activity.

    Instead of doing the harder less popular and less profitable work of correcting the incorrect direction of development, the populations of those nations willingly accepted leadership messages that encouraged them to continue to over-develop in the Unsustainable Damaging direction they were headed in. When and where did one of the most absurd opposites of responsible correction, Hummers, become a popular expression of Winning? The same nation that spawned the misleading marketing attacks against climate science.

    The Kyoto deal included nations like China and India agreeing to be tied into restricting their development to the 'per-capita' impact levels that the higher impacting nations were showing leadership towards by lowering their per-capita impacts (while sustainably improving the living conditions of their poorest).

    China and India are still 'developing up to the per-capita levels' of the USA and its correction resistant hangers-on. And they have every right to develop up to the per-capita impacts of the highest impacting nations.

    Some portion of the current day global population clearly deserves to be blamed today. And it is the highest per-capita impacting people and the nations they try to hide in and get defended by. And many of them deserve to be penalized for how they behaved through the past 30 years, and they know it.

    That fundamental understanding can be applied to a diversity of claim making by the Delayers.

    Tell the Delayer that everyone has the right to benefit by behaving as badly as the worst behaving cheating Winner they see. And everyone should compete to be an even worse Winner in everything they do (including Sports). Then tell them you personally disagree with that attitude, you understand it to be incredibly destructive and that any perceptions of Wining that way are unsustainable, but you understand that it is an accurate description of the actions of the Delayer you are dealing with. Finish the point by stating that you know everyone continues to have the ability to learn to behave more helpfully no matter how old they are and hope they choose to learn to behave better, to be more helpful, to be less harmful.

  24. Thank you Electric,
    I try to not focus on things that make my soul sad for all living creature and plants on this earth but when I look at the denial machine and how humans are so divided by over climate change due to science illiteracy, anti-science folks, confirmation bias, political stances etc....it can be quite discouraging. Especially knowing we are in the midst of a very serious mass extinction event. I sometimes wish I was not a biological/medical scientist. I would be just as clueless as most of the planet with respect to human impacts on earth.

    Thank you One Planet Only Forever for offering great insightful suggestions.

  25. TVC 15,

    In response to the point about everyone having the right to be as bad as Others, you may face a further angle of denial claiming that population is the problem. And you may preempt that by sharing a version of the following rather than waiting to see if it comes up.

    The consensus understanding is that human impacts are causing significant negative climate changes to occur. And it is the total global impact that matters.

    A good way to argue against the simple claim that 'increased population is the problem' is to point out that each person's impacts add up to the total impact, and though total population is a concern it is the impacts of the highest per-person impacting portion of the population that needs to be reduced (along with the point that every person has the right to be as harmful as Others).

    A related item to point out regarding total impacts is that the impacts that developed more fortunate circumstances in the national regional environment that a person is born into should also be counted as impacts of that person. That was part of the Kyoto understanding. It was recognised that the current more fortunate population of the more fortunate nations owed a debt for the impacts caused by the development of their more fortunate circumstances.

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