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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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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 76 to 100 out of 602:

  1. Austerlitz The blog that you gave the URL for was interesting but I found the actual APS newsletter even more interesting.
  2. Quietman, Here is another scientist who writes some compelling arguments against the theory: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24036736-7583,00.html I have not checked his credentials; however, I find his arguments convincing. Of course, the Inquisition will dismiss him, as the consensus has already spoken.
  3. Austerlitz Thanks for the link. I have posted it at the LiveScience website in an argument that I'm having with one of the NASA guys who isn't a climatologist. Not being a scientist it's hard to be taken seriously so I appreciate the link.
  4. An outright lie about the American Physical Society "The newest denialist talking point Physicists reaffirm that human-induced GHGs affect the atmosphere Posted by Andrew Dessler (Guest Contributor) at 1:23 PM on 18 Jul 2008 Read more about: climate | climate science | climate change skepticism | greenhouse-gas emissions | scientific research Tools: print | email | + digg | + del.icio.us | + reddit | + stumbleupon It goes something like this: The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming. Of course that's not true. Today a statement appeared on the APS website saying: APS Position Remains Unchanged The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007: "Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate." An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS. The header of this newsletter carries the statement that "Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum." This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed. For a list of societies that have endorsed the mainstream position on climate change, see this post." http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/7/18/74618/8261
  5. here's those credentials for you, auster.... "Who is 'Rocket Scientist' David Evans? 22 Jul 08 UPDATED: David Evans has sent along his definition of a rocket scientist. See below for details. This title grabbed our attention: Top Rocket Scientist: No evidence C02 causes global warming. And it should. It is a pretty bold statement and the implications would be pretty big news. So we decided to compile a backgrounder on 'The Top Rocket Scientist." Here's the research database entry on David Evans: No peer-reviewed articles on climate change According to his own resume, Evans has not published a single peer-reviewed research paper on the subject of climate change. Evans published only a single paper in 1987 in his career and it is unrelated to climate change. Evans has published an article for the Alabama-based Ludwig von Mises Instutute, a right-wing free-market think tank. Evans also published a "background briefing" (pdf) document for the Australian chapter of the Lavoisier Group, a global warming "skeptic" organization with close ties to the mining industry. "I am not a climate modeler" From 1999 to 2006 Evans worked for the Australian Greenhouse Office designing a carbon accounting system that is used by the Australian Government to calculate its land-use carbon accounts for the Kyoto Protocol. While Evans says (pdf) that "[he] know[s] a heck of a lot about modeling and computers," he states clearly that he is "not a climate modeler." Background David Evans lives in Australia and gained media attention after an article he wrote titled, No Smoking Hot Spot was published in The Australian in June, 2008.The article claims that climate change is not caused by C02 emissions because there is no evidence of "a hot spot about 10km up in the atmosphere over the tropics." Evan's claim has been thoroughly debunked by Tim Lambert, a computer scientist at the University of New South Wales. According to his bio, Evans claims to be a 'Rocket Scientist' and one article claims that he is a 'Top Rocket Scientist.' While Evans background does show that he has a PhD in electrical engineering, there is no evidence that he was ever employed as a rocket scientist. Evans answered our inquiry about his claim to being a rocket scientist with the following explanation: In US academic and industry parlance, "rocket scientist" means anyone who has completed a PhD in one of the hard sciences at one of the top US institutions. The term arose for people who *could* do rocket science, not those who literally build rockets.Thus the term "rocket scientist" means someone with a PhD in physics, electrical engineering, or mathematics (or perhaps a couple of other closely related disciplines), from MIT, Stanford, Caltech, and maybe a few other institutions. I did a PhD in electrical engineering at Stanford in the 1980s. Electrical engineering is your basic high tech degree, because most high technology spawned from electrical information technology. I specialized in signal processing, maths, and statistics. The definition provided by Evans would appear to be at odds with the conventional use of the term 'rocket scientist' which according to various sources is "One specializing in the science or study of rockets and their design." For example, here's an entry on Answers.com about Hermann Oberth a famous Rocket Scientist who published a book about rocket travel into outer space in 1932 and is considered one of 3 founding fathers of modern rocketry and astronautics. Evans also claims to be "building a word processor for Windows." DeSmogBlog contacted Microsoft Corp. and they have confirmed that he does not work for Microsoft Corporation." http://www.desmogblog.com/who-is-rocket-scientist-david-evans
  6. paledriver You are talking about two peoples seperated by a common language. American connotation varies state to state and even city to city and you nit pick over the connotation of a word used on the opposite side of the world. A little strange I would say. He used the slang meaning of a rocket scientist in a way that an American would not but how is this term normally used in Australia? Maybe John can tell us.
  7. PS Publishing peer reviewed papers does not a scientist make.
  8. Paledriver, There was no outright lie about the APS. No one said their position changed (a strawman argument); rather, that there is debate. Granted, it turns out it was a subset of the APS, but it is still part of the APS. Here is the link from the APS website: http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/editor.cfm Partially quoted herein: "With this issue of Physics & Society, we kick off a debate concerning one of the main conclusions of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body which, together with Al Gore, recently won the Nobel Prize for its work concerning climate change research. There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution." Personally, I think you do your self a disservice quoting a smear site (desmogblog.com) that only seeks to discredit and personally attack those who argue against anthropogenic warming. Arguing semantics about "rocket scientist"? Contacting Microsoft Corp. because he says he is "building a word processor for Windows"? Is this disgraceful behavior all the Inquisition has to offer?
  9. I missed that windows comment entirely. Writing a program for windows is not the same as writing for microsoft. It means to run on the windows O/S rather than on a unix or Linux or Mac O/S. Most likely using an MS language for compatibility like visual basic.
  10. Consensus: lit. to think alike or to be in general agreement with others. If most people think the same thing then it has got to be true hasn't it? Even when what they think is based on an incomplete understanding of the thing they are discussing? But hey, everybody is entitled to an opinion surely? And doesn't that include scientists on both sides? As stated by someone else..consensus is NOT science. Opinion is NOT science. Science is about hard, repeatably demonstrable, irrefutable, facts.
  11. "... very probably likely to be primarily ..." ... that sure convinces me!
  12. From this weeks "Skeptic of the week": "In particular I am referring to the arrogance, the activities aimed at shutting down debate; the outright fabrications; the mindless defense of bogus science; and the politicisation of the IPCC process and the science process itself." LOL - I Love it!
  13. #83. Yes that claim WAS made..."The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming. " from Daily Tech.. so you got it wrong, again. and Mizimi, scientists have come to a consensus BECAUSE of the haed, irrefutable facts. and it's a growing consensus because of there continues to be more hard, irrefutable evidence uncovered. meanwhile, the other side consists mostly of former big tobacco schills who once told us there is no science to link smoking with lung cancer. remember that when you're picking your team.
  14. #88 Yes we have a lot of facts, some hard, some soft (paleoproxies for example), some incorporated into models and some unable to be included in detail (clouds and water vapour); do we know all the facts or even enough to make decisions that will adversely affect the lives of millions of people? Are those models sufficiently close to reality to act upon? Ah but, you will no doubt say, global warming will affect millions of people too.........according to those imprecise models. Recent GMT history says different. I don't disbelieve in human induced warming, I just don't accept the projected figures because it doesn't appear to be happening at the rate predicted, and those models are unable to incorporate components that have a major impact on the resultant. So why would I trust them?
  15. #88 Can you provide some links for your claims? Thanks in advance.
  16. Re: Post #77 from Austerlitz - if you pin your hopes on 'skeptics' like David Evans, maybe you should see this article (by David Evans) posted on the Lavoisier Group website (Australian 'skeptics' org with links to the coal industry, among others). http://www.lavoisier.com.au/articles/greenhouse-science/climate-change/evansd2007-12.php See the 5th from last paragraph, starting 'I emphasise that we are making a bet...'. Evans estimates that the likelihood that CO2 emissions are the dominant cause of global warming is only 20%, not 90% as per the IPCC estimate. Note the wording - 'dominant' cause. I understand Richard Lindzen is now also similarly lukewarm on the odds. Maybe others could confirm. If there was only a 20% chance of your house burning down, would you go without insurance? With skeptics like that, who needs believers? P.S. I am not a scientist (published or otherwise), but a risk management professional. I am curious as to what the risk appetite of those participating in the global warming debate is - just how much risk of dangerous climate change is acceptable?
  17. #88: Exactly right. I don't have a problem with a few skeptics stating their opinion. I do have a problem, however, with gross distortions and dishonest rhetoric. In this case, a single APS member and editor of one of their many non-peer-reviewed newsletters decided to post his opinion and some material. It gets widely reported among the denialsphere as "The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change". There is a clear and concerted effort to blow every fabric of data well out of proportion, whether it's of scientific nature or in this case, activities of an APS member. This is the reason why many climatologists don't have a lot of respect for the arguments from many of those who call themselves climate "skeptics". Dr. John Holdren (recently selected as Obama's science advisor), describes it best. He had a good op-ed piece earlier this year with an even better follow-up. http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/12/22/12217/584
  18. Holdren, like Hansen, is a known alarmist. These are the people that call skeptics deniers. In science you propose a hypothesis and test that hypothesis in a manner that other scientists can reproduce. You DO NOT call the other scientists that disagree with you "deniers" because they happen to disagree, especially when they provide evidence to disprove your hypothesis.
  19. Re: "If there was only a 20% chance of your house burning down, would you go without insurance?" Assinine comparison.
  20. #93 They are called "deniers" when they resort to the type of tactics described in Dr. Holdren's op-ed, the clearly dishonest APS spin described above, repeatedly making multiple dubious claims as catalogued nicely on this website (while arrogantly and falsely asserting it "disproves" AGW and promoting their claims to any willing media outlet), calling global warming a "hoax", or calling the overwhelming majority of climate scientists "alarmists" because they don't like the implications of the science. Holdren makes the distinction between "skeptic" and "denier". Every scientist is a skeptic so that doesn't say much. "Denier" might be to harsh. I'd settle for "contrarian". A comment from another scientist on this issue: “They argue not as scientists but as lawyers. When they argue, they pick one piece of the fabric of evidence and blow it up all out of proportion…Their purpose is to confuse.” - Pieter Tans #94 You're right. It's conservatively more like 90%-95%. Personally, I thought it was time to act when IPCC2 presented the "more likely than not" conclusion regarding "most of the observed warming" before moving on to "likely" and "very likely". Of course, mitigating actions carry their own risk. If we decided to cut emissions 95% in 5 years, it would very likely cause severe economic damage. However, every objective economic study on mitigation proposals made so far suggest relatively affordable net economic costs in comparison with the risks this century (even the relatively conservative estimates) if we don't act. A few studies result in net gains - and most studies don't consider the economic benefits of decreased reliance on foreign fossil fuels and some of the avoided massive economic costs of climate change. Thus, it's ironic that those preaching gloom and doom on the economy call many scientists "alarmists".
  21. Re: post #94 - 'Assinine comparison': how so? It may be an oversimplification to describe anthropogenic climate change as a house fire and cuts to emissions as insurance, but with odds like this, would you go on with business as usual, or might you be inclined to make changes at reasonable cost, ahead of absolute certainty? Re: post #94: add geopolitical stability to the list of spin-off benefits. No need for a war for oil.
  22. Risky at 15:09 PM on 1 January, 2009 Re: post #94 - 'Assinine comparison': how so? Because your house CAN burn down, it is possible. This is very different from AGW since AGW is 1. Hypothetical, based on poorly written fortran code. 2. Historically false, If the CO2 was the powerful GHG it is claimed to be there would be no life on this planet. Upper Mesozoic and early Cenezoic had a constant extremely high level of CO2. Life flourished, our ancestors appear at the PETM, ie. it is the climate we evolved in. On the flip side, we nearly went extinct along with our Neandertal ancestors in H4 (glacial maximum) ***. It is COLD not hot that causes extinctions. So while warming will cause a few adjustments it would not be the catastrophe prophesized by algore and his followers. The alarmists base their science on the concept of equilibrium and deny that the earth goes through cycles and yet they call skeptical scientists "deniers". Skeptics realize that we are undergoing climate change, it is not AGW, it is not GW, it IS climate change, plain and simple. The amount of AGW added to this change is meaningless. All I have asked since day 1 is to see proof of this catastrophic GW. None has been provided, only that there is CC, no GW other than what is expected by natural cycles such as the PDO, Sun spot cycles and plate tectonics. *** "Neanderthal Extinction by Competitive Exclusion" William E. Banks1*, Francesco d’Errico1,2, A. Townsend Peterson3, Masa Kageyama4, Adriana Sima4, Maria-Fernanda Sa´nchez-Gon i5 There is a link to the above paper at the bottom of the article: Competition, Not Climate Change, Led To Neanderthal Extinction, Study Shows ScienceDaily (Dec. 30, 2008) For alternate reasons for climate change see (under arguments heading at the top of this page) The PDO and Volcano and sensitivity articles. Or you can just assume the alarmist position (fingers firmly in ears and eyes shut) and ignore the arguments entirely. To deny the facts is to show ignorance, that is not what science is about, that attitude belongs firmly in religion and politics.
  23. correction to 97: Neandertal ancestors s/b Neandertal cousins because the debate on admixture indicates that they were not ancestral to H. sapiens.
  24. NewYorkJ They are called "deniers" because they are skeptics, plain and simple. This is what happens to science when fanatics reach a level of majority, we return to the dark age when dissent is punishable, in this case by infantile name calling.
  25. Re: “They argue not as scientists but as lawyers. When they argue, they pick one piece of the fabric of evidence and blow it up all out of proportion…Their purpose is to confuse.” - Pieter Tans This describes the AGW alarmist to a T.

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THE ESCALATOR

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