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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 126 to 150 out of 602:

  1. Back on topic... Published in EOS: http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf Note this isn't a dubious petition or an Inhofe propaganda press release. It's a scientific peer-reviewed study that compares the view of the public with the view of the scientific community on the issue of global warming and the significant human contribution. Details: Among the general public, views are mixed, with about a 57%-38% (Gallup poll) agreement with the significant human contribution. I've seen other surveys with less agreement (particularly among polls conducted during cold winter weather). We see that sort of vehement denial among the blogosphere and various media outlets. This gives the public the false impression that there's a raging debate among scientists on the core issue, creating further doubt. Among scientists, there's very little doubt. The study's authors breaks it down. Among non-climate scientists and non-publishers, there's a 77%-8% (nearly 10 to 1) agreement (the remaining 15% unsure). 8% is pretty small considering the political implications of the topic. This consensus increases among active published scientists to 89%-3%. Among active climate scientists, it's about 97%-1%. The greatest doubt is held by petroleum geologists (what a surprise). Thus, what follows is the key conclusion: "It seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent 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."
  2. Correction on #125: 2.97 should be 2.94
  3. Re: "The greatest doubt is held by petroleum geologists (what a surprise)." They are also among the best qualified to know what is really causing this problem, no surprise here, after all it is a tectonic issue.
  4. ps You left out that Meteorologists are about evenly divided on the cause. I think it was a 47/53 percentage split. Engineers disagree because they realize that the laws of thermodynamics are not actually applicable to the earth or living things (something the greens and creationists don't seem to understand). Those scientists behind AGW are actually not "climatologists" (the number of people with PhDs in this field number only a couple hundred and Hansen is not one of them, Fairbridge for example taught climatology and he was a "denier").
  5. Discussion between Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and Andrew Bolt: http://www.abc.net.au/austory/ Professor Hoegh-Guldberg is one of the early scientists to relate episodes of coral bleaching to climate change, Andrew Bolt is a conservative commentator and climate "skeptic" here in Australia. Interesting discussion, no clear winner. My one observation - Bolt finally fronts an actual climate scientist (after years of all kinds of accusations against climate scientists), and blames the media for exaggerating the threat. Maybe he was being polite. On another issue: Here in the south-east of Australia, we have recently had a record heat wave, followed by the hottest day since records began (in 1855) within the space of a week. This created firestorm conditions that have never before been recorded. In one day, over 200 people died (maybe 300), by far the worst fire disaster in Australian history. The fires are still burning. Before you all howl 'this is weather, not climate' or 'does not belong in this thread', I mention these things for a reason. If the climate scientist's predictions are correct, we will have more days like this - and worse. This is not just some cosy little academic debate, with a vote at the end to determine who is the champion debater. The consequences of getting it wrong are huge and tragic. Everybody, from all sides of the argument - please take it seriously.
  6. Risky Re: "Everybody, from all sides of the argument - please take it seriously." We take this very seriously. That is exactly why we argue about it. I see the IPCC wasting valuable time and resources looking to cure an illness that does not exist when they should be researching to find the true root cause.
  7. I just wanted to post a thanks to all posters. And thanks also to the site editors for leaving both sides free to express their views. Wading through all 131 comments has given me a fair idea of who is dealing with the facts and who is obfuscating and manipulating. Great site.
  8. Hi, Thanks for providing this forum. You write: The consensus position is generally defined as "most of the global warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities". I agree that is one consensus view, but I can certainly envisage agreement with that particular statement being combined with a dissenting or agnostic position as to the relative importance of different human inputs. So one could adhere to one consensus position on global warming, but at the same time be a sceptic regarding another position, for instance the view that "most of the global warming in recent decades can be attributed to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases". Would you also regard the latter statement as reflecting a consensus? If so, fine, but it will be a different and smaller consensus than the first one.
  9. I have spent the last few hours and have ben fascinated by the amount of information on this site. I came to this site because I had ben looking for some scientifically credible source to critique the claims of this article i had been referred to that seemed quite scientific ( the only one I have ever seen that really firt the bill). it turns out that this thread covers that article. Here is one link http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm Hopefully someone here can give me a critique of their specific points. the main being that CO2 could not possibly be a factor in the increasing temperatures, and that increasing temperatures are not of any concern. Increasing temp is due to a gradual readjustment from the "little ice Age" I know some of their points are covered in other threads here, but this seemed the most likely place to put this
  10. I have been concerned about Climate change since the late 70's when my brother in law warned me about the dangers of the earth as a heat sink, and a room mate explained work she was doing about the degree of deforestation in th Amazon, Congo and Southeast Asia. When I heard about Mauna Loa I became, as the "deniers" here would call, an alarmist. The main deniers of ACC here all seem to present a reasonable face and continually provide information and links to support their arguments or to question assertions of those that support ACC. But many of their arguments appear to me to be strained at best, and most telling I have yet to see much admission of fallibility. Both John and Chris, and others have made many many observations and provided countless sources backing up their assertions, many of which have not been effectively countered, yet the deniers continue to proclaim their views almost unchanged. I was dissappointed that Chris left one of the discussions because some arguments were brought up to counter his assertions after he left, and I do not know enough to assess their validity. But in every case that he has responded his arguments have been clear and totally supported. the argument that the deniers here are not as critical of sources that object to ACC as they are to sources that support them is extremely important. Also that there is no competing theory. As with the anti evolution debate, there are dozens of competing theories, almost all mutually exclusive. The interest seems to be on proving ACC to be false rather than finding out the truth. Quitman keeps insisting it is a tectonic issue, and all very clear, yet it seems to me that Chris effectively demonstrated that every one of his contentions was not supported by research. that in fact we know the amount of carbon produced by tectonic effects, and it is 1% of the extra CO2 in the atmosphere. I have yet to read anything that Chris or John have written that was factually in error or where their conclusion was not justified. The fact that there are almost no peer reviewed articles that contradict ACC is a towering argument. That does not by itself mean that the consensus is right. It does not mean that there is not a huge conspiracy . But a huge conspiracy on this scale would require some massive fudging of data, or a degree of peer pressure that is clearly not occurring. Certainly in Soviet Russia there was a mass conspiracy supporting Lysenkian genetics. No papers were allowed to be published in scientific journals that did not support it. Yet all the real scientists knew that this was happening, and went along with it because they would face severe penalties if they didn't. I know of no scientist who supports ACC who is "pressured" to do so because of pressure and therefore does not publish valid research data that would counter it. I know of no scientists who refuse to look at research because they are scared it might force them to disbelieve ACC. This does not mean that there are not political pressures to support ACC that distort aspects of how it is presented and that have serious political imperatives. Those should be faced head on and counteracted. Many people on this site have pointed out the obvious and sometimes shameful attempts to bolster anti ACC views that were unscientific. this should not be disregarded. Nor should the funding by right wing and energy based organizations that have an ideological or financial agenda. but there has been sufficient time and thousands of research papers detailing ACC and if it was incorrect in the main then a competing theory that fit all the facts would have emerged. I consider myself an alarmist because there IS a consensus on climate change and almost nothing is being done about it. That is very alarming. There are potential consequences that are indeed catastrophic. ACC is not a problem in isolation. There are innumerable environmental crisis that are happening at the same time, many of which are greatly exacerbated by ACC. Not all are real and not all will be as bad as some predict. I do know that deforestation, certain kinds of pollution, the devastation of ocean life, biodiversity loss, and contamination of various parts of the environment are accelerating. Atmospheric CO2 is accelerating as well. Yet in spite of worldwide political and public consensus, almost nothing is being done that could conceivably have any effect. It is like a car heading toward a cliff, we can see it, but instead of taking our foot off the accelerator and on the brake, we are untying the shoe on the accelerator, so that if we do want to stop we can take the shoe off and press not quite so hard with our bare foot. As Risky puts it, why not just really slow down CO2 production. If we do cut it drastically and it turns out not to be a big problem, we can gear back up very easily. However if we don't, the risks of Greenland melting are quite real. It might not, but it might. There are many who believe that IPCC conclusions are ridiculously optimistic. There are thousands of scientists who are convinced research show significant ACC is happening, and that the consequences could be devastating. So lets cut back to pre 1990 levels for 20 years and see what the research shows then. There are extremists who either don't understand science and therefore make false exaggerated claims. And there are ideologues who believe that they have to overplay their hand to counter the "enemy". But I am in contact with some of these people and none of them believe that they are wrong but are pulling this scam because they will get rich. They all believe they are right, and just want to keep the evil corporation from destroying the planet. On the other hand we do know the tobacco companies knew they were wrong, but lied and obfuscated about cancer as long as possible. We know that Financial companies knowingly lied to all sorts of people. We know the govenrment covered up what companies like Enron and Anderson were doing, and knew that the current financial structure was "toxic". It does not seem unreasonable to suppose that Exxon,and the Heritage foundation would lie, knowingly lie, about ACC in order to keep making huge profits. The idea that the profit motive is what is driving the science behind ACC seems almost ludicrous given recent history and the structure of our economic system. I, however am fully an alarmist, because I think it is possible that the Greenland Ice cap could melt substantially in 50 years. I do believe that there could be a tipping point that affects the Sargasso ocean current or some other currently stable climactic factor in a period of a decade or two. I do believe there are potential consequences that could wreak havoc on our society and on the world. I also believe that there could be solutions that will mitigate the problems. I also believe that nothing serious will be done about the issue until there is some devastating crisis that puts the deniers into shell shock, and that forces action. By then it may be too late to avoid some of the seroius consequences. these polite websites that argue back and forth will seem rather bizarre then. ACC could be wrong. I think it extremely unlikely, and I think that it will be not because it is "wrong" but because there is some other deeper issue that really LOOKS like ACC, just as Quantum relativistic physics really LOOKS newtonian in daily life. the arguments of the deniers (except for Quietman, since he is convinced his theory explains everything) are not consistant systematic theories and are just flotsam thrown to obscure matters. If the consequences were not so serious I would think it was great. but the "debate" is actually causing serious delays in making necessary immediate changes in human activities. it has been the United States for the last 20 years being the lynchpin in stopping concerted efforts to cut back CO2 emissions, and that has allowed China and india and others to increase their CO2 output to US levels, and now they are starting to obfuscate as much as we have.
  11. I have been concerned about Climate change since the late 70's when my brother in law warned me about the dangers of the earth as a heat sink, and a room mate explained work she was doing about the degree of deforestation in th Amazon, Congo and Southeast Asia. When I heard about Mauna Loa I became, as the "deniers" here would call, an alarmist. The main deniers of ACC here all seem to present a reasonable face and continually provide information and links to support their arguments or to question assertions of those that support ACC. But many of their arguments appear to me to be strained at best, and most telling I have yet to see much admission of fallibility. Both John and Chris, and others have made many many observations and provided countless sources backing up their assertions, many of which have not been effectively countered, yet the deniers continue to proclaim their views almost unchanged. I was dissappointed that Chris left one of the discussions because some arguments were brought up to counter his assertions after he left, and I do not know enough to assess their validity. But in every case that he has responded his arguments have been clear and totally supported. the argument that the deniers here are not as critical of sources that object to ACC as they are to sources that support them is extremely important. Also that there is no competing theory. As with the anti evolution debate, there are dozens of competing theories, almost all mutually exclusive. The interest seems to be on proving ACC to be false rather than finding out the truth. Quitman keeps insisting it is a tectonic issue, and all very clear, yet it seems to me that Chris effectively demonstrated that every one of his contentions was not supported by research. that in fact we know the amount of carbon produced by tectonic effects, and it is 1% of the extra CO2 in the atmosphere. I have yet to read anything that Chris or John have written that was factually in error or where their conclusion was not justified. The fact that there are almost no peer reviewed articles that contradict ACC is a towering argument. That does not by itself mean that the consensus is right. It does not mean that there is not a huge conspiracy . But a huge conspiracy on this scale would require some massive fudging of data, or a degree of peer pressure that is clearly not occurring. Certainly in Soviet Russia there was a mass conspiracy supporting Lysenkian genetics. No papers were allowed to be published in scientific journals that did not support it. Yet all the real scientists knew that this was happening, and went along with it because they would face severe penalties if they didn't. I know of no scientist who supports ACC who is "pressured" to do so because of pressure and therefore does not publish valid research data that would counter it. I know of no scientists who refuse to look at research because they are scared it might force them to disbelieve ACC. This does not mean that there are not political pressures to support ACC that distort aspects of how it is presented and that have serious political imperatives. Those should be faced head on and counteracted. Many people on this site have pointed out the obvious and sometimes shameful attempts to bolster anti ACC views that were unscientific. this should not be disregarded. Nor should the funding by right wing and energy based organizations that have an ideological or financial agenda. but there has been sufficient time and thousands of research papers detailing ACC and if it was incorrect in the main then a competing theory that fit all the facts would have emerged. I consider myself an alarmist because there IS a consensus on climate change and almost nothing is being done about it. That is very alarming. There are potential consequences that are indeed catastrophic. ACC is not a problem in isolation. There are innumerable environmental crisis that are happening at the same time, many of which are greatly exacerbated by ACC. Not all are real and not all will be as bad as some predict. I do know that deforestation, certain kinds of pollution, the devastation of ocean life, biodiversity loss, and contamination of various parts of the environment are accelerating. Atmospheric CO2 is accelerating as well. Yet in spite of worldwide political and public consensus, almost nothing is being done that could conceivably have any effect. It is like a car heading toward a cliff, we can see it, but instead of taking our foot off the accelerator and on the brake, we are untying the shoe on the accelerator, so that if we do want to stop we can take the shoe off and press not quite so hard with our bare foot. As Risky puts it, why not just really slow down CO2 production. If we do cut it drastically and it turns out not to be a big problem, we can gear back up very easily. However if we don't, the risks of Greenland melting are quite real. It might not, but it might. There are many who believe that IPCC conclusions are ridiculously optimistic. There are thousands of scientists who are convinced research show significant ACC is happening, and that the consequences could be devastating. So lets cut back to pre 1990 levels for 20 years and see what the research shows then. There are extremists who either don't understand science and therefore make false exaggerated claims. And there are ideologues who believe that they have to overplay their hand to counter the "enemy". But I am in contact with some of these people and none of them believe that they are wrong but are pulling this scam because they will get rich. They all believe they are right, and just want to keep the evil corporation from destroying the planet. On the other hand we do know the tobacco companies knew they were wrong, but lied and obfuscated about cancer as long as possible. We know that Financial companies knowingly lied to all sorts of people. We know the govenrment covered up what companies like Enron and Anderson were doing, and knew that the current financial structure was "toxic". It does not seem unreasonable to suppose that Exxon,and the Heritage foundation would lie, knowingly lie, about ACC in order to keep making huge profits. The idea that the profit motive is what is driving the science behind ACC seems almost ludicrous given recent history and the structure of our economic system. I, however am fully an alarmist, because I think it is possible that the Greenland Ice cap could melt substantially in 50 years. I do believe that there could be a tipping point that affects the Sargasso ocean current or some other currently stable climactic factor in a period of a decade or two. I do believe there are potential consequences that could wreak havoc on our society and on the world. I also believe that there could be solutions that will mitigate the problems. I also believe that nothing serious will be done about the issue until there is some devastating crisis that puts the deniers into shell shock, and that forces action. By then it may be too late to avoid some of the seroius consequences. these polite websites that argue back and forth will seem rather bizarre then. ACC could be wrong. I think it extremely unlikely, and I think that it will be not because it is "wrong" but because there is some other deeper issue that really LOOKS like ACC, just as Quantum relativistic physics really LOOKS newtonian in daily life. the arguments of the deniers (except for Quietman, since he is convinced his theory explains everything) are not consistant systematic theories and are just flotsam thrown to obscure matters. If the consequences were not so serious I would think it was great. but the "debate" is actually causing serious delays in making necessary immediate changes in human activities. it has been the United States for the last 20 years being the lynchpin in stopping concerted efforts to cut back CO2 emissions, and that has allowed China and india and others to increase their CO2 output to US levels, and now they are starting to obfuscate as much as we have.
  12. Why I am a skeptic: 1) The climate change debate is fueled by cash: huge sums of it directed by politicians to research institutions, "green" businesses, and government "green" agencies and regulators, all of whom seek personel gain through profit or careerism. This is not unlike any other unwarrented influence attained by combining religion and state to the detriment of human liberty. Replacing black robed preists with white coated "scientists" does not alter this unwholesome relationship. 2) The politicians and press who promote AGW will entertain no counter arguments, we do not hear debates but only lectures by those who seek to gain from this scam. 3) No legitimate science would ever allow the many fradulent claims made for it by its most ardent political supporters to go unchallenged based upon any respect for honesty. ie a warm winter in Alaska is offered as "proof" of "global" warming while a cold European winter is just "weather". Nonsense of course, but no refutaion from the scam artists whose careers depend on the scam. 3) Science is never driven by 'belief' or 'consensus' and certainly science is never 'settled' Not even Newton's 'Laws' of motion. All of these nonsensical statemements have been made by the people who seek personal gain from this scam. And which authority claims to speak for these legions of lock stepped "scientists"? Who granted this authority over consensus taking other than politicians? Who "authorised" anyone to speak for this "science"? If science is "settled" by authority or consensus at what date did this policy begin? 4) If liberating fossil fuels is the problem, then planting trees to suck up excess carbon dioxide is nonsense since anthropogenically planted trees (APT) will utlimately die of either fire or rot both of which will liberate the previously assimilated carbon right back into the atmosphere. Yet the "scientists" (scam artists) allow the politicians who fund them to get away with touting this nonsense - no legitiamte science would ever allow this "indulgence buying" to go unchallenged. Equally if carbon dioxide is great tree food then nature will "plant" trees of its own naturally fecundity and not be dependant upon APTs.(Anthropogincally Planted Trees) 5) If the "average" (will some "scientist" define "average" global temperature in terms that have a precise meaning) temperatures are rising "globaly" then no place on the globe should be exempt. If it's on "average" warmer at point 'A' over the past 100 years it cannot possibly be true that the signal will not be equally felt 100 miles away at point 'B' If there is any significant difference between 'A' and 'B' then it is not "global" but only local. Can point 'A' "globally warm" while point 'B' "globally" cools? More points to follow....
  13. 6) The surface 'record': There is none. There exists no instrumentation demonstrably designed to accumulate the earths "surface" record - Can any "scientist" out there tell me what the surface temp was in Green Valley AZ 100 years ago - dont try because it did not exist - so is it part of the surface "record" today? 7) Greenhouse warming theories are not about surface "records" anyway - its about atmospheric temps which appear to be very stable since they have been systematically collected for this purpose - that shoots the theory so the debate has to focus on a completely flawed surface "record" Why? 8) If there were a real climate threat this scam industry funded by criminal politicians who promote this hype would alter their own ways and no longer have "carbon club prints" the size of dinosaurs compared with the rest of the world's population of titmouse sized "carbon footsie prints." Why do you jet all over the world by the hundreds of thousands to attend gala conventions held at world class resorts and pleasure spas to condemn the little people in keeping their hearth warm back home where you all just left minus -20 in searh of "global" (read Bali) warming?. I know Bali, Rio, Durban, The Seychelles, etc etc are nice places to go on the public dime when its cold back home - but doesn't this realluy give the big fat lie to your message? 9) Computer models - GIGO: Modeling behavior is a legitimate method of science but you can't model behavior you can't possibly understand - if you could you could model next months temperature - of course you can't do that so you try to predict what will happen to us after we are all dead - and this brings us right back to the point of religion whose "peer-reviewed" theories compete head-on with yours as to just what happens to us after we all die. This is the only "science" outside of religion that cannot prove any of its assertions. This deligitizes the entire field and this state supported religion would more truthfully term you people "climate priests". No computer model has ever "predicted" climate change and "postdictions" (altering the model to fit past behavior) is nothing less than fraud. 10) Proxies - are only legitamate if the proxy can be used to confirm data flawlessly time and time again that can be directly collected by some other suitable means. Proxy A can not be used to confirm Proxy B If one can directly correlate proxies with directly collected data then the proxy is only a fantasy relationship that can never be proven. Carbon 14 is a legitimate proxy method since the accuracy and range of carbon 14 dating can be correlated through directly collected historical records. No one should have any cofidence in proxies whose accuracy cannot be demonstrated today. -- more later --
  14. Nicely said Bruce. But you are going to be asked for references (no free thinking permitted here, at least that's what the alarmists say, other people's work is all their proof. John's more tolerant since he's not alarmist).
  15. Re: "Both John and Chris, and others have made many many observations and provided countless sources backing up their assertions, many of which have not been effectively countered, yet the deniers continue to proclaim their views almost unchanged." The question is the source material. Most if not all the references ASSUME the issue is CO2. An unproven assumption. Skeptics of AGW (not deniers) see the other more probable causes which the alarmists never respond to with a straight answer. They continually side step the issue and come back with another paper on CO2. I already understand CO2 and how it may cause heating as a GHG IF you assume water vapor's positive feedback is greater than it's negetive feedback. Again, an assumption. That's why their math doesn't show real world results, wrong assumption. I prefer to look at the more real forcings that are still only beginning to be understood, ie. the atmosphere is controllled by the oceans and the oceans by the earth's tectonic/vulcanic (not volcanic) forces.
  16. John One of your countrymen, Dr. David Evans made the statement: "Yes, it's important to get our response right. If the alarmist are correct, then we should cut down our carbon emissions of the planet with overheat. If the alarmist are wrong, it's important not to cut back our carbon emissions or we'll create wide spread poverty unnecessary. There is no real substitute, except the get the real science right." Dr. Evans recently converted from AGW alarmist to AGW skeptic.
  17. Yes Quietman, And David Evans is just one of a growing number of scientists who work or have worked in AGW-related fields to finally 'see the light' as it were.
  18. HealthySkeptic My point was less the conversion than the words that he used. "There is no real substitute, except the get the real science right"
  19. Frankly, I think the Skeptics have won point #3 onthis list at this time in history - there is less and less "consensus" Japan, Jan 2009, has walked away from the IPCC "Japan's boffins: Global warming isn't man-made Climate science is 'ancient astrology', claims report" that from http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/25/jstor_climate_report_translation/ More . . . Kanya Kusano is Program Director and Group Leader for the Earth Simulator at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science & Technology (JAMSTEC). He focuses on the immaturity of simulation work cited in support of the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Using undiplomatic language, Kusano compares them to ancient astrology. After listing many faults, and the IPCC's own conclusion that natural causes of climate are poorly understood, Kusano concludes: "[The IPCC's] conclusion that from now on atmospheric temperatures are likely to show a continuous, monotonic increase, should be perceived as an unprovable hypothesis," he writes.
  20. AND on May 6, 2009 - this from Great Britain. Interview: Just two years ago, Mike Hulme would have been about the last person you'd expect to hear criticising conventional climate change wisdom. Back then, he was the founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, an organisation so revered by environmentalists that it could be mistaken for the academic wing of the green movement. Since leaving Tyndall - and as we found out in a telephone interview - he has come out of the climate change closet as an outspoken critic of such sacred cows as the UN's IPCC, the "consensus", the over-emphasis on scientific evidence in political debates about climate change, and to defend the rights of so-called "deniers" to contribute to those debates. . . More here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/06/mike_hulme_interview/
  21. This individual has done a remarkable job putting together the long lists of IPCC contributing authors and cited climate scientists. Most entries have a link to the webpage of the scientist, so one can check out their publications. Consistent with other objective studies on the topic, the results indicate once again an overwhelming scientific consensus at the individual level. http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/ http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/AR4wg1_authors_table.html http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/climate_authors_table.html
  22. Cold Beer, One of the reason I don't take climate contrarians too seriously is that they constantly distort reality. "Japan has walked away from the IPCC" is a silly unsupported comment. The Register article is also doing some serious spinning. A distinguished scientist who actually works at JAMSTEC provides some corrections to this bit of misinformation: http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2009/02/much-ado-about-nothing.html Kusano has no climate science cred and this becomes apparent with the comment: "[The IPCC's] conclusion that from now on atmospheric temperatures are likely to show a continuous, monotonic increase, should be perceived as an unprovable hypothesis." This individual apparently hasn't even read the IPCC report: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/
  23. NewYorkJ Some people are less afraid of being political correct. One after another scientist are speaking up. The consensus is more a fable that is propagating as small group of loud mouths with an agenda. The idea is that since they can not provide evidence they just can demean any person who have actual evidence that they don't like and the AGW priests simply denies the truth. It's the same position of YECs.
  24. If one looks at history, fascist certainty usually seems to win out over neutral uncertainty. One of the key points is the lack of doubt, amongst those who are so sure of themselves. How many, I wonder, of human-induced global warmists really looked at data about the sun, when they unconsciously believed in co2 induced global warming? Thre is a peculiar mind flip in those who claim consensus: only those who agree with you are actually counted in 'the consensus'. The rest are not 'true scientists' etc. If you define it this way, that those who agree with you are 'the consensus', then you have a 100% consensus!. A perfectly circular mind trick. All hail to the party/Allah/our dear leader/global warming etc! At any rate, if one can't even tell that there is NO consensus amongst the range of scientific fields regarding causes of climate change, then one isn't going to be very good at obejective analysis. Better off going back to the Soviet Union, when one can be told whatever the party wants, where there was also a 'consensus'.
  25. First, I want to say that this website is exactly what I have been looking for. A place where the arguments on both (or more) sides are presented factually, with a minimum of name-calling and cheerleading. I think I entered the site as a denier and am now firmly in the skeptic camp. Many of the mini-arguments in the various threads seem to be on specific technical points, but they carry huge baggage of gross media exaggeration of either or both sides, plus the need to defend the team (alarmist/denier) as if this was some kind of a sporting event. Because the is the concensus thread, I want to focus on that. If the concensus statement is "recent global climate change is primarily influenced by human activities", then arguing against it is like insulting Mom or apple pie. The difficulty, as I see it, is understanding exactly what the concensus implies, in terms of further science to be done and political actions to be taken? The danger of a "concensus" is its use in the non-scientific arena, as in: "If then " Not having a skepticalscience website to refer to for the hole in the ozone layer "debate", I'm on weak scientific grounds and have to use the wikipedia summary, but I believe that the situation is parallel. The scientific concensus was "there is a reduction in the stratospheric ozone level with a hole near the antarctic". A theoretical mechanism was proposed that CFCs could cause it, and a political action was taken to replace freon with a substitute. Media crisis reports were published and an equivalent alarmist/denier debate ensued. Political action was taken and the economic costs were large. It appears from the wiki graphs that ozone is trending back up, but there is little or no media coverage of the progress, or lack thereof. Is this the model for the AGW question?

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