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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

The Petition Project features over 31,000 scientists signing the petition stating "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide will, in the forseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere ...". (Petition Project)

Science achieves a consensus when scientists stop arguing.  When a question is first asked – like ‘what would happen if we put a load more CO2 in the atmosphere?’ – there may be many hypotheses about cause and effect. Over a period of time, each idea is tested and retested – the processes of the scientific method – because all scientists know that reputation and kudos go to those who find the right answer (and everyone else becomes an irrelevant footnote in the history of science).  Nearly all hypotheses will fall by the wayside during this testing period, because only one is going to answer the question properly, without leaving all kinds of odd dangling bits that don’t quite add up. Bad theories are usually rather untidy.

But the testing period must come to an end. Gradually, the focus of investigation narrows down to those avenues that continue to make sense, that still add up, and quite often a good theory will reveal additional answers, or make powerful predictions, that add substance to the theory.

So a consensus in science is different from a political one. There is no vote. Scientists just give up arguing because the sheer weight of consistent evidence is too compelling, the tide too strong to swim against any longer. Scientists change their minds on the basis of the evidence, and a consensus emerges over time. Not only do scientists stop arguing, they also start relying on each other's work. All science depends on that which precedes it, and when one scientist builds on the work of another, he acknowledges the work of others through citations. The work that forms the foundation of climate change science is cited with great frequency by many other scientists, demonstrating that the theory is widely accepted - and relied upon.

In the scientific field of climate studies – which is informed by many different disciplines – the consensus is demonstrated by the number of scientists who have stopped arguing about what is causing climate change – and that’s nearly all of them.

Authors of seven climate consensus studies — including Naomi OreskesPeter DoranWilliam AndereggBart VerheggenEd MaibachJ. Stuart Carlton, and John Cook — co-authored a paper that should settle this question once and for all. The two key conclusions from the paper are:

1) Depending on exactly how you measure the expert consensus, it’s somewhere between 90% and 100% that agree humans are responsible for climate change, with most of our studies finding 97% consensus among publishing climate scientists.

2) The greater the climate expertise among those surveyed, the higher the consensus on human-caused global warming.

consensus studies

Expert consensus results on the question of human-caused global warming among the previous studies published by the co-authors of Cook et al. (2016). Illustration: John Cook.  Available on the SkS Graphics page

consensus vs expertise

Scientific consensus on human-caused global warming as compared to the expertise of the surveyed sample. There’s a strong correlation between consensus and climate science expertise. Illustration: John Cook. Available on the SkS Graphics page

Expert consensus is a powerful thing. People know we don’t have the time or capacity to learn about everything, and so we frequently defer to the conclusions of experts. It’s why we visit doctors when we’re ill. The same is true of climate change: most people defer to the expert consensus of climate scientists. Crucially, as we note in our paper:

Public perception of the scientific consensus has been found to be a gateway belief, affecting other climate beliefs and attitudes including policy support.

That’s why those who oppose taking action to curb climate change have engaged in a misinformation campaign to deny the existence of the expert consensus. They’ve been largely successful, as the public badly underestimate the expert consensus, in what we call the “consensus gap.” Only 16% of Americans realize that the consensus is above 90%.

Lead author John Cook explaining the team’s 2016 consensus paper.

 

Last updated on 8 May 2016 by BaerbelW. 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:

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 802:

  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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