Measure the climate consensus yourself with our Interactive Rating System

The Consensus Project was a long, ambitious effort by many volunteers, lasting 12 months from beginning to submission of our paper to peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research Letters. The project involved citizen science from start to finish - from the rating of the abstracts to the collection of scientists' emails to crowd-funding the journal fee to make the paper free to the public. It was an enormous collaborative effort that the entire Skeptical Science community contributed to. The effort has resulted in strong media interest including a tweet from President Obama.

We want our results to be transparent and replicable, so that anybody can quantify the scientific consensus on human-caused global warming for themselves.  Thus we've created an interactive rating system that lets Skeptical Science readers rate the abstracts from The Consensus Project. You can then compare your ratings to the results from Quantifying The Consensus. Note that your ratings are private - no specific ratings will be publicly attributed to individuals.

All papers receive two types of ratings - the category of research and the level of endorsement of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Here are general definitions of each category and endorsement level, although we've also provided a more detailed set of guidelines.

Level of Endorsement

  1. Explicit Endorsement of AGW with quantification
  2. Explicit Endorsement of AGW without quantification
  3. Implicit Endorsement of AGW
  4. Neutral
  5. Implicit Rejection of AGW
  6. Explicit Rejection of AGW without quantification
  7. Explicit Rejection of AGW with quantification


  1. Impacts (Effects and impacts of climate change on the environment, ecosystems or humanity)
  2. Methods (Focus on measurements and modeling methods, or basic climate science not included in the other categories)
  3. Mitigation (Research into lowering CO2 emissions or atmospheric CO2 levels)
  4. Not Related To Climate (Social science, education, research about people’s
    views on climate)
  5. Opinion (Not peer-reviewed articles)
  6. Paleoclimate (Examining climate during pre-industrial times)

The purpose of the interactive rating system is to replicate our experience of reading and categorising peer-reviewed climate research, to gain a deeper insight into our Quantifying The Consensus paper by participating in the process yourself. Check out the diversity of climate research on offer and try for yourself the categorisation of the papers' abstracts. All papers from our analysis are available for rating except the ones that had no abstract (47 papers). Please share your thoughts in this comments thread on the rating system, the categorisation guidelines, the climate research and other thoughts related to our Quantifying The Consensus paper.

Depending on how popular this feature is, I hope to continue adding features to the interactive rating system. Some possible features include visualisations of your ratings and a leaderboard of most productive raters.

Posted by John Cook on Friday, 17 May, 2013

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