97% of Scientists Still Agree: Man is Causing Climate Change


Photo via Ale1980Italy

A new study has once again confirmed what we already knew -- that the vast, vast majority of scientists working in the field are convinced by the evidence that there is human-induced climate change. This latest analysis is one of the largest surveys yet attempted, and examines 1,372 known working climate researchers. The result is similar to previous studies: 97-98% of the scientists agree that there is ample evidence that human activity is warming the planet. There is, in other words, a huge consensus. From the New York Times report, Study Affirms Consensus on Climate Change:

The results are pretty conclusive. The new research supports the idea that the vast majority of the world's active climate scientists accept the evidence for global warming as well as the case that human activities are the principal cause of it.

For example, of the top 50 climate researchers identified by the study (as ranked by the number of papers they had published), only 2 percent fell into the camp of climate dissenters. Of the top 200 researchers, only 2.5 percent fell into the dissenter camp. That is consistent with past work, including opinion polls, suggesting that 97 to 98 percent of working climate scientists accept the evidence for human-induced climate change.

Which means, out of the top 50 climate researchers, only one holds a dissenting view (Richard Lindzen, is that you?). Out of 200, only 5 or 6. This is an overwhelming consensus -- one that, it's important to remember -- is rare in most fields. You rarely see such definitive majorities in other fields -- especially ones that the media insists on portraying as being a source of "ongoing debate."

The new report deals another blow to the credibility of so-called skeptics, as well:

The study demonstrates that most of the scientists who have been publicly identified as climate skeptics are not actively publishing in the field. And the handful who are tend to have a slim track record, with about half as many papers published as the scientists who accept the mainstream view.
Of course, followers of the climate denier movement will likely not be swayed by these affirmations -- regardless of what the vast majority of scientists conclude, there will be plenty of conspiracy theorists and contrarians who will remain unpersuaded. And members of that camp will likely to continue to shout loud enough to convince the media to give them equal coverage in vapid "climate change: is it real or not?" type stories -- and the public will continue to remain largely confused, and believe that a substantial debate continues to take place in the scientific community. And so the dance will continue.

More on Global Climate Change
The Global Climate : Yes, It's Still Warming
View 300 Years of Global Climate Data on One Map
Is the IPCC Assessment on Global Climate Change Wrong?

Related Content on Treehugger.com