A new survey conducted by a team of volunteers at Skeptical Science has definitively confirmed the scientific consensus in climate science literature - 97 percent of peer-reviewed papers agree that global warming is happening and human activities are responsible.
It does not get any clearer than this. It should finally put to rest the claims of climate deniers that there is a scientific debate about global warming. Of course, this bunch isn't known for being reasonable or susceptible to facts. But maybe the mainstream media outlets that have given deniers a megaphone will finally stop.
The peer-reviewed survey, Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature, was published today in the peer-reviewed Environmental Research Letters, a publication of the Institute of Physics (IOP).
The citizen science team looked at some 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science papers and found a 97% consensus that humans are causing global warming. The work expanded upon an earlier survey of the literature by Naomi Oreskes, published in 2004, as well as an informal review conducted by James Powell, published on DeSmogBlog in November 2012.
Lead author John Cook created a short video summarizing the findings of the new survey:
Head over to TheConsensusProject.com and follow their Twitter for further updates.
As John Cook explains, there is a significant gap between this overwhelming consensus among scientists and the public's perception. According to polling data, only about half the public understands the scientific consensus on global warming. Yet surveys of the peer-reviewed literature are crystal clear on the consensus:
Co-author Dana Nuccitelli explains the findings on the consensus:
Based on our abstract ratings, we found that just over 4,000 papers expressed a position on the cause of global warming, 97.1% of which endorsed human-caused global warming. In the self-ratings, nearly 1,400 papers were rated as taking a position, 97.2% of which endorsed human-caused global warming.
We found that about two-thirds of papers didn't express a position on the subject in the abstract, which confirms that we were conservative in our initial abstract ratings. This result isn't surprising for two reasons: 1) most journals have strict word limits for their abstracts, and 2) frankly, every scientist doing climate research knows humans are causing global warming. There's no longer a need to state something so obvious. For example, would you expect every geological paper to note in its abstract that the Earth is a spherical body that orbits the sun?
Of course, the usual disinformers like Anthony Watts, Steve Milloy and the Blackboard blowhards didn't even have the decency to observe the embargo on this news, and immediately began foaming at the mouth as usual. I won't give their efforts any link love, but you can go there if you wish.
More importantly, please spread the word about this new study far and wide so that the public gap in understanding can shrink to the point where we can actually move forward with solutions to stem the tide.
As we flirt with 400ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, the clock is ticking and there's no time to waste.
Images courtesy of Skeptical Science.