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Earth Science

97% of Climate Science Papers Agree Global Warming Is Man-made 1105

An anonymous reader writes "A meta-study published yesterday looked at over 12,000 peer-reviewed papers on climate science that appeared in journals between 1991 and 2011. The papers were evaluated and categorized by how they implicitly or explicitly endorsed humans as a contributing cause of global warming. The meta-study found that an overwhelming 97.1% of the papers that took a stance endorsed human-cause global warming. They also asked the 1,200 of the scientists involved in the research to self-evaluate their own studies, with nearly identical results. In the interest of transparency, the meta-study results were published in an open access journal, and the researchers set up a website so that anybody can check their results. From the article: '... a memo from communications strategist Frank Luntz leaked in 2002 advised Republicans, "Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate." This campaign has been successful. A 2012 poll from U.S. Pew Research Center found less than half of Americans thought scientists agreed humans were causing global warming. The media has assisted in this public misconception, with most climate stories "balanced" with a "skeptic" perspective. However, this results in making the 2–3% seem like 50%. In trying to achieve "balance," the media has actually created a very unbalanced perception of reality. As a result, people believe scientists are still split about what's causing global warming, and therefore there is not nearly enough public support or motivation to solve the problem.'"
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97% of Climate Science Papers Agree Global Warming Is Man-made

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  • Re:In 1490's (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @09:33AM (#43752089)

    You are full of shit. Scientists have known that the earth is not flat since antiquity. The even got the diameter approximately right. Columbus miscalculated the diameter and thought that he sailed to India.

    Learn a bit of history, before making ignorant posts.

  • Re:Yeah... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @09:35AM (#43752113)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Luntz read on this guy, its not LALALALA it is a concentrated, orchestrated, and payed for effort to hide the truth to the benefit of a few very wealthy individuals http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/the-koch-brothers-exposed-20120420.

  • by Paul Slocum ( 598127 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @09:39AM (#43752195) Homepage Journal
    Actually according to them, only 32.6% "of climate science papers agree on it":

    We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. source [iop.org]
  • Re:Yeah... (Score:5, Informative)

    by JobyOne ( 1578377 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:04AM (#43752545) Homepage Journal

    You're right with your point that cars and incandescents aren't "SOLELY" to blame...but with that one little adjective you're reduced to tilting at straw men.

    FACTS: Worldwide 15% of CO2 emissions are from personal vehicles, and that number is rising. The United States accounts for half of that. Our houses use so much energy that they produce twice the CO2 that our cars even do. That means American personal cars and homes produce between 1/4 and 1/5 of the world's CO2 emissions. Given our wealth and the relative ease with which we can invest in energy-saving technology, that makes them pretty good places to start trying to improve efficiency.

    If you want to reduce greenhouse gases, improving the efficiency of American cars and homes is important by any reasonable standard. That's a fact. No politics involved.

    Manufacturers would also be a good place to look, but since publicly traded companies can only look as far ahead as their next earnings report I imagine you've drunk their Kool-Aid and would start shrieking "OMG TEH JOB CREATORZ" at the slightest whiff of regulation.

  • Re:In 1490's (Score:4, Informative)

    by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:12AM (#43752637)

    That's absolute poppycock. Anyone who knows geometry (I assume all competent scientists do) and investigates the situation will quickly determine the Earth is round.

    The Pythaogoreans speculated the Earth was round in the 6th century BC, and Eratosthenes proved it and came up with a pretty accurate measure of it's diameter in the 3rd century BC. He even devised a system of longtitude and latitude.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_Earth [wikipedia.org]


    The idea that scientists though the Earth was flat in the 1800s is the most ridiculous thing I have read on slashdot, I have a 5 digit ID!!!

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) * on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:13AM (#43752657)

    But saying that 97% of climate science papers agree on it does not validate it.

    The article does not say that. What it says is that 97% that take a stance, take a pro-human-cause stance. But nowhere does it say what percentage take a stance.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:16AM (#43752697)

    Lets look at the data [skepticalscience.com]:
    explicit endorse, >50%: 65 [skepticalscience.com]
    explicit endorse: 934 [skepticalscience.com]
    implicit endorse: 2934 [skepticalscience.com]
    no position: 8269 [skepticalscience.com]
    implicit reject: 53 [skepticalscience.com]
    explicit reject: 15 [skepticalscience.com]
    explicit reject, [skepticalscience.com]

    So that's some pretty straight up lies you're quoting there. Either say 65 against 10 (that is, out of all quantifying studies with explicit outcomes), or say 3933 against 78. Also note that most papers have no position, which makes the 12k+ claim kinda ridiculous, because over 66% doesn't take any position on the debate. Excluding those, we get that (78/(3933+78) ~) 1.94% rejects and (3933/(3933+78) ~ ) 98.1% accepts.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:22AM (#43752801) Homepage

    What about a situation in which 97.1% of people studying something come to a particular conclusion, while the 2.9% don't actually produce any evidence but merely claim that the evidence of the 97.1% is insufficient, while many of them just happen to be on the payroll of people who have a major financial interest in the conclusion in question not being true?

    Because this is basically what the conversation looks like right now:
    97.1%: "Foo points to this conclusion."
    2.9%: "No, that's not enough evidence. What about Bar?"
    97.1%: "We spent a couple of years looking at Bar, and that points to the same conclusion."
    2.9%: "Well, but what about Foobar?"
    97.1%: "After another couple of years of study, we know that Foobar points to the same conclusion."
    2.9%: "Well, but what about Baz?"

    This will continue until the consequences of the conclusion cause major disruptions to the status quo.

    And I should point out that there's no real relationship between the beliefs of scientists and the beliefs of the general public, while there is a relationship between the beliefs of scientists and actually proven scientific truth. For instance, approximately 100% of biologists believe that the Theory of Evolution is basically right, while only 54% of the American public agrees with them.

  • Re:Yeah... (Score:5, Informative)

    by phlinn ( 819946 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:24AM (#43752835)
    Unfortunately, this paper wasn't particularly scientific. It's got the characteristics of a push poll, in that the most appropriate choice wasn't an available option [rankexploits.com] for the survey. It was based on reviewer's opinions of the articles, with no controls on who was doing the reviewing. Only 68 papers [rankexploits.com] out of 12,000 asserted greater than 50% of the cause to humans, while 78 explicitly rejected it.

    This number appears to be as flawed as the "98% of climate scientists" number a few years ago, where they didn't like their initial results and excluded a number of papers to bring the consensus amount up.
  • Re:Yeah... (Score:5, Informative)

    by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:24AM (#43752841) Homepage

    If you don't want to read the extended analysis, just watch Penn and Teller (hardly left-wingers) showing Luntz in action:
    Bleep You, Frank [youtube.com]

  • Re:Yeah... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jopsen ( 885607 ) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:28AM (#43752887) Homepage

    almost every major scientific advance has been made by a few "rogue" scientists advocating rogue theories which at one time have been dismissed by most scientists in the field

    No, only a few scientific advances has be been by "rogue" scientists... The vast majority of scientific advancement in any field today happens by lots of people working hard publishing papers, attending conferences, talking to each other and trying a lot of different experiments.

    Most scientific advancement, and in particular the big advancements, are done one step at the time, but a large collective of scientists working hard.

    We notice the few cases in history when a few "rogue" scientists changes the world, because it is unusual and we like to celebrate the individual. It's the exception that makes the rule. Science happens by hard work, not by a sudden moment of clarity (or in this case campaign contributions).

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:34AM (#43753007)
    Some skeptics like Richard Muller didn't dispute the climate change's basic premise. He just didn't think there was enough evidence to draw a conclusion. With more evidence (including some he gathered himself), he has reversed his position.
  • Re:Yeah... (Score:4, Informative)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @11:01AM (#43753443) Journal

    NOBODY is saying this is going to wipe us out.

    Never say nobody, because that is exactly what James Hansen says in his book, "Storms of My Grandchildren." Here's what he says, ""if we burn all the fossil fuel [it would lead to] a runaway greenhouse effect that would destroy all life on the planet, perhaps permanently"

    The alarmists are out there, and they're in powerful positions.

  • by Curunir_wolf ( 588405 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @11:20AM (#43753719) Homepage Journal

    Some skeptics like Richard Muller didn't dispute the climate change's basic premise. He just didn't think there was enough evidence to draw a conclusion. With more evidence (including some he gathered himself), he has reversed his position.

    Wrong, it was not a "reversal". His position never really changed. [populartechnology.net]

  • Re:Yeah... (Score:5, Informative)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @12:03PM (#43754355)

    That piece of nonsense refuted in a single image.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics/Escalator_2012_500.gif [skepticalscience.com]

  • Re:Yeah... (Score:2, Informative)

    Except medicare versus private insurance.

    You do realize medicare/medicaide is more expensive than private insurance, don't you? Sure, you may not pay for it up front when visiting the doctor or paying for your drugs, but you do pay for it in taxes, along with everyone else.

  • Re:Appeal to belief (Score:5, Informative)

    by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:22PM (#43755361)

    Call me a denier for asking a question.

    A new game. Few or none of the people here are doing that.

    If 400ppm CO2 is causing global warming, then can someone please explain to me how the Earth's climate was cooler during the late Ordovician period [geocraft.com] when CO2 was about 4400ppm?

    See here [skepticalscience.com].

    The answer to the puzzle you ask about was unknown for quite some time. It was one of the legitimate objections to the AGW theory. However, serious scientists looked for an answer rather than dismissing it. I've been following the AGW debate for 10-15 years. I wasn't convinced up until about 10 years ago, because there were many serious questions. One by one though most of the serious objections have been explained. That isn't proof (proof doesn't exist in science anyway) but there is a clear trajectory, which seems like a good way to bet. I'll take it on faith that you asked that question in all seriousness. However there are denialists who keep raising the same objections year after year, and most of them were legitimate objections at one time, but they ignore the explanations that have since been found for them.

  • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:39PM (#43756205)
    Let's start with Arrhenius over 100 years ago [wikipedia.org]. The falsifiable claim is that burning fossil fuels will raise the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and cause warming. We have observed the warming. Had we not, it would have falsified the hypothesis. Surely you've been following this over the years and this is all old news.
  • by Pausanias ( 681077 ) <pausaniasx.gmail@com> on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:58PM (#43756469)

    You fail to understand many things.

    Most importantly, you fail to understand the idea of "increased variance." The predictions of global warming period is not that it will get hotter all the time; or that it will get cooler all the time; but that there will be an increased frequency of oscillations between cooling and warming at rates not previously observed. It is this oscillation, this switching back and forth between heating and cooling too rapidly, that is the evidence for the global warming hypothesis (same goes for tornado strength). This is called "scatter."

    Second, you fail to understand that "testable predictions" means reproducing past events. Global climate models cannot reproduce the temperature record for the past without including man-made heating during the industrial revolution. These same models, when run into the future, predict increased scatter and increasing mean temperature, with a scatter level that's high and a mean increase that's slow.

    These two points continually have been mis-explained to the public, and the advocates for policy change to reverse climate change have failed miserably at getting these points through to the public---hence your post.

  • Re:Yeah... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Xyrus ( 755017 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @03:00PM (#43756503) Journal

    WHAT warming trend ?? The world temp has stabilized and DROPPED. And it appears we MAY be going into a Maunder-type Solar Minima. . .

    [citation needed]

    According to the data you're incorrect. That is, if you're actually doing a real climatological analysis. If you're using the Anthony Watts method of analysis, well you can show just about anything you want to.

  • Better Arguments (Score:5, Informative)

    by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @03:07PM (#43756603) Journal

    Please include any time when they stated a falsifiable claim.

    They claim that global warming is man-made. This is a falsifiable claim: with enough understanding of the climate you can either find an alternative mechanism which is the cause of the heating or you can understand the man-made mechanism in enough detail that there is no room for doubt. This is not at all easy but there is no requirement that things be easily falsifiable.

    So, if it gets hotter, it's global warming, if it gets colder, it's global warming. In the end, there's no way to prove it wrong. By your own definition, that's not science.

    The climate is a complex beast and disturbing it can easily cause local cooling even if the overall global trend is to warm up. For example if the melting Greenland ice cap dumps enough fresh water into the Atlantic to disrupt the Gulf Stream then northern Europe will get a LOT colder. If there are reasonable, verifiable mechanisms for local then it is not unreasonable to have local cooling caused by global heating.

    If you want to attack this survey then there are far better way to do it: which journals did they use and are they reputable? were the search criteria biased in any way and were control samples using a random selection of articles without the initial selection bias checked for a consistent result? Even if the survey was completely unbiased in every way can you really draw any sensible conclusions from numbers of papers?

    As a scientist what I truly find really objectionable though is that this is science! You should make up your mind based on evidence not on what other people's opinions are: this is not some popularity contest! Personally I think the evidence for global warming is overwhelming and it is highly likely that humans are some or all of the reason behind it but don't believe me: I could easily be wrong! Listen to what the evidence is and make up your own mind.

  • Re:Yeah... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Hillgiant ( 916436 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @03:14PM (#43756711)

    Medicaid has lower operating overhead and is more effective at negotiating lower costs with hospitals.

    So irrespective of who is paying what, it costs less.

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." -- Mark Twain