Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature

Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the sc...

"We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics 'global climate change' or 'global warming'. 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. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors' self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research."

~ John Cook1,2,3, Dana Nuccitelli2,4, Sarah A Green5, Mark Richardson6, Bärbel Winkler2, Rob Painting2, Robert Way7, Peter Jacobs8 and Andrew Skuce2,9

"The public perception of a scientific consensus on AGW is a necessary element in public support for climate policy (Ding et al 2011). However, there is a significant gap between public perception and reality, with 57% of the US public either disagreeing or unaware that scientists overwhelmingly agree that the earth is warming due to human activity

~ (Pew 2012).

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Replies to This Discussion

This is an excellent article and I hope it garners the attention it deserves from the media. There are two reasons it may not. One is the media are careful to note both sides of an issue even when there is a predominant opinion. The other is that it is now an established policy position of conservatives that the entire global warming issue is a hoax perpetrated by scientists hoping to win grants and people who have it out for the oil and coal industry and free enterprise in general. Alas we are likely to pay a heavy price for this willful stupidity. The part that caught my eye:

Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors' self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time.

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