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News / Comment

17JUN
2015
NEWS / 97% of climate scientists agree that man-made global warming is real? Wrong.
Category: Latest News

Image: Scientist Looking Thorugh Microscope
 

So that figure - quoted everywhere from President Obama to John Oliver - that showed that 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is happening and man is causing it, well it’s wrong. In fairness, it may have been right at the time, but according to new research, it is out of date. The real figure could be closer to 99.9%.

A new study by James L. Powell, director of the National Physical Sciences Consortium, reviewed more than 24,000 peer-reviewed papers on global warming published in 2013 and 2014. Only five reject the reality of rising temperatures or the fact that human emissions are the cause, he found.

“It’s now a ruling paradigm, as much an accepted fact in climate science as plate tectonics is in geology and evolution is in biology,” said when speaking with msnbc. “It’s 99.9% plus.”

Powell’s investigation differed from the earlier studies that produced the 97% figure. While they took only papers that explicitly agreed with the principal of man made climate change into consideration, Powell’s looked instead for dissenting voices. 

The problem is that for most studies man-made climate change is a given. They don’t reiterate the obvious; just as most scientists don’t feel the need to start by explaining how gravity works. Powell took papers that didn’t mention climate change as implicitly accepting it.

Powell found only one dissenting voice for every 17,000 scientists that agree that global warming is man made.

But Powell now feels that scientists should stop trying to prove the consensus any further. “Scientists have done so much more work since then,” she said. “For me, as a historian of science, it really feels like overkill. One starts to think, how many more times do we need to say this before we really get it and start to act on it?”.

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