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Scientific expertise lacking among 'doubters' of climate change, says Stanford-led analysis
Date:6/25/2010

based on the total number of climate related publications each had, which produced an even more telling result, Anderegg said.

"When you look at the leading scientists who have made any sort of statement about anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change, you find 97 percent of those top 100 surveyed scientists explicitly agreeing with or endorsing the IPCC's assessment," he said. That result has been borne out by several other published studies that used different methodology, as well as some that are due out later this summer, he said.

"We really wanted to bring the expertise dimension into this whole discussion," Anderegg said. "We hope to put to rest the notion that keeps being repeated in the media and by some members of the public that 'the scientists disagree' about whether human activity is contributing to climate change."

"I never object to quoting opinions that are 'way out.' I think there is nothing wrong with that," said Stephen Schneider, professor of biology and a coauthor of the paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "But if the media doesn't report that something is a 'way out' opinion relative to the mainstream, then how is the average person going to know the relative credibility of what is being said?"

"It is sad that we even have to do this," said Schneider. "[Too much of] the media world has just folded up and fired its reporters with expertise in science."

The Stanford team is prepared for the doubters of anthropogenic climate change to object to their data.

"I think the most typical criticism of a paper like this not necessarily in academic discourse, but in the broader context is going to be that we haven't addressed if these sorts of differences could be due to some sort of clique or, at the extreme, a conspiracy of the researchers who are convinced of climate change," Anderegg said.

"When you stop to consider whether some sort of 'group think' really d
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Contact: Louis Bergeron
louisb3@stanford.edu
650-725-1944
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert

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