Navigation Links
Most scientists agree: Humans are causing climate change
Date:5/16/2013

Do most scientists agree that human activity is causing global climate change? Yes, they do, according to an extensive analysis of the abstracts or summaries of scientific papers published over the past 20 years, even though public perception tends to be that climate scientists disagree over the fundamental cause of climate change.

To help put a stop to the squabbling, two dozen scientists and citizen-scientists from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the USincluding Sarah Green, professor and chair of chemistry at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich. analyzed the abstracts of nearly 12,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers on climate change published between 1991 and 2011. They also surveyed the authors of those papers, to find out how well the analysis agreed with the authors' own views on how their papers presented the cause of climate change.

They found that more than 97 percent of the scientists who expressed any opinion in their papers about the primary cause of global climate change believed that human activity was the cause. Approximately the same percentage of authors who responded to the survey said that their papers endorsed anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change. Nine of the scientists, including Green, reported their findings today in the journal Environmental Research Letters, published by the Institute of Physics.

Green says she got involved because she was curious about the apparent disconnect between the general public's lack of concern about climate change and what she calls "the clear scientific evidence that humans are changing the planet's atmosphere." That led her to SkepticalScience.com, a web site that tracks and addresses common myths about climate change. She has since contributed several articles.

John Cook, who maintains the web site, is a climate communications fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland in Australia. He found that one dominant myth about climate change is the idea that scientists disagree about the cause. To investigate how much disagreement there really is in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, Cook set up an on-line system that enabled a group of SkepticalScience.com authors to rate nearly 12,000 abstracts from the Web of Science database (1991-2011) on whether they report human activities as the main contributors to climate change.

"John cleverly set up the rating process so it felt like a game to me," says Green. "After I rated five abstracts, another five would quickly appear, and counters showed how many each person had done, making it like a contest."

The abstract raters were a combination of professional and citizen-scientists from Australia, Canada, the UK, Finland, the US and Germany. The group was organized through the skeptical science web site.

"I read and rated 4,146 abstracts for this study, over about 4 months in winter/spring 2012," Green explains. "This is the first time I've published a paper where all the research was accomplished sitting on my couch."

Green adds, "I found it fascinating to see the array of implications of climate change identified in the abstractsbeyond the usual ones we hear about. They examined everything from production of tea in Sri Lanka, the stripes on salamanders, child undernutrition, frequency of lightning strikes, distribution of prickly pear cactus (and pine trees, kelp beds, wild boars, penguins, arctic fishes, canine leishmaniasis, and many, many others), mitochondrial electron transport activity in clams, copper uptake by minnows, lake effect snowfall, the rotational speed of the Earth and the prevalence of naked foxes in Iceland."

Green also found a large number of papers addressing mitigation of climate change through alternative energy and other ways to limit carbon emissions.

"It is critical to raise public awareness of the scientific consensus on climate change, so the public can make policy decisions based on factual evidence," she says. "Typically, the general public thinks that only around 50 percent of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming. This research has shown that the reality is 97 percent."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sarah Green
sgreen@mtu.edu
906-369-2131
Michigan Technological University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists solving the mystery of human consciousness
2. Scientists uncover multiple faces of deadly breast cancer
3. Scientists identify major source of cells defense against oxidative stress
4. Scientists tailor cell surface targeting system to hit organelle ZIP codes
5. Scientists rewrite rulebook on breast cancer in landmark global study
6. Warwick scientists uncover how checkpoint proteins bind chromosomes
7. NIH scientists link quickly spreading gene to Asian MRSA epidemic
8. Joslin scientists identify important mechanism that affects the aging process
9. Scripps Research scientists show how memory B cells stay in class to fight different infections
10. Scientists Map Melanomas Genome
11. A*STAR scientists discover switch to boost anti-viral response to fight infectious diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is introducing a segment ... of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted on PBS Member ... with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and ... of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six ... years in the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest ... its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. ... Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics ... PhD, FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s ... of Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Restoration, has recently contributed a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic ... Mohebi’s article spotlights the hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)...  As the latest Obamacare repeal effort moves is ... (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) medical device ... industry is in an odd place.  The industry wants ... tax on medical device sales passed along with the ... increased visits and hospital customers with the funding to ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... KALAMAZOO, Mich. , Sept. 18, 2017 ... , and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of Kalamazoo, ... offer a strategic hub service that expedites and streamlines ... personal spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, and wellness management services.  ... is a medical device used to measure lung function ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... -- Consumer reviews on the independent review site Consumer Affairs ... for hearing aids, ranking it higher than Miracle Ear ™, ... ... Hearing Aids ... store that provides high performance, state-of-the-art, German-engineered hearing aids directly to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: