Science climate-change1

Published on June 27th, 2010 | by Joshua S Hill

7

The Scientists DO Agree on Global Warming


A new study looking at more than 900 climate researchers have found that the majority of scientists with prominence and credentials in climate research believe humans are behind global warming.

The small number of scientist’s who have come out against anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change have far less expertise in the area and much less prominence. The study is the first of its kind to analyse the number of research papers published by a climate researcher and the number of times their work has then gone on to be cited by other scientists.

“It is sad that we even have to do this,” said Stephen Schneider, professor of biology and a coauthor of the paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “I never object to quoting opinions that are ‘way out.’ I think there is nothing wrong with that. 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?”

The researchers studied over 900 climate researchers from a list of all those who were involved in producing the 2997 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as any climate researcher who has signed a major public statement disagreeing with the findings of the panel’s report. In selecting which of the researchers who had signed such petitions though, the researchers omitted any who had no published papers in the climate literature.

Expertise was analysed by the number of papers on climate research written by any individual, with a minimum of 20 required to be included in the analysis. Prominence was similarly assessed by taking the four most frequently cited papers published in any field by each scientist and tallying the number of times those papers were then cited by other researchers.

Climate researchers who are convinced of anthropogenic climate change had on average twice as many publications as the unconvinced, and papers by climate researchers convinced of human effects were cited approximately 64% more often than papers by the unconvinced.

“We really wanted to bring the expertise dimension into this whole discussion,” said William Anderegg, lead author of the paper. “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.”

The Stanford researchers also determined the top 100 climate researchers based on the number of climate related publications each had, which according to Anderegg produced an even more telling result.

“When you look at the leading scientists who have made any sort of statement about anthropogenic 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.

And not surprisingly the researchers are preparing for the doubters to take objection 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 drives these patterns and could it really exist in science in general, the idea is really pretty laughable,” he said. “All of the incentives in science are exactly the opposite.

“If you were a young researcher and had the data to overturn any of the mainstream paradigms, or what the IPCC has done, you would become absolutely famous,” he said. “Everyone wants to be the next Darwin, everyone wants to be the next Einstein.”

Source: Stanford University




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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, a liberal left-winger, and believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I work as Associate Editor for the Important Media Network and write for CleanTechnica and Planetsave. I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), Amazing Stories, the Stabley Times and Medium.   I love words with a passion, both creating them and reading them.



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  • Poptech

    There is nothing to pass off, everything discrediting the paper is stated in the article, including links you can check yourself. Something you have obviously never done.

  • Poptech

    The PNAS paper has been completely discredited,

    Google Scholar illiteracy in the PNAS
    http://www.populartechnology.net/2010/08/google-s

    "A recent paper published in the PNAS, "Expert credibility in climate change" is being used as propaganda to claim that 97% of all climate scientists agree with the IPCC and the need for government action on climate change. An analysis of this paper does not support these conclusions.

    PNAS reviewers and author's William R. L. Anderegg, James W. Prall, Jacob Harold and Stephen H. Schneider are apparently Google Scholar illiterate since searching for just the word "climate" with an author's name will bring results from non-peer-reviewed sources such as books, magazines, newspapers, patents, citations, duplicate listings and all sorts of other erroneous results. Such as 16,000 from the Guardian, 52,000 from Newsweek and 115,000 from the New York Times. There is no "peer-reviewed journal only" search option in Google Scholar."

    • Zach

      you must be kidding? i hope you're not trying to pass this off as research or as something discrediting what 97% of respected climate scientists have come to a conclusion on.

  • DS432

    More data manipulation, irrelevant argument, and propaganda from the alarmists.

    1) Who evaluated agreement to AGW? Biased? If a published work presented evidence of a warmer world than during the little ice age, but didn't say anything about the cause was that work characterized as in agreement with AGW or not in agreement with AGW? My guess is any paper that didn't specifically say Mann et al is FULL OF SHINOLAH was considered pro-AGW. Data manipulation seems to be their first refuge.

    2) In 1947 EVERY scientist agreed (except for one or two "cooks") that continents didn't move. Consensus is irrelevant. How about a study to determine who still has their data? Doesn't scream foul when asked for their data? Come on, it's only a matter of time before everyone knows humanity has been falsely accused by these over zealous prosecutors.

    3) Ever seen a study of "peer reviewed" science on plate tectonics, evolution, or gravitational attraction? It's not settled until it's settled, no matter how many times, or ways, or loudly they claim it to be. It's a study with a predetermined outcome. That's not science.

  • boogeyman

    Of course they have "less prominence".
    The Climategate leaks explain it exactly, how heads of publication were pressured into not publishing sceptic scientists papers, I quote:

    “I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer review literature is!” Prof Jones

    You should hang your head in shame, still trying to con us – everyone knows its all about grant money and carbon credits … money money money…..!

    ps. Shell and BP were two of UEA's main supporters

  • steveig

    Oh, come on now, are you kidding me!!! Some researches study the authors of papers that were included in the IPCC's report. Wow, what a random sample of climate scientists that would be!!! We all know that a team of people at the IPCC hand picked the reports they wanted included in their report. When is someone going to survey ALL climate scientists and get their opinion on whether Global Warming is caused by humans. But wait a minute – Dr Phil Jones of the CRU and the IPCC has said in an interview with the English BBC that it's not that they have proved that humans CO2 level increase is correlated to the Earth's land and sea tempertaure increase. It's just that the theories they know of don't disprove the correlation. Straight from the horses mouth.

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