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back to article Climate scientists agree: Humans cause global warming

A major study of nearly 12,000 peer-reviewed papers in the climate-science literature has – again – proven that among climate scientists, an overwhelming percentage agree with the consensus view that human activity causes global warming. The study was led by John Cook, a post-doctoral fellow in the Global Change Institute at the …

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Unhappy

Well

Now are we have to do is eliminate humans from the planet earth and we would have a perfect world. If course, these scientists would be exempt as the earth needs them to take care of it.

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Re: Well

This is perhaps the most ridiculous comment on climate change I've read on the El Reg forums, and that's saying a LOT.

So desperate are you to attack climate science, you dream up a theory that climate scientists are secret psychopaths and want to wipe everyone other than themselves off the face of the planet .

I completely despair.

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Mushroom

Re: Well

How is this news? Everyone apart from a few staunch Republican Faux News viewers knew this at least a decade ago.....

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Re: Well

It's absurd all right, everybody knows that's Greenpeace's plan! :)

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Re: Well

How many of those 'scientists' would be out of a job next year if climate change didn't exist? Unbiased? Perhaps the correct title should have been 97% of climate scientists are praying climate change is mans fault because they really want a google glass.

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Re: Well

In which case 100x that number of astronomers, geologists, geophysicists etc would be saying it was natural to keep their jobs

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How many of those 'scientists' would be out of a job next year if climate change didn't exist?

Most likely none or very few. All those scientists would do what they already do, what they most likely are interested in, i.e. understanding how climate works. I have yet to hear any politician talk of vast sums that could be saved by cutting grants to climate science.

As it happens, even if there were a decrease in funding for climate science, the researchers who would lose their jobs would be the postdocs employed on soft money (ie research grants), permanent academics are paid largely by their institution, and would have time to adapt their research field. And those postdocs already face unemployment every few years anyway (or sometimes more often) anyway, due to unsucessful grant applications.

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Mushroom

Re: Well

Just shut up.

I'm sick of right-wing tools like you posting your plagiarized bull***t criticisms of every study that supports the theory of AGW. Your post was plagiarized from "On the Consensus" by fanatical AGW denier Brandon Shollenberger, a 20-something who attended the ITT Technical Institute in Tulsa, OK -- the kind of school that states, on it's web site "it is unlikely that any credits earned at an ITT Technical Institute will be transferable to or accepted by any institution other than an ITT Technical Institute."

You remind me of the "scientists" at the "Tobacco Institute" that spent decades trying to undermine and challenge every study that linked cigarette smoking to cancer. The difference is that your kind is far more dangerous -- I can decide not to smoke and the chances that I'll get lung cancer are greatly reduced, but if you and the rest of the lunatic-fringe AGW deniers convince enough uneducated rubes that AGW is not real, there's nothing that I, individually, can do to avoid the consequences.

While you've been prowling the Internet looking for AGW articles to deny, I was helping to build and test two different satellites for climate change research. So do not reply. Your opinion on AGW is about as important and informed as Justin Bieber's opinion on string theory.

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Re: Well (@fmaxwell)

Just as well you've no vested interest in keeping up the panic levels then... nice scientific debating method, too. Just shut up. Doesn't get us very far, does it? Still, so long as you're getting the cash which almost certainly could be better spent elsewhere on more immediately beneficial research, all is well in your world regardless of any actual facts.

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Re: Well (@fmaxwell)

@AJMacLeod - Look, mate, this is a totally idiotic tack to take and I am beginning to totally despair of idiots like you. Attacking people who are working at researching the science behind anything because that science says something you don't want to believe is just beyond stupid. Hear me - beyond stupid. It is totally asinine.

The only science you will accept is that which says what you want to hear. How rational is that? How much further does that get us?

Ostriches like you are what give a bad name to humanity. Lift your head up and take a proper reasoned look at the science. You will find that this whole subject has had a vast amount of attention paid to it by a very large number of very clever and dedicated people. Do you honestly, honestly believe that all of these scientists are so dishonest and self-interested hat they will devise studies that are not true?

This is just not credible and you are an absolute idiot if you let yourself believe it.

Sorry for the rant, but it is starting to really get to me how anyone can present such an unbalanced and irrational view and expect to have any credibility at all in this world.

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Re: Well (@fmaxwell)

@AJ MacLeod: "Just as well you've no vested interest in keeping up the panic levels then.."

No, I don't have a "vested interest in keeping up the panic levels." I am working on a series of satellites that have nothing to do with climate research and don't anticipate working on another climate research satellite prior to my retirement.

"nice scientific debating method, too. Just shut up. Doesn't get us very far, does it?"

Debating doesn't get us very far. These non-scientific online debates are a tool used by the AGW deniers to make the public believe, incorrectly, that there is a vast undercurrent of climatologists who don't believe that AGW is real and significant. That leads to politicians being willing to reduce, delay, and water-down legislation and treaties intended to reduce our carbon footprint.

Someone who plagiarizes the work of 20-something ITT Technical Institute attendee to refute climate change research doesn't rise to the level of being part of a scientific debate.

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Re: Well (@fmaxwell)

@Nick Collingridge: Thank you for that rational response to AJ MacLeod. I share your frustration at the level of irrationality displayed by the deniers.

The energy lobby has (or "have" for the UK readers) poured massive amounts of money into campaigns designed to undermine public confidence in scientific research and opinion on climate change. Between 2002 and 2010, conservative billionaires gave almost $120 million U.S. dollars to over 100 anti-AGW groups for the purpose of casting doubt on the science behind AGW climate change. These groups have successfully convinced a large segment of the population that believing in AGW makes you a "liberal" and that conservatives know that AGW is some kind of liberal plot.

They've attacked the integrity of scientists who devote their lives to scientific truth to the point where online rubes believe that scientists are raking in money by falsifying research in order to pay for their mansions, Ferraris, and private jets. It's disgusting.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well

"Just shut up"

Oooh, er - that told 'em, didn't it?

P.S. Anyone seen that Global Warming thingey recently?

(Thought not - bit chilly here actually )

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@fmaxwell

@fmaxwell: Your intolerence of evidence and rational argument is plain for everyone to see.

I am not surprised you're angry. Every day the climate change industry gets smaller and more desperate. The EU has abandoned renewables, the developing worlds needs fossil fuels to get its citizens out of poverty, and the Western public has noticed that there has been no global warming for > 15 years.

Global warming now consists of a rump of angry activists, like you.

"I'm sick of right-wing tools like you"

My bad. Correction: rump of Political activists.

That says it all, really. I've posted the evidence of Cook's methodology. The evidence does not support the "97 per cent" conclusion.

Get over it.

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"Debating doesn't get us very far" - fmaxwell

"Debating doesn't get us very far."

You have now made several posts in response to the analysis of Cook's methodology - without addressing the methodology ONCE?

I can see why you don't want to mention it and keep changing the subject. Ad hominem, appeals to authority, you use anything to avoid defending Cook's work.

Evidence is not right wing or left wing. It's just evidence. You can either build a coherent rational argument with it, or you can't. And the evidence is most of the papers "analysed" were neutral, they were outside Categories 1 and 3. More papers refuted manmade global warming than supported it.

You're an embarrassment, fmaxwell. A terrible advertisement for the scientific method.

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Re: Well (@fmaxwell)

"The energy lobby has (or "have" for the UK readers) poured massive amounts of money into campaigns designed to undermine public confidence in scientific research and opinion on climate change. "

Evidence?

Oh, wait. You haven't got any.

The energy lobby jumped on the AGW gravy train early, and invested into nuclear and rewewables, because state support for "CO2 mitigation" guaranteed them higher prices. The carbon floor price, which was created by energy industry lobbying is an example of this. It ensures wholesale energy prices far higher than they would be in a competitive market.

The poor pay the most for Climate Change, and alway will.

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Re: "Debating doesn't get us very far" - fmaxwell

"More papers refuted manmade global warming than supported i"

That's BS and you know it.

Typical climate skeptics. Spin reality 180 degrees.

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Re: Well

During the Bush years, when researchers in numerous cases knew they risked losing funding when their findings supported the notion of climate change, they continued to report anyway.

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AGW and Peak Oil are great for energy companies

AGW, Peok Oil, (and other factors) have really allowed the energy companies to pump up prices. This has worked so well, the whole wheeze could have been started by them!

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Mushroom

Re: Well

"ooh, er - that told 'em, didn't it?"

No, what followed did.

"P.S. Anyone seen that Global Warming thingey recently?

(Thought not - bit chilly here actually )"

You're too stupid to know the difference between local weather and global climate? Christ!

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Mushroom

Re: @fmaxwell

"@fmaxwell: Your intolerence of evidence and rational argument is plain for everyone to see."

You didn't provide "evidence." You just plagiarized.

"Global warming now consists of a rump of angry activists, like you."

No, global warming is fact, despite your refusal to believe it. I'm angry because morons like you are standing in the way of progress towards addressing this issue.

"That says it all, really. I've posted the evidence of Cook's methodology. The evidence does not support the "97 per cent" conclusion."

No, you plagiarized a misrepresentation of the methodology.

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Alien

Re: Well (@fmaxwell)

Please go back to the natural history museum to argue against evolution. You will be less of a nuisance there. The fact that humanity, as a whole, is emitting something like 10x the amount of CO2 that every single natural process on the planet combined does as consequences. Hiding your head under the sand won't change that. Let those of us who would like our specie to survive the next few hundred years handle this and go back to praying to the big man in the sky for salvation.

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Mushroom

Re: "Debating doesn't get us very far" - fmaxwell

"You have now made several posts in response to the analysis of Cook's methodology - without addressing the methodology ONCE?"

Are you referring to the post that was deleted, either by the author out of embarrassment or by The Register because it was blatant plagiarism?

Cook's paper was published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. If legitimate scientists have dissenting views, they can publish them. I'm not wasting my time analyzing something plagiarized from some unqualified, intellectually inferior AGW denier who went to the ITT Technical Institute.

But if you insist on seeing Cook's methodology addressed and Shollenberger's claims destroyed, go here:

http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/consensus-behind-the-numbers/

Bart Verheggen writes:

"Including the “no position” category into the denominator (as some people seem to be doing) to arrive at a much smaller percentage endorsement makes about as much sense as including all atmospheric science articles in the denominator too, or even all physics articles: it is to be expected that many papers do not state a position on this particular issue. These should not be included as a reference against which to compare the number of endorsement papers. Another example of an apples to oranges comparison is Brandon Shollenberger comparing the number of explicit and quantified endorsements to the sum of explicit and implicit rejections."

". And the evidence is most of the papers "analysed" were neutral, they were outside Categories 1 and 3. More papers refuted manmade global warming than supported it."

How does a paper which does not take a position on AGW 'refute' it? See above. That you could be so stupid is incredible.

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Mushroom

Re: Well (@fmaxwell)

@Stephen Jones: "Evidence?

Oh, wait. You haven't got any."

Oh, wait. I've got plenty of evidence:

http://www.livescience.com/26618-climate-change-denial-koch-donors-trust.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/14/funding-climate-change-denial-thinktanks-network

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/planet-2/report/2010/3/dealing-in-doubt.pdf

http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2012/04/02/koch-brothers-exposed-fueling-climate-denial-and-privatizing-democracy/

http://www.environmental-action.org/content/tell-gm-stop-funding-climate-change-denial

But you don't want to read the truth because it doesn't fit in well with the fiction that you and your other anti-science right-wing nuts want to believe.

From Wikipedia (you're free to change it if you think it's incorrect):

In 2013, The Guardian revealed that two trusts, the 'DonorsTrust' and the 'Donors Capital Fund', operating out of a house in the suburbs of Washington DC, have bankrolled 102 think tanks and activist groups to the tune of $118m between 2002 and 2010. The conservative donors to these trusts are said to represent a wide range of opinion on the American right who have found common ground in opposing cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. They ensure their anonymity by funnelling the funds through the trusts, and the money flowed into "Washington thinktanks embedded in Republican party politics, obscure policy forums in Alaska and Tennessee, contrarian scientists at Harvard and lesser institutions, even to buy up DVDs of a film attacking Al Gore," the report said. The stream of cash was used to fund a conservative backlash against Barack Obama's environmental initiatives and to wreck any chance of Congress taking action on climate change. The money funded a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a 'wedge issue' that benefits the hardcore right. Robert Brulle, a Drexel University sociologist who has researched other networks of ultra-right donors, said, "Donors Trust is just the tip of a very big iceberg."

"It ensures wholesale energy prices far higher than they would be in a competitive market."

Much as tobacco taxes increase the cost of cigarettes. I guess you feel that's a problem, too, since it reduces another harmful human activity.

Given the massive costs associated with global warming, much of it borne by governments, it seems like a good idea to me. I don't want you to be able to afford to drive a car that gets poor gas mileage. I want it to have such a horrible impact on your standard of living that you are forced to buy a fuel-efficient, lower-pollution car that you don't want.

P.S. Thank for labeling your posts "FAIL," but it's really not necessary. Just reading them makes the FAIL obvious.

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Re: Well

> How many of those 'scientists' would be out of a job next year if climate change didn't exist?

Actually -- none of them.

If someone could come up with strong evidence to cast Anthropogenic Climate Change into doubt -- well, such a ground-breaking finding, if the least bit robust, would make their career and win them some rather prestigious awards, as well. That's the kind of work that leads to promotions, offers of one's own laboratory, guest spots on TV programs, etc.

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Re: AGW and Peak Oil are great for energy companies

Oh My Lord!

Now the denialist line has reached the apex of farcical implausibility -- apparently AGW/Climate Change is a cynically fabricated, pseudo-scientific conspiracy conducted BY the petro-industry for its own benefit.

Just how deep can the denialist rabbit-hole go?

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Mushroom

Re: "Debating WITH IDIOTS doesn't get us very far" - fmaxwell

In response to your out-of-context quote, debate among qualified scientists is valuable. Debating with ignorant AGW deniers on the Internet is not. You have nothing to add to a scientific discussion. You don't understand climatology, the scientific method, or how peer-reviewed journals work (and how they filter out the noise from know-nothings like yourself).

Your beliefs about climate change have nothing to do with the science behind it. Your beliefs are based on your political leanings and/or what you want to believe. You choose to bury your head in the sand, posting plagiarized writings from uneducated, unqualified, vocational school attendees. You don't even care that what you plagiarized has already been debunked as grossly logically flawed. So climatologists would just be wasting precious time debating with you.

But here's a fact for you, one that you really don't want to face up to:

Of the papers that took a position on AGW: 3,986 endorse it and only 78 reject it.

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Mushroom

Re: Well

"How many of those 'scientists'..."

They have relevant degrees and are working in the field. They are scientists. Using inverted commas is just pathetic. Before we even get to what you are trying to put across you are already making yourself look pretty ignorant. Don't try to undermine the qualifications of those who are far better qualified than you. Unless you work in the field. Otherwise your opinion on their qualifications is utterly worthless.

"would be out of a job next year if climate change didn't exist? Unbiased? Perhaps the correct title should have been 97% of climate scientists are praying climate change is mans fault because they really want a google glass."

Yeah, How many Physicists would be out of a job too if their work was mooted, so that field must be bullshit too.

That's just weak. And biased. And downright ignorant.

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Re: @fmaxwell

You don't have to be a science PhD to know the study is frelled before they ran the first search. By selecting the specific search terms they did for the article titles, they removed skeptical papers. You'd have to find neutral terms to search to find the skeptics. Frankly, at this point I'm not sure they exist because of how politicized Warmists have made the topic.

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Paris Hilton

let them keep saying that big ball of fire in the sky has nothing to do with it ...

and give me a pm in 7 yrs when where all freezing are arses off

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Seriously, seriously, you don't think the discipline of climate science might, just *might*, take the sun into account?

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Anonymous Coward

Sun wasn't in climate model before 2013

The Sun's activity wasn't included in the model everyone swears by until this year.

Makes you wonder if they all followed the Pied Piper on this one.

The model they did use predicted heating for the last 20 years, and there hasn't been any.

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Re: Sun wasn't in climate model before 2013

"The Sun's activity wasn't included in the model everyone swears by until this year"

There has been no event this year that even remotely matches your claim. There isn't even any single "model" that "everyone swears by". I love how people just brazenly make stuff up for the purpose of argument.

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How can they?

"Seriously, seriously, you don't think the discipline of climate science might, just *might*, take the sun into account?"

How can they? That would mean they actually understand how the sun works, which is far from a forgone conclusion. What's more it would also mean that they understand how the climate works, also far from proven. In fact, the last 10 to years of data imply the opposite. Consider for instance that temperature should increase one degree per doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere per current AGW theory, which pretty much insists that only CO2 is of significance as a GHG - there other gases such as methane and water vapor that are far more efficient, but AGW theory pretty much subjects them to serf-hood to CO2.

Now consider this reductio ad absurdum: During the last glacial maximum the average global temperature was very roughly 8 degrees C below the present mean. If we were to employ that simplest of models - CO2 is the sole important influence, and that temperature varies directly according the concentration of CO2, increasing or falling one degree C per doubling or halving of the concentration, then green plant productivity quit when the mean global temperature dropped to one degree below the present mean and didn't not resume until the temperature returned to that level. That's because half the present level reduces atmospheric CO2 to a point where green plants can't really produce hydrocarbons any longer - not enough carbon available. Two degrees colder should have seen a massive extinction event. Eight degrees colder and there's no way to account for the present existence of life on earth. None of this happened. That means, at the least , that the planetary climate cannot be nearly as simple as AGW theory assumes. Granted climate models are really more complex - I did say this was a reductio ad absurdum - but the common talking point is that there's one degree of warming per doubling of CO2, a proposal that is false to fact, regardless of how "sophisticated" the models employed are.

Right now given that no one of any theoretical orientation seems capable of fine grained forecasting of either weather or climate trends, its pretty clear that there really is no "theory" of climate, just some not very good hypotheses.

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Re: How can they?

"During the last glacial maximum the average global temperature was very roughly 8 degrees C below the present mean"

More like 5C. And CO2 level was about 180ppm at that time. Halving CO2 causes more than 1C cooling. Lower CO2 = colder. Colder = less water vapor, less methane = colder still.

http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/schmidt_05/

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Re: Sun wasn't in climate model before 2013

"The model they did use predicted heating for the last 20 years, and there hasn't been any."

Only if you read the Daily Mail.

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@David Hicks

Seriously? Yeah I would. When I found out that all the models assumed static output from the sun was the point at which my ire against Warmists was solidified. I was strongly leaning their way since I come from an astronomy background and KNOW how long your observational baselines need to be before you can start making the kinds of predictions they are, and what the error bars REALLY look like. The Warmists simply don't have them.

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Climate skeptics, going on past form, will generally respond in three ways to this study:

a) "Scientists DONT agree! The study is WRONG!"

b) "OF COURSE scientists agree! They agree because they'd be fired/lose funding if they didn't!"

c) "SURE scientists agree on that! But so do skeptics! The REAL controversy is whether the human caused warming causes any harm!"

One of those three responses may indeed be right. But at least two of them must be wrong because the three statements contradict each other. But something must be wrong to have all three of these responses dished out by climate skeptic circles in abundance, with zero introspection of the obvious contradiction.

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"But at least two of them must be wrong ..."

Not so, there could be three different sets of scientists involved.

Ignoring that, the big problem with a survey like this is that it is trying to show a consensus of a consensus. You play politics by consensus not science. All those in favour of gravity raise their hand!

Even more fundamentally, the "science" is flawed from the start. What exactly is a "global average temperature"? It has no meaning in reality and cannot be measured. It is about as useful as a global average telephone number or a global average currency exchange rate.

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Global average temperature is a statistical indicator that has a physical meaning. The average height of a population would be another example. The two examples you give are in contrast meaningless as their provide neither.

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"Even more fundamentally, the "science" is flawed from the start. What exactly is a "global average temperature"? It has no meaning in reality and cannot be measured. "

I am reasonably confident that the satellites put in space since the 70s have done a pretty good job in measuring this. There is, on average a slight temperature rise (according to the published numbers) consistent with the climate currently exiting the last ice age.

The measurement of the principle indicator (temperature) is flawed, inconsistent and unfortunately subject to change according to the whim of those responsible for maintaining the data. Flawed data means flawed conclusions (excluding random dumb luck).

I don't think too many disagree that the planet is warming gradually. This is not news, but consistent with our understanding of the geological past and past temperature inductions by proxy, plus the satellite record.

There is precious little evidence that human activity is even remotely a part of this.

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Yep, the headline is spin, a travesty of statistical analysis and the study proves absolutely nothing.

It's a matter of simple logic. The two "positions" being investigated are skepticism versus the view global warming is man-made. As anyone who has studied philosophical logic to any degree will tell you, you can never directly prove a negative, only a positive. So this study is deliberately presenting the view framed on the positive under study e.g. the assertion there is global warming and it is man made as though there is a second side to the debate "there is global warming *and it is NOT man made*". But no sensible scientist would ever make a claim about a negative. That totally misrepresents what it is to be a sceptic!

With deliciously spun logic the study presents this as though it is a conclusion.

"among the abstracts that did express an opinion – pro or con – on AGW, 97.1 per cent endorsed the position that humans are causing global warming."

When the skeptical case is precisely that you do science, look at the facts and avoid expressing an opinion unless it's supported by strong evidence - if which you will by definition have none where a negative is concerned! Any scientist worth his salt will avoid confirming a negative assertion like the plague.

So in reality the data is showing 66.4% of papers are consistent with the skeptical view. I say "consistent" but I'm not going to attempt to spin the result like this paper. "Consistent" does not mean "confirmed skeptical" it actually translates to a null in a database: a no value or no conclusion. All we have here is is evidence that if you ask scientists to set about checking if you can prove a positive statement, you will get a proportion who will express a view on the positive, but you will get virtually none who will compromise their scientific method and spontaneously include a specious remark contradicting a positive by asserting the truth of a negative statement "I believe global warming is NOT caused by humans" Because you only make such remarks as a scientist when you have found another positive which firmly contradicts the negative and no one is saying there is any single clear candidate in that category (and few are looking for such anyway).

I read reports like this. Look at how the headline conclusion is spun and seriously despair. These are senior scientists failing in the most basic matters of logical analysis. But still, this something I've always noticed about scientists. They are far more driven by human emotion and daily politics than the lay stereotype likes to admit.

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Re: SuccessCase

Indeed. This is more Hockeystick "science" - using a flawed method to deliberately "prove" the desired result. Nothing exposes this more then the statement about the first step of the method, where they took biased members of his own team to do the first pass and found only ".....32.6 per cent endorsed AGW...."! They then made a second pass consisting of approaching the scientists that they believed had a preference for AGW and asked them "do you believe in AGW?" - that's like asking the Catholic Church to only talk to Bible printers and ask them if they believe in God. Result - massively skewed, predetermined result, seized on by the gullible to justify their position and browbeat anyone that dares to disagree.

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Coat

More like global cooling...

There *IS* no global warming. Take a look outside. It hasn't been this cold this time of year in decades.

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Re: More like global cooling...

are you on the ISS?

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Re: More like global cooling...

That's why they started calling it Climate Change, dontcha know

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Mushroom

Re: More like global cooling...

The long term global warming trend is clear: http://www.earth-policy.org/images/uploads/graphs_tables/indicator8_2012_tempgraph.PNG

http://www.livescience.com/6472-study-ocean-warmed-significantly-16-years.html

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Re: More like global cooling...

Frank has gotta be trolling. Trying to disprove global warming by localised weather patterns...

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