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Is there a scientific consensus on global warming?

What the science says...

Select a level... Basic Intermediate Advanced

97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming.

Climate Myth...

There is no consensus
The Petition Project features over 31,000 scientists signing the petition stating "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide will, in the forseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere ...". (Petition Project)

Science achieves a consensus when scientists stop arguing.  When a question is first asked – like ‘what would happen if we put a load more CO2 in the atmosphere?’ – there may be many hypotheses about cause and effect. Over a period of time, each idea is tested and retested – the processes of the scientific method – because all scientists know that reputation and kudos go to those who find the right answer (and everyone else becomes an irrelevant footnote in the history of science).  Nearly all hypotheses will fall by the wayside during this testing period, because only one is going to answer the question properly, without leaving all kinds of odd dangling bits that don’t quite add up. Bad theories are usually rather untidy.

But the testing period must come to an end. Gradually, the focus of investigation narrows down to those avenues that continue to make sense, that still add up, and quite often a good theory will reveal additional answers, or make powerful predictions, that add substance to the theory.

So a consensus in science is different from a political one. There is no vote. Scientists just give up arguing because the sheer weight of consistent evidence is too compelling, the tide too strong to swim against any longer. Scientists change their minds on the basis of the evidence, and a consensus emerges over time. Not only do scientists stop arguing, they also start relying on each other's work. All science depends on that which precedes it, and when one scientist builds on the work of another, he acknowledges the work of others through citations. The work that forms the foundation of climate change science is cited with great frequency by many other scientists, demonstrating that the theory is widely accepted - and relied upon.

In the scientific field of climate studies – which is informed by many different disciplines – the consensus is demonstrated by the number of scientists who have stopped arguing about what is causing climate change – and that’s nearly all of them.  A survey of 928 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject 'global climate change' published between 1993 and 2003 shows that not a single paper rejected the consensus position that global warming is man caused (Oreskes 2004). 

A follow-up study by the Skeptical Science team of over 12,000 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subjects of 'global warming' and 'global climate change' published between 1991 and 2011 found that of the papers taking a position on the cause of global warming, over 97% agreed that humans are causing it (Cook 2013).  The scientific authors of the papers were also contacted and asked to rate their own papers, and again over 97% whose papers took a position on the cause said humans are causing global warming.

consensus pie chart

Lead author John Cook created a short video abstract summarizing the study:

Several studies have confirmed that “...the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes”. (Doran 2009). In other words, more than 97% of scientists working in the disciplines contributing to studies of our climate, accept that climate change is almost certainly being caused by human activities.

We should also consider official scientific bodies and what they think about climate change. There are no national or major scientific institutions anywhere in the world that dispute the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Not one.

In the field of climate science, the consensus is unequivocal: human activities are causing climate change.

 

Basic rebuttal written by GPWayne

Last updated on 1 August 2013 by gpwayne. View Archives

Printable Version  |  Offline PDF Version  |  Link to this page

Related Arguments

Further reading

Further viewing

The "Climate Denial Crock of the Week" video series examines the list of "32,000 leading skeptical scientists."

Naomi Oreskes gives a thorough presentation of the development of our scientific understanding of anthropogenic global warming:

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Joe Crouch for his efforts in tracking down scientific organizations endorsing the consensus as well as links to their public statements.

Update

On 21 Jan 2012, we revised 'the skeptic argument' with a minor quote formatting correction.

Comments

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Comments 101 to 150 out of 190:

  1. Quietman,

    "1. Hypothetical, based on poorly written fortran code."

    I certainly hope this isn't the extent of your understanding of climate science.

    "2. Historically false, If the CO2 was the powerful GHG it is claimed to be there would be no life on this planet."

    Non-sequitur.

    "The alarmists base their science on the concept of equilibrium and deny that the earth goes through cycles"

    Basic Strawman. No one denies that there is cyclical climate change.

    American Meteorlogical Society: "Human activities have become a major source of environmental change. Of great urgency are the climate consequences of the increasing atmospheric abundance of greenhouse gases... Because greenhouse gases continue to increase, we are, in effect, conducting a global climate experiment, neither planned nor controlled, the results of which may present unprecedented challenges to our wisdom and foresight as well as have significant impacts on our natural and societal systems.[22] "

    "prophesized by algore and his followers."

    Yeah, all those scientists follow Al Gore. How silly.

    American Physical Society: "The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now."

    World Meterological Organization: In its Statement at the Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirms the need to “prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The WMO concurs that “scientific assessments have increasingly reaffirmed that human activities are indeed changing the composition of the atmosphere, in particular through the burning of fossil fuels for energy production and transportation.” The WMO concurs that “the present atmospheric concentration of CO2 was never exceeded over the past 420,000 years;” and that the IPCC “assessments provide the most authoritative, up-to-date scientific advice".

    American Geophysical Union: "The Earth's climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming. Many components of the climate system—including the temperatures of the atmosphere, land and ocean, the extent of sea ice and mountain glaciers, the sea level, the distribution of precipitation, and the length of seasons—are now changing at rates and in patterns that are not natural and are best explained by the increased atmospheric abundances of greenhouse gases and aerosols generated by human activity during the 20th century. Global average surface temperatures increased on average by about 0.6°C over the period 1956–2006. As of 2006, eleven of the previous twelve years were warmer than any others since 1850. The observed rapid retreat of Arctic sea ice is expected to continue and lead to the disappearance of summertime ice within this century. Evidence from most oceans and all continents except Antarctica shows warming attributable to human activities. Recent changes in many physical and biological systems are linked with this regional climate change. A sustained research effort, involving many AGU members and summarized in the 2007 assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, continues to improve our scientific understanding of the climate. "

    "This describes the AGW alarmist to a T."

    The above comments make the following comment:

    "in this case by infantile name calling."

    quite ironic.
  2. Re: "Basic Strawman. No one denies that there is cyclical climate change."

    You obviously have not been reading the comments at this website. This has come up several times, so I am glad you consider it a strawman. I suggest that you read chris' comments.
  3. Re: "American Physical Society: "The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now."

    I await proof. I wan't to see at least one prediction that is correct. The only accurate predictions have come from the skeptical scientists (deniers) like the late Rhodes Fairbridge.

    Sorry, but my view of anyone who has not left the IPCC by this point is someone that can not think for themselves. Sheep going along for the ride with what they view as "the winning team". Lots of BS and outright lies fudging numbers and skewing results to get funding.
  4. You don't seem to see what is actually happening. If you take the time to study what is going on inside the earth you would also understand why the IPCC depictions are false. The hotspots relate directly to the earths tectonics. CO2 is not warming the oceans, thats why the results don't match the predictions. Parts of the ocean are warming while others are cooling. The warming parts correspond to undersea vulcanism or what the kids call plate tectonics. That's the driver behind the PDO, AMO, etc. It's the ocean that drives climate, not the other way around. It's the Earth that drives the oceans and it's the sun that drives the earth and the planets, in particular Jupiter that drives the barycenter and alters the way the sun reacts with the Earth.

    Do the research. Skeptics do!
  5. Re: "American Geophysical Union: "The Earth's climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming."

    THERE IS NO BALANCE, THAT IS EQUILIBRIUM AND TOTAL BS!
  6. Re: "Yeah, all those scientists follow Al Gore. How silly."

    You are crediting the IPCC with something it does not have (scientists). It in fact edits and limits the subjects of any and all papers submitted by scientists and is the reason they are leaving the IPCC.
  7. I strongly suggest that you actually read the skeptical papers that are being derided by Hansen and his cronies.
  8. Re #97 from Quietman.

    Thanks for expanding on your answer. I'll let NewYorkJ's response at #101 stand as a response.

    You haven't stated what you believe to be an acceptable level of risk - since you seem to believe there is definitely, absolutely, no possibility of AGW via carbon emissions or any other means. This strikes me as sounding more like an assumption than a considered opinion based on known facts. Odd, given the views expressed ('Or you can just assume the alarmist position ... and ignore the arguments entirely. To deny the facts is to show ignorance, that is not what science is about, that attitude belongs firmly in religion and politics').
    Or possibly, you consider (like many other 'skeptics') AGW to be a possibility, but not as likely as the IPCC consensus. That would beg the questions, how likely do you consider dangerous AGW to be, and what maximum level of likelihood would warrant a 'business as usual' response?

    Since you raise the issue of facts, I wonder if there is a consensus between 'skeptics' and the rest of us as to what the facts are.

    1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas (leaving aside positive and negative feedback effects).

    2. Both positive and negative feedbacks exist in the climate, and are not fully (or even mostly) understood, leading to the possibility of suprises (pleasant or otherwise).

    3. CO2 is released by the burning of fossil fuels.

    4. Measured atmospheric levels of CO2 are increasing, and are expected to continue to do so under BAU.

    5. Fossil fuel use (and thus, CO2 emissions) has increased exponentially since industrialisation. It may take 50 or 100 years to run out of oil, and sufficient coal is left in the ground for a much longer period. If we continue with BAU, atmospheric CO2 levels will get much, much higher. This will occur in a period of decades - an unprecedented rate of change.

    The climate system as a whole is poorly understood - we are only beginning to build understanding. It is possible the IPCC and the various meteorological and other scientific organisations from around the world that contributed to the consensus view have got it so horribly (wonderfully?) wrong that we all have absolutely nothing to worry about - but how likely is that?

    So what do you reckon - how likely is AGW, and how much risk is too much?
  9. You misunderstand my position (and most skeptics) entirely. AGW is real. It has a small impact on the planet but not enough to prevent the next glacation.

    As far as risk goes, you should know better. If you have a choice of a risk of basement floodiing from a broken sprinkler system or your house burning down, which risk do you choose?

    We have a choice with AGW as well. We can thank AGW for what little extra warmth we have on this planet. Yes, maybe you are uncomfortable in the heat but I can tell you from experience at -60F to +140F that humans can take the heat but we die with the cold.

    Lets take a look at paleohistory. We evolve from prosimians into true primates in the Eocene and Oligocene. Conditions of the Eocene were high levels of CO2 and high temps all over the planet. And, we evolved in southern Asia, Jungles, Hot, Humid, and spread from there into Africa where there were less predator species (Beard, "Hunt for the Dawn Monkey).

    The Ice age (No.4) hits us in the Neogene, we continue to evolve along the equator in northern Africa into homonids. By the the the glacial maximum hits we have split from H. erectus into H. sapiens and H. neandertalensis and we are both in deep shit. We both get close to population levels that will quickly end in extinction but things warm back up. We were lucky, our cousins did not fare as well and their population continued to decline while ours recovered.

    This is history. What do you think would happen if we had a glacial maximum now? Extinction is near certain.
    So why would we want to actually stop the only thing that could actually reduce the impact of another glacation? Are you crazy or just have a racial death wish?
  10. Neandertal References:

    ScienceDaily (Sep. 13, 2007)
    New Evidence On The Role Of Climate In Neanderthal Extinction
    Adapted from materials provided by University of Leeds

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 30, 2008)
    Competition, Not Climate Change, Led To Neanderthal Extinction, Study Shows

    Journal reference:
    Banks WE, d'Errico F, Peterson AT, Kageyama M, Sima A, et al.
    Neanderthal Extinction by Competitive Exclusion
    PLoS ONE, 2008; 3(12): e3972 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003972

    AGW References:

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 19, 2008)
    New World Post-pandemic Reforestation Helped Start Little Ice Age, Say Scientists
    Adapted from materials provided by Stanford University

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 18, 2008)
    Did Early Global Warming Divert A New Glacial Age?
    Adapted from materials provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison
  11. Re; #110 - thanks for the links.

    Re: #109

    I think I already mentioned that I consider many ACC 'skeptics' to be believers in at least the possibility of ACC, if not the fact.

    As for the choice you offer - letting the house burn down OR letting the basement flood from a broken sprinkler - this implies we only have an 'either/or' choice. If it were that simple, couldn't we buy insurance AND fix the sprinkler (and you thought my analogy was asinine)?

    The problem I have with your suggestion is this - you are saying that we can somehow use artifiacial means (of which we understand little) to 'fix' a natural cycle (which we understand even less). It sounds like randomly twiddling the dials on the nuclear reactor (another asinine comparison) because last time we did this, it didn't go into meltdown. Playing with the dials must be preventing a meltdown, so we must do more of it.

    Continuing with BAU because AGW/ACC might not/probably won't happen is risky. Accepting that this approach is risky, then doing it anyway to try to forestall a natural cycle has to be the definition of insanity.

    A warmer world is not cost free (droughts, floods, storms, famine kill too). Extinction of the species from either warming or ice age, I would have to imagine, is unlikely, but many things can happen short of extinction. Humans are supremely adaptable (perhaps only outranked in that regard by rats), so my guess is that we would survive either scenario.

    Civilisation is another matter. In a major tick upwards or downwards in global temperatures, at the very least, we could expect a major loss of material culture - something like slipping from the Roman Empire into the Dark Ages. Worse than this is also possible.

    Given that atmospheric carbon levels are a major cause of the problem, and given that we are currently accelerating growth in atmospheric CO2 levels, it would be a prudent time to step on the brakes while research into the climate continues. Who knows, you may be right. We may have dodged catastrophe by dumb luck. Touching the brakes now (to slow and maybe pause the warming effect) gives us a bit more time to work out how lucky we are and how lucky we can continue to count on being.

    Has anyone seen any reliable arithmetic on what deep but realistic cuts in emissions now would do for atmospheric carbon levels (and warming) over the next 100 years or more? Any idea of the kind of timeframe we would need to go into reverse and see a cooling trend (as opposed to cooling cycle)? I am guessing (once again) that the natural carbon sequestration processes are far slower than anthropogenic GHG emissions.

    Quietman - I will read your links, but I don't doubt your potted paleohistory above. I just doubt it's relevance given historic and projected GHG emissions growth. Deep cuts in emissions now will not cut atmospheric CO2 levels in the near term, only stabilise them. If the warming effect has helped us, it will still be there for a good while.
  12. Risky
    Re: "A warmer world is not cost free (droughts, floods, storms, famine kill too). Extinction of the species from either warming or ice age, I would have to imagine, is unlikely, but many things can happen short of extinction. Humans are supremely adaptable (perhaps only outranked in that regard by rats), so my guess is that we would survive either scenario."

    I agree that a few survivors might make it through another glacial maximum if they live close to the equator but without any semblence of civilization remaining. On the other hand we can easily adapt to warming - no problem. Relocation will be much easier than you think because wide tracts of fertile land currently incapable of supporting us will be available.

    I and most of the other skeptics agree that cleaner environment is essential to our future, it's only CO2 that is the sticking point. We all feel that CO2 is not a problem but essential and increased CO2 will not be catastrophic. Some of the computer sims are hopelessly bad because they lack important factors.

    One major error is desertification. All the signs point to a warmer, WETTER, world, not drier. If you read those links I posted you will see that the answer lies in growing trees and stopping the massive cutting and burning of our forrests.
  13. ps
    If you have a good head for math read Patricks comments. He does explain how climate functions and although he doesn't realize it, actually agrees with me.
  14. Quiteman,

    NewYorkJ: "No one denies that there is cyclical climate change"

    "You obviously have not been reading the comments at this website. This has come up several times, so I am glad you consider it a strawman. I suggest that you read chris' comments."

    Which scientist thinks there aren't ice ages, ENSO, etc.? If you're referring to the Chris in the following post, your assertion is demonstrably false.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm

    "I await proof. I wan't to see at least one prediction that is correct. The only accurate predictions have come from the skeptical scientists (deniers) like the late Rhodes Fairbridge. "

    Obviously you haven't been paying attention.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm

    Most contrarians have been so utterly wrong for the past 20 years one has to wonder why anyone would seriously continue to entertain their rantings if one is seeking credible sources in good faith.

    "THERE IS NO BALANCE, THAT IS EQUILIBRIUM AND TOTAL BS! "

    Because you say? The CAPS add a nice effect.

    "CO2 is not warming the oceans, thats why the results don't match the predictions. Parts of the ocean are warming while others are cooling."

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A4.lrg.gif

    Globally, the oceans are warming. You also don't understand what the models say. The slower rate vs land is predicted by the models.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2005/2004GL021592.shtml

    ENSO creates much of the regional and annual variability.

    "The warming parts correspond to undersea vulcanism or what the kids call plate tectonics."

    It's what adults would call a very silly and unsupported assertion. It even made the RC "Most bizarre new contrarian claim" of 2008.

    "Do the research. Skeptics do! "

    Climate contrarians aren't big on honest research. They tend to look for very selective data to support their assertions while ignoring the big picture and completely disregarding the wide body of evidence that opposes their pre-determined conclusions.

    NewYorkJ: "Re: "Yeah, all those scientists follow Al Gore. How silly."

    "You are crediting the IPCC with something it does not have (scientists). It in fact edits and limits the subjects of any and all papers submitted by scientists and is the reason they are leaving the IPCC."

    They don't have scientists? Or is it just scientists you don't agree with (which would be the vast majority of them)?

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-annexes.pdf

    The IPCC, however, tends to be conservative with its predictions - resulting in the conservative common ground that most of its participants can agree upon. It tends to be conservative on sea level rise, for instance, even though real-world observations are showing more rapid melting in the Arctic than they project.

    "Sorry, but my view of anyone who has not left the IPCC by this point is someone that can not think for themselves. Sheep going along for the ride with what they view as "the winning team". Lots of BS and outright lies fudging numbers and skewing results to get funding. "

    If you don't like the Nobel Prize-winning IPCC, take your pick.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    It's all a vast leftwing conspiracy. Convincing conspiracy theorists is a futile effort.

    "I strongly suggest that you actually read the skeptical papers that are being derided by Hansen and his cronies. "

    Hansen must have a lot of "cronies". I've read skeptical studies. There are only a small handful of them that have passed an independent peer review in a reasonably reputable journal, and results have been highly questionable and often later refuted outright. As an example, there are a few studies that made assertions about a potential significant Urban Heat Island Effect. It relied largely on UHA satellite data (managed by 2 "skeptics") that showed little to no warming. The data saw a series of signficant upward corrections which made the studies effectively obsolete. Example:

    http://www.ssmi.com/papers/mears_science_2005.pdf
    A discussion:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/tropical-troposphere-trends/

    Instead of bothering to scrutinize the satellite record, they just speculated that the surface data was all wrong. As it turned out, the climate contrarians managing the data were all wrong, as usual.
  15. An argument being made here is that human-induced warming could help prevent the next ice age. That argument might make sense if an ice age was known to be imminent (say, 100 years). Most indications are that it's tens of thousands of years away.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/297/5585/1287

    In contrast, human-induced warming is effecting us now and over the next few hundred years, the strongest effects of which will hit us long before the next glaciation. This site has a good list of costs/benefits.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-positives-negatives.htm

    A good book on this topic:

    http://www.amazon.com/Six-Degrees-Future-Hotter-Planet/dp/142620213X

    This book has hundreds of references to objective peer-reviewed studies on the effects of global warming, at each degree C in global temperature rise. This is better than any indirect speculation. Essentially, costs immediately exceed benefits. With each degree of warming, the cost-benefit gap expands greatly. It may be comforting to hope that a warmer world will be a tropical paradise for Earth's billions of human inhabitants, but that's not the reality.
  16. NewYorkJ
    Re: "An argument being made here is that human-induced warming could help prevent the next ice age. That argument might make sense if an ice age was known to be imminent (say, 100 years). Most indications are that it's tens of thousands of years away."

    The problem with your statement is that it does not recognize the fact that we are already in an ice age, the 4th or Neogene-Holocene ice age. If you read those links you will see that we are slowing down the onset of a glacation.
  17. ps
    Denial of facts will not change them.
  18. Re: "Climate contrarians aren't big on honest research. They tend to look for very selective data to support their assertions while ignoring the big picture and completely disregarding the wide body of evidence that opposes their pre-determined conclusions."

    Read the links posted in the volcano thread. The data is not selective, it is the facts about how the earth is currently changing and has always done in the past.
  19. Re: "If you don't like the Nobel Prize-winning IPCC, take your pick."

    Ignorance is bliss.
  20. ps
    educate yourself

    http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/climate-change-perspective.pdf
  21. Scientists abandon global warming 'lie'
    650 to dissent at U.N. climate change conference
    WASHINGTON – A United Nations climate change conference in Poland is about to get a surprise from 650 leading scientists who scoff at doomsday reports of man-made global warming – labeling them variously a lie, a hoax and part of a new religion.
    Later today, their voices will be heard in a U.S. Senate minority report quoting the scientists, many of whom are current and former members of the U.N.'s own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
    About 250 of the scientists quoted in the report have joined the dissenting scientists in the last year alone.
    In fact, the total number of scientists represented in the report is 12 times the number of U.N. scientists who authored the official IPCC 2007 report. more. As this topic is consensus, I feel that this is somewhat relavent.
  22. Re: #121

    Quietman, where is that well-honed skepticism you keep telling us about?

    You can be quite dismissive of the IPCC ("Sorry, but my view of anyone who has not left the IPCC by this point is someone that can not think for themselves. Sheep going along for the ride with what they view as "the winning team". Lots of BS and outright lies fudging numbers and skewing results to get funding. ").

    Yet you uncritically post a link to a story that is no more than the annual reheating of that old chestnut, the Leipzig Declaration.

    I am sure there are some genuine scientists in climate-related fields are among the additional 250. Some of them might even be climate scientists, with published, peer reviewed science to back their skepticism, but the liberal padding of the numbers with T.V. weather reporters and other interlopers does not inspire confidence.

    If the skeptics genuinely feel they have a good basis for refuting scientific consensus here, why would they need to pad out the list? Obviously they don't feel their scientists are reputable enough, or the science is strong enough.

    Your basis for skepticism seems to change depending on the discussion - one minute, a believer in CO2 emissions as the only way to forestall a catastrophic ice age, the next minute dismissive of the very idea of ACC (see above 'BS and outright lies fudging of numbers blah blah blah...').

    This is not skepticism, it's advocacy. Any argument to avoid deep cuts to emissions will do - even contradictory ones. Any skeptical scientist will do, even the ones who are not scientists, or not even skeptics.

    As for the story itself:

    "In fact, the total number of scientists represented in the report is 12 times the number of U.N. scientists who authored the official IPCC 2007 report."

    A bit of a nothing statement. Kind of like saying that all of our scientists outnumber some of theirs.

    The site posted does not list an author, but if you are interested, look up Marc Morano.

    Quietman, as a genuine skeptic, surely you have something better than that?
  23. Yes I do have something better. Tree farming. CO2 is doing as much as a GHG it can right now. But it can do more if we let it. Better management of our forrests will help make the planet more productive. Unfortuantely most states have no green acreas laws. If you wan't to help the environment get your state to pass one. Those states with green acres laws make it a minimum of 2 acres of property per house. Even if they only grow grass it's better than asphalt. This produces O2 and frees up nitrates which combined with CO2 aids in plant growth. One visable truism about past periods of high CO2 concentrations is giganticism. Plants and animals grew much larger than today and covered the entire earth. We don't have much chance of achieving this kind of growth but we could at least increase food production and free up land that is currently incapable of supporting life.
  24. ps
    I'm not a believer in consensus. The greatest minds in history all went against consensus. It just happens to be the topic of this thread and John wants us to try and stay on topic, hence most of my arguments and links are in the appropriate threads. Just click on "arguments" for the full list.
  25. Re: 116

    Actually, if you read the link:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/297/5585/1287

    You'd note the conclusion:

    "Today's comparatively warm climate has been the exception more than the rule during the last 500,000 years or more. If recent warm periods (or interglacials) are a guide, then we may soon slip into another glacial period. But Berger and Loutre argue in their Perspective that with or without human perturbations, the current warm climate may last another 50,000 years. The reason is a minimum in the eccentricity of Earth's orbit around the Sun. "

    Ice age cooling, according to this study, won't even begin for tens of thousands of years. But lets say major cooling has already begun. Note how long it takes to reach glaciation. Let's assume it will happen more quickly than recent studies suggest - say 10,000 years. We can expected roughly 6 degrees C of cooling or approximately 0.06 per century. Since global warming is expected to very conservatively warm the Earth about 3 degrees this century on a business-as-usual path (some estimates are much higher), we could count on 2.97 degrees of net warming.

    Re: 124

    Some great minds went against the mainstream many decades ago to propose the hypothesis that human activities would warm the Earth. They were right. Of course, if you examine the quality of minds (measured by the quality of their arguments), that are currently opposing the consensus, you might note that for every theory successfully challenged, there are hundreds that have failed. Failed challenges are often the result of unobjective agendas.
  26. Back on topic...

    Published in EOS:

    http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf

    Note this isn't a dubious petition or an Inhofe propaganda press release. It's a scientific peer-reviewed study that compares the view of the public with the view of the scientific community on the issue of global warming and the significant human contribution.

    Details:

    Among the general public, views are mixed, with about a 57%-38% (Gallup poll) agreement with the significant human contribution. I've seen other surveys with less agreement (particularly among polls conducted during cold winter weather). We see that sort of vehement denial among the blogosphere and various media outlets. This gives the public the false impression that there's a raging debate among scientists on the core issue, creating further doubt.

    Among scientists, there's very little doubt. The study's authors breaks it down. Among non-climate scientists and non-publishers, there's a 77%-8% (nearly 10 to 1) agreement (the remaining 15% unsure). 8% is pretty small considering the political implications of the topic. This consensus increases among active published scientists to 89%-3%. Among active climate scientists, it's about 97%-1%. The greatest doubt is held by petroleum geologists (what a surprise).

    Thus, what follows is the key conclusion:

    "It seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long- term climate processes. The challenge, rather, appears to be how to effectively communicate this fact to policy makers and to a public that continues to mistakenly perceive debate among scientists."
  27. Correction on #125:

    2.97 should be 2.94
  28. Re: "The greatest doubt is held by petroleum geologists (what a surprise)."

    They are also among the best qualified to know what is really causing this problem, no surprise here, after all it is a tectonic issue.
  29. ps
    You left out that Meteorologists are about evenly divided on the cause. I think it was a 47/53 percentage split.

    Engineers disagree because they realize that the laws of thermodynamics are not actually applicable to the earth or living things (something the greens and creationists don't seem to understand).

    Those scientists behind AGW are actually not "climatologists" (the number of people with PhDs in this field number only a couple hundred and Hansen is not one of them, Fairbridge for example taught climatology and he was a "denier").
  30. Discussion between Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and Andrew Bolt:

    http://www.abc.net.au/austory/

    Professor Hoegh-Guldberg is one of the early scientists to relate episodes of coral bleaching to climate change, Andrew Bolt is a conservative commentator and climate "skeptic" here in Australia. Interesting discussion, no clear winner. My one observation - Bolt finally fronts an actual climate scientist (after years of all kinds of accusations against climate scientists), and blames the media for exaggerating the threat. Maybe he was being polite.

    On another issue:
    Here in the south-east of Australia, we have recently had a record heat wave, followed by the hottest day since records began (in 1855) within the space of a week. This created firestorm conditions that have never before been recorded. In one day, over 200 people died (maybe 300), by far the worst fire disaster in Australian history. The fires are still burning.

    Before you all howl 'this is weather, not climate' or 'does not belong in this thread', I mention these things for a reason. If the climate scientist's predictions are correct, we will have more days like this - and worse. This is not just some cosy little academic debate, with a vote at the end to determine who is the champion debater. The consequences of getting it wrong are huge and tragic.

    Everybody, from all sides of the argument - please take it seriously.
  31. Risky
    Re: "Everybody, from all sides of the argument - please take it seriously."

    We take this very seriously. That is exactly why we argue about it. I see the IPCC wasting valuable time and resources looking to cure an illness that does not exist when they should be researching to find the true root cause.
  32. I just wanted to post a thanks to all posters. And thanks also to the site editors for leaving both sides free to express their views. Wading through all 131 comments has given me a fair idea of who is dealing with the facts and who is obfuscating and manipulating.

    Great site.
  33. Hi,
    Thanks for providing this forum.
    You write: The consensus position is generally defined as "most of the global warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities". I agree that is one consensus view, but I can certainly envisage agreement with that particular statement being combined with a dissenting or agnostic position as to the relative importance of different human inputs. So one could adhere to one consensus position on global warming, but at the same time be a sceptic regarding another position, for instance the view that "most of the global warming in recent decades can be attributed to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases". Would you also regard the latter statement as reflecting a consensus? If so, fine, but it will be a different and smaller consensus than the first one.
  34. I have spent the last few hours and have ben fascinated by the amount of information on this site.

    I came to this site because I had ben looking for some scientifically credible source to critique the claims of this article i had been referred to that seemed quite scientific ( the only one I have ever seen that really firt the bill). it turns out that this thread covers that article.
    Here is one link
    http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm

    Hopefully someone here can give me a critique of their specific points.
    the main being that CO2 could not possibly be a factor in the increasing temperatures, and that increasing temperatures are not of any concern.
    Increasing temp is due to a gradual readjustment from the "little ice Age"

    I know some of their points are covered in other threads here, but this seemed the most likely place to put this
  35. I have been concerned about Climate change since the late 70's when my brother in law warned me about the dangers of the earth as a heat sink, and a room mate explained work she was doing about the degree of deforestation in th Amazon, Congo and Southeast Asia. When I heard about Mauna Loa I became, as the "deniers" here would call, an alarmist.

    The main deniers of ACC here all seem to present a reasonable face and continually provide information and links to support their arguments or to question assertions of those that support ACC.

    But many of their arguments appear to me to be strained at best, and most telling I have yet to see much admission of fallibility. Both John and Chris, and others have made many many observations and provided countless sources backing up their assertions, many of which have not been effectively countered, yet the deniers continue to proclaim their views almost unchanged.
    I was dissappointed that Chris left one of the discussions because some arguments were brought up to counter his assertions after he left, and I do not know enough to assess their validity. But in every case that he has responded his arguments have been clear and totally supported.

    the argument that the deniers here are not as critical of sources that object to ACC as they are to sources that support them is extremely important.
    Also that there is no competing theory. As with the anti evolution debate, there are dozens of competing theories, almost all mutually exclusive. The interest seems to be on proving ACC to be false rather than finding out the truth.
    Quitman keeps insisting it is a tectonic issue, and all very clear, yet it seems to me that Chris effectively demonstrated that every one of his contentions was not supported by research. that in fact we know the amount of carbon produced by tectonic effects, and it is 1% of the extra CO2 in the atmosphere.
    I have yet to read anything that Chris or John have written that was factually in error or where their conclusion was not justified.

    The fact that there are almost no peer reviewed articles that contradict ACC is a towering argument. That does not by itself mean that the consensus is right. It does not mean that there is not a huge conspiracy . But a huge conspiracy on this scale would require some massive fudging of data, or a degree of peer pressure that is clearly not occurring. Certainly in Soviet Russia there was a mass conspiracy supporting Lysenkian genetics. No papers were allowed to be published in scientific journals that did not support it. Yet all the real scientists knew that this was happening, and went along with it because they would face severe penalties if they didn't. I know of no scientist who supports ACC who is "pressured" to do so because of pressure and therefore does not publish valid research data that would counter it. I know of no scientists who refuse to look at research because they are scared it might force them to disbelieve ACC.
    This does not mean that there are not political pressures to support ACC that distort aspects of how it is presented and that have serious political imperatives.
    Those should be faced head on and counteracted.
    Many people on this site have pointed out the obvious and sometimes shameful attempts to bolster anti ACC views that were unscientific. this should not be disregarded. Nor should the funding by right wing and energy based organizations that have an ideological or financial agenda.
    but there has been sufficient time and thousands of research papers detailing ACC and if it was incorrect in the main then a competing theory that fit all the facts would have emerged.

    I consider myself an alarmist because there IS a consensus on climate change and almost nothing is being done about it. That is very alarming. There are potential consequences that are indeed catastrophic. ACC is not a problem in isolation. There are innumerable environmental crisis that are happening at the same time, many of which are greatly exacerbated by ACC. Not all are real and not all will be as bad as some predict. I do know that deforestation, certain kinds of pollution, the devastation of ocean life, biodiversity loss, and contamination of various parts of the environment are accelerating. Atmospheric CO2 is accelerating as well. Yet in spite of worldwide political and public consensus, almost nothing is being done that could conceivably have any effect. It is like a car heading toward a cliff, we can see it, but instead of taking our foot off the accelerator and on the brake, we are untying the shoe on the accelerator, so that if we do want to stop we can take the shoe off and press not quite so hard with our bare foot.

    As Risky puts it, why not just really slow down CO2 production. If we do cut it drastically and it turns out not to be a big problem, we can gear back up very easily. However if we don't, the risks of Greenland melting are quite real. It might not, but it might. There are many who believe that IPCC conclusions are ridiculously optimistic.
    There are thousands of scientists who are convinced research show significant ACC is happening, and that the consequences could be devastating. So lets cut back to pre 1990 levels for 20 years and see what the research shows then.

    There are extremists who either don't understand science and therefore make false exaggerated claims. And there are ideologues who believe that they have to overplay their hand to counter the "enemy". But I am in contact with some of these people and none of them believe that they are wrong but are pulling this scam because they will get rich. They all believe they are right, and just want to keep the evil corporation from destroying the planet.
    On the other hand we do know the tobacco companies knew they were wrong, but lied and obfuscated about cancer as long as possible. We know that Financial companies knowingly lied to all sorts of people. We know the govenrment covered up what companies like Enron and Anderson were doing, and knew that the current financial structure was "toxic". It does not seem unreasonable to suppose that Exxon,and the Heritage foundation would lie, knowingly lie, about ACC in order to keep making huge profits. The idea that the profit motive is what is driving the science behind ACC seems almost ludicrous given recent history and the structure of our economic system.

    I, however am fully an alarmist, because I think it is possible that the Greenland Ice cap could melt substantially in 50 years. I do believe that there could be a tipping point that affects the Sargasso ocean current or some other currently stable climactic factor in a period of a decade or two. I do believe there are potential consequences that could wreak havoc on our society and on the world. I also believe that there could be solutions that will mitigate the problems.
    I also believe that nothing serious will be done about the issue until there is some devastating crisis that puts the deniers into shell shock, and that forces action. By then it may be too late to avoid some of the seroius consequences.
    these polite websites that argue back and forth will seem rather bizarre then.

    ACC could be wrong. I think it extremely unlikely, and I think that it will be not because it is "wrong" but because there is some other deeper issue that really LOOKS like ACC, just as Quantum relativistic physics really LOOKS newtonian in daily life.
    the arguments of the deniers (except for Quietman, since he is convinced his theory explains everything) are not consistant systematic theories and are just flotsam thrown to obscure matters.
    If the consequences were not so serious I would think it was great. but the "debate" is actually causing serious delays in making necessary immediate changes in human activities. it has been the United States for the last 20 years being the lynchpin in stopping concerted efforts to cut back CO2 emissions, and that has allowed China and india and others to increase their CO2 output to US levels, and now they are starting to obfuscate as much as we have.
  36. I have been concerned about Climate change since the late 70's when my brother in law warned me about the dangers of the earth as a heat sink, and a room mate explained work she was doing about the degree of deforestation in th Amazon, Congo and Southeast Asia. When I heard about Mauna Loa I became, as the "deniers" here would call, an alarmist.

    The main deniers of ACC here all seem to present a reasonable face and continually provide information and links to support their arguments or to question assertions of those that support ACC.

    But many of their arguments appear to me to be strained at best, and most telling I have yet to see much admission of fallibility. Both John and Chris, and others have made many many observations and provided countless sources backing up their assertions, many of which have not been effectively countered, yet the deniers continue to proclaim their views almost unchanged.
    I was dissappointed that Chris left one of the discussions because some arguments were brought up to counter his assertions after he left, and I do not know enough to assess their validity. But in every case that he has responded his arguments have been clear and totally supported.

    the argument that the deniers here are not as critical of sources that object to ACC as they are to sources that support them is extremely important.
    Also that there is no competing theory. As with the anti evolution debate, there are dozens of competing theories, almost all mutually exclusive. The interest seems to be on proving ACC to be false rather than finding out the truth.
    Quitman keeps insisting it is a tectonic issue, and all very clear, yet it seems to me that Chris effectively demonstrated that every one of his contentions was not supported by research. that in fact we know the amount of carbon produced by tectonic effects, and it is 1% of the extra CO2 in the atmosphere.
    I have yet to read anything that Chris or John have written that was factually in error or where their conclusion was not justified.

    The fact that there are almost no peer reviewed articles that contradict ACC is a towering argument. That does not by itself mean that the consensus is right. It does not mean that there is not a huge conspiracy . But a huge conspiracy on this scale would require some massive fudging of data, or a degree of peer pressure that is clearly not occurring. Certainly in Soviet Russia there was a mass conspiracy supporting Lysenkian genetics. No papers were allowed to be published in scientific journals that did not support it. Yet all the real scientists knew that this was happening, and went along with it because they would face severe penalties if they didn't. I know of no scientist who supports ACC who is "pressured" to do so because of pressure and therefore does not publish valid research data that would counter it. I know of no scientists who refuse to look at research because they are scared it might force them to disbelieve ACC.
    This does not mean that there are not political pressures to support ACC that distort aspects of how it is presented and that have serious political imperatives.
    Those should be faced head on and counteracted.
    Many people on this site have pointed out the obvious and sometimes shameful attempts to bolster anti ACC views that were unscientific. this should not be disregarded. Nor should the funding by right wing and energy based organizations that have an ideological or financial agenda.
    but there has been sufficient time and thousands of research papers detailing ACC and if it was incorrect in the main then a competing theory that fit all the facts would have emerged.

    I consider myself an alarmist because there IS a consensus on climate change and almost nothing is being done about it. That is very alarming. There are potential consequences that are indeed catastrophic. ACC is not a problem in isolation. There are innumerable environmental crisis that are happening at the same time, many of which are greatly exacerbated by ACC. Not all are real and not all will be as bad as some predict. I do know that deforestation, certain kinds of pollution, the devastation of ocean life, biodiversity loss, and contamination of various parts of the environment are accelerating. Atmospheric CO2 is accelerating as well. Yet in spite of worldwide political and public consensus, almost nothing is being done that could conceivably have any effect. It is like a car heading toward a cliff, we can see it, but instead of taking our foot off the accelerator and on the brake, we are untying the shoe on the accelerator, so that if we do want to stop we can take the shoe off and press not quite so hard with our bare foot.

    As Risky puts it, why not just really slow down CO2 production. If we do cut it drastically and it turns out not to be a big problem, we can gear back up very easily. However if we don't, the risks of Greenland melting are quite real. It might not, but it might. There are many who believe that IPCC conclusions are ridiculously optimistic.
    There are thousands of scientists who are convinced research show significant ACC is happening, and that the consequences could be devastating. So lets cut back to pre 1990 levels for 20 years and see what the research shows then.

    There are extremists who either don't understand science and therefore make false exaggerated claims. And there are ideologues who believe that they have to overplay their hand to counter the "enemy". But I am in contact with some of these people and none of them believe that they are wrong but are pulling this scam because they will get rich. They all believe they are right, and just want to keep the evil corporation from destroying the planet.
    On the other hand we do know the tobacco companies knew they were wrong, but lied and obfuscated about cancer as long as possible. We know that Financial companies knowingly lied to all sorts of people. We know the govenrment covered up what companies like Enron and Anderson were doing, and knew that the current financial structure was "toxic". It does not seem unreasonable to suppose that Exxon,and the Heritage foundation would lie, knowingly lie, about ACC in order to keep making huge profits. The idea that the profit motive is what is driving the science behind ACC seems almost ludicrous given recent history and the structure of our economic system.

    I, however am fully an alarmist, because I think it is possible that the Greenland Ice cap could melt substantially in 50 years. I do believe that there could be a tipping point that affects the Sargasso ocean current or some other currently stable climactic factor in a period of a decade or two. I do believe there are potential consequences that could wreak havoc on our society and on the world. I also believe that there could be solutions that will mitigate the problems.
    I also believe that nothing serious will be done about the issue until there is some devastating crisis that puts the deniers into shell shock, and that forces action. By then it may be too late to avoid some of the seroius consequences.
    these polite websites that argue back and forth will seem rather bizarre then.

    ACC could be wrong. I think it extremely unlikely, and I think that it will be not because it is "wrong" but because there is some other deeper issue that really LOOKS like ACC, just as Quantum relativistic physics really LOOKS newtonian in daily life.
    the arguments of the deniers (except for Quietman, since he is convinced his theory explains everything) are not consistant systematic theories and are just flotsam thrown to obscure matters.
    If the consequences were not so serious I would think it was great. but the "debate" is actually causing serious delays in making necessary immediate changes in human activities. it has been the United States for the last 20 years being the lynchpin in stopping concerted efforts to cut back CO2 emissions, and that has allowed China and india and others to increase their CO2 output to US levels, and now they are starting to obfuscate as much as we have.
  37. Why I am a skeptic:

    1) The climate change debate is fueled by cash: huge sums of it directed by politicians to research institutions, "green" businesses, and government "green" agencies and regulators, all of whom seek personel gain through profit or careerism. This is not unlike any other unwarrented influence attained by combining religion and state to the detriment of human liberty. Replacing black robed preists with white coated "scientists" does not alter this unwholesome relationship.

    2) The politicians and press who promote AGW will entertain no counter arguments, we do not hear debates but only lectures by those who seek to gain from this scam.

    3) No legitimate science would ever allow the many fradulent claims made for it by its most ardent political supporters to go unchallenged based upon any respect for honesty. ie a warm winter in Alaska is offered as "proof" of "global" warming while a cold European winter is just "weather". Nonsense of course, but no refutaion from the scam artists whose careers depend on the scam.

    3) Science is never driven by 'belief' or 'consensus' and certainly science is never 'settled' Not even Newton's 'Laws' of motion. All of these nonsensical statemements have been made by the people who seek personal gain from this scam. And which authority claims to speak for these legions of lock stepped "scientists"? Who granted this authority over consensus taking other than politicians? Who "authorised" anyone to speak for this "science"? If science is "settled" by authority or consensus at what date did this policy begin?


    4) If liberating fossil fuels is the problem, then planting trees to suck up excess carbon dioxide is nonsense since anthropogenically planted trees (APT) will utlimately die of either fire or rot both of which will liberate the previously assimilated carbon right back into the atmosphere. Yet the "scientists" (scam artists) allow the politicians who fund them to get away with touting this nonsense - no legitiamte science would ever allow this "indulgence buying" to go unchallenged. Equally if carbon dioxide is great tree food then nature will "plant" trees of its own naturally fecundity and not be dependant upon APTs.(Anthropogincally Planted Trees)

    5) If the "average" (will some "scientist" define "average" global temperature in terms that have a precise meaning) temperatures are rising "globaly" then no place on the globe should be exempt. If it's on "average" warmer at point 'A' over the past 100 years it cannot possibly be true that the signal will not be equally felt 100 miles away at point 'B' If there is any significant difference between 'A' and 'B' then it is not "global" but only local. Can point 'A' "globally warm" while point 'B' "globally" cools?

    More points to follow....
  38. 6) The surface 'record': There is none. There exists no instrumentation demonstrably designed to accumulate the earths "surface" record - Can any "scientist" out there tell me what the surface temp was in Green Valley AZ 100 years ago - dont try because it did not exist - so is it part of the surface "record" today?

    7) Greenhouse warming theories are not about surface "records" anyway - its about atmospheric temps which appear to be very stable since they have been systematically collected for this purpose - that shoots the theory so the debate has to focus on a completely flawed surface "record" Why?

    8) If there were a real climate threat this scam industry funded by criminal politicians who promote this hype would alter their own ways and no longer have "carbon club prints" the size of dinosaurs compared with the rest of the world's population of titmouse sized "carbon footsie prints." Why do you jet all over the world by the hundreds of thousands to attend gala conventions held at world class resorts and pleasure spas to condemn the little people in keeping their hearth warm back home where you all just left minus -20 in searh of "global" (read Bali) warming?. I know Bali, Rio, Durban, The Seychelles, etc etc are nice places to go on the public dime when its cold back home - but doesn't this realluy give the big fat lie to your message?

    9) Computer models - GIGO: Modeling behavior is a legitimate method of science but you can't model behavior you can't possibly understand - if you could you could model next months temperature - of course you can't do that so you try to predict what will happen to us after we are all dead - and this brings us right back to the point of religion whose "peer-reviewed" theories compete head-on with yours as to just what happens to us after we all die. This is the only "science" outside of religion that cannot prove any of its assertions. This deligitizes the entire field and this state supported religion would more truthfully term you people "climate priests". No computer model has ever "predicted" climate change and "postdictions" (altering the model to fit past behavior) is nothing less than fraud.

    10) Proxies - are only legitamate if the proxy can be used to confirm data flawlessly time and time again that can be directly collected by some other suitable means. Proxy A can not be used to confirm Proxy B If one can directly correlate proxies with directly collected data then the proxy is only a fantasy relationship that can never be proven. Carbon 14 is a legitimate proxy method since the accuracy and range of carbon 14 dating can be correlated through directly collected historical records. No one should have any cofidence in proxies whose accuracy cannot be demonstrated today.


    -- more later --
  39. Nicely said Bruce. But you are going to be asked for references (no free thinking permitted here, at least that's what the alarmists say, other people's work is all their proof. John's more tolerant since he's not alarmist).
  40. Re: "Both John and Chris, and others have made many many observations and provided countless sources backing up their assertions, many of which have not been effectively countered, yet the deniers continue to proclaim their views almost unchanged."

    The question is the source material. Most if not all the references ASSUME the issue is CO2. An unproven assumption. Skeptics of AGW (not deniers) see the other more probable causes which the alarmists never respond to with a straight answer. They continually side step the issue and come back with another paper on CO2.

    I already understand CO2 and how it may cause heating as a GHG IF you assume water vapor's positive feedback is greater than it's negetive feedback. Again, an assumption. That's why their math doesn't show real world results, wrong assumption.

    I prefer to look at the more real forcings that are still only beginning to be understood, ie. the atmosphere is controllled by the oceans and the oceans by the earth's tectonic/vulcanic (not volcanic) forces.
  41. John
    One of your countrymen, Dr. David Evans made the statement: "Yes, it's important to get our response right. If the alarmist are correct, then we should cut down our carbon emissions of the planet with overheat. If the alarmist are wrong, it's important not to cut back our carbon emissions or we'll create wide spread poverty unnecessary. There is no real substitute, except the get the real science right."
    Dr. Evans recently converted from AGW alarmist to AGW skeptic.
  42. Yes Quietman,

    And David Evans is just one of a growing number of scientists who work or have worked in AGW-related fields to finally 'see the light' as it were.
  43. HealthySkeptic
    My point was less the conversion than the words that he used. "There is no real substitute, except the get the real science right"
  44. Frankly, I think the Skeptics have won point #3 onthis list at this time in history - there is less and less "consensus"

    Japan, Jan 2009, has walked away from the IPCC
    "Japan's boffins: Global warming isn't man-made
    Climate science is 'ancient astrology', claims report"
    that from http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/25/jstor_climate_report_translation/

    More . . .
    Kanya Kusano is Program Director and Group Leader for the Earth Simulator at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science & Technology (JAMSTEC). He focuses on the immaturity of simulation work cited in support of the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Using undiplomatic language, Kusano compares them to ancient astrology. After listing many faults, and the IPCC's own conclusion that natural causes of climate are poorly understood, Kusano concludes:

    "[The IPCC's] conclusion that from now on atmospheric temperatures are likely to show a continuous, monotonic increase, should be perceived as an unprovable hypothesis," he writes.
  45. AND on May 6, 2009 - this from Great Britain.

    Interview: Just two years ago, Mike Hulme would have been about the last person you'd expect to hear criticising conventional climate change wisdom. Back then, he was the founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, an organisation so revered by environmentalists that it could be mistaken for the academic wing of the green movement. Since leaving Tyndall - and as we found out in a telephone interview - he has come out of the climate change closet as an outspoken critic of such sacred cows as the UN's IPCC, the "consensus", the over-emphasis on scientific evidence in political debates about climate change, and to defend the rights of so-called "deniers" to contribute to those debates. . .

    More here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/06/mike_hulme_interview/
  46. This individual has done a remarkable job putting together the long lists of IPCC contributing authors and cited climate scientists. Most entries have a link to the webpage of the scientist, so one can check out their publications. Consistent with other objective studies on the topic, the results indicate once again an overwhelming scientific consensus at the individual level.

    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/

    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/AR4wg1_authors_table.html

    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/climate_authors_table.html
  47. Cold Beer,

    One of the reason I don't take climate contrarians too seriously is that they constantly distort reality. "Japan has walked away from the IPCC" is a silly unsupported comment. The Register article is also doing some serious spinning. A distinguished scientist who actually works at JAMSTEC provides some corrections to this bit of misinformation:

    http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2009/02/much-ado-about-nothing.html

    Kusano has no climate science cred and this becomes apparent with the comment:

    "[The IPCC's] conclusion that from now on atmospheric temperatures are likely to show a continuous, monotonic increase, should be perceived as an unprovable hypothesis."

    This individual apparently hasn't even read the IPCC report:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/
  48. NewYorkJ
    Some people are less afraid of being political correct. One after another scientist are speaking up. The consensus is more a fable that is propagating as small group of loud mouths with an agenda. The idea is that since they can not provide evidence they just can demean any person who have actual evidence that they don't like and the AGW priests simply denies the truth. It's the same position of YECs.
  49. If one looks at history, fascist certainty usually seems to win out over neutral uncertainty.

    One of the key points is the lack of doubt, amongst those who are so sure of themselves. How many, I wonder, of human-induced global warmists really looked at data about the sun, when they unconsciously believed in co2 induced global warming?

    Thre is a peculiar mind flip in those who claim consensus: only those who agree with you are actually counted in 'the consensus'. The rest are not 'true scientists' etc. If you define it this way, that those who agree with you are 'the consensus', then you have a 100% consensus!. A perfectly circular mind trick. All hail to the party/Allah/our dear leader/global warming etc!

    At any rate, if one can't even tell that there is NO consensus amongst the range of scientific fields regarding causes of climate change, then one isn't going to be very good at obejective analysis. Better off going back to the Soviet Union, when one can be told whatever the party wants, where there was also a 'consensus'.
  50. First, I want to say that this website is exactly what I have been looking for. A place where the arguments on both (or more) sides are presented factually, with a minimum of name-calling and cheerleading.

    I think I entered the site as a denier and am now firmly in the skeptic camp. Many of the mini-arguments in the various threads seem to be on specific technical points, but they carry huge baggage of gross media exaggeration of either or both sides, plus the need to defend the team (alarmist/denier) as if this was some kind of a sporting event.

    Because the is the concensus thread, I want to focus on that. If the concensus statement is "recent global climate change is primarily influenced by human activities", then arguing against it is like insulting Mom or apple pie. The difficulty, as I see it, is understanding exactly what the concensus implies, in terms of further science to be done and political actions to be taken?

    The danger of a "concensus" is its use in the non-scientific arena, as in: "If then "

    Not having a skepticalscience website to refer to for the hole in the ozone layer "debate", I'm on weak scientific grounds and have to use the wikipedia summary, but I believe that the situation is parallel. The scientific concensus was "there is a reduction in the stratospheric ozone level with a hole near the antarctic". A theoretical mechanism was proposed that CFCs could cause it, and a political action was taken to replace freon with a substitute.

    Media crisis reports were published and an equivalent alarmist/denier debate ensued. Political action was taken and the economic costs were large. It appears from the wiki graphs that ozone is trending back up, but there is little or no media coverage of the progress, or lack thereof.

    Is this the model for the AGW question?

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