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Climate Scientists Virtually Unanimous on Man-Made Global Warming

Consensus Study now Peer-Reviewed and Published

President Obama: "99.5% of scientists and experts" accept man-made global warming

To derive their "97.1%" consensus, Cook et al. ruled out 21,200 climate authors, 2/3rds of the total.

I ruled out zero.

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As those who have followed my work know, I have spent the last several years reviewing the abstracts of peer-reviewed articles on global warming and climate change, looking for those that reject anthropogenic global warming. I am pleased to report that my most recent study, covering 2013 and 2014, has been peer-reviewed, accepted, and published online in Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society (BSTS). Go here to read the free article online. See the abstract below. Dr. Susan Losh, editor of BSTS and an expert on the public understanding of science, has written an introduction to my article. Her introduction is available here, free.

Abstract of my article in Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society
The extent of the consensus among scientists on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) has the potential to influence public opinion and the attitude of political leaders and thus matters greatly to society. The history of science demonstrates that if we wish to judge the level of a scientific consensus and whether the consensus position is likely to be correct, the only reliable source is the peer-reviewed literature. During 2013 and 2014, only 4 of 69,406 authors of peer-reviewed articles on global warming, 0.0058% or 1 in 17,352, rejected AGW. Thus, the consensus on AGW among publishing scientists is above 99.99%, verging on unanimity. The U.S. House of Representatives holds 40 times as many global warming rejecters as are found among the authors of scientific articles. The peer-reviewed literature contains no convincing evidence against AGW.

My article is a direct, peer-reviewed refutation of the method and result of Cook et al. 2013, the source of the widespread and mistaken belief that the consensus on AGW among publishing scientists is “97%.” If that figure were true, on average 3 of 100 articles would reject AGW. Instead, to find a single rejecting article, one has to read thousands. (For my search and review methodology, see here. Environmental Research Letters, where Cook et al. published, also accepted my article: see here.)

Where did Cook et al. go wrong? They invented an incorrect and misleading definition of consensus; falsely assumed that publishing scientists routinely endorse the ruling paradigm of their discipline; arbitrarily ruled out of the consensus 21,200 climate authors--two-thirds of their database; and declared a number of prominent climate scientists like James Hansen both in and out of the consensus. Their method rules out of the consensus every author on global warming in Environmental Research Letters in 2013-2104, including the Cook et al. authors themselves. When applied to widely accepted theories like evolution, meteorite impact, and plate tectonics, the Cook et al. method fails, requiring division of zero by zero. See here for details. For what Cook et al. did and did not measure, see here.

Now that my arguments and those of Cook et al. have both been peer-reviewed and published, they have equal status. But only one can be right: either publishing scientists are virtually unanimous that anthropogenic global warming is true or 3% reject the theory. Share your views in the Forum.

This chart summarizes my results. Click to download. The slice represents the number of authors expanded ten-fold. Note that the five rejecting articles have only one citation. See here. But that citation is actually to correct a mistake in the original article, so none of the five have ever been cited positively. In their impact on science, it is as though the five rejecting articles had never been written.

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