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The Sciences

The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change: Stronger and Stronger

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJune 22, 2010 4:47 PM


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Courtesy of Rick Piltz, I learn of a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that powerfully demonstrates just how convinced scientists are that global warming is real and human caused. Indeed, this paper, entitled "Expert Credibility in Climate Change," looks at the relationship between scientific prominence, amount of work published in the field, and acceptance of the scientific consensus. Findings:

(i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and

(ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.

Those of us who follow this issue closely won't be surprised--but the results mean that journalists who have given a lot of weight to climate "skeptics" have some 'splaining to do. Essentially, this paper seems to be suggesting that they got the wrong "experts." Incidentally, given how closely this study hits home, I would expect it to be attacked--just as Naomi Oreskes' famous paper "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

" was.

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