Survey of 1800 scientists: The ‘97% consensus’ is now 43% – ‘Less than half of climate scientists agree with UN IPCC ‘95%’ certainty’

By: - Climate DepotJuly 30, 2015 1:31 PM with 91 comments


I used to think there was a consensus among government-funded certified climate scientists, but a better study by Verheggen et al shows even that is not true.[1] The “97% consensus” is now 43%.

Finally there is a decent survey on the topic, and it shows that less than half of what we would call “climate scientists” who research the topic and for the most part, publish in the peer reviewed literature, would agree with the IPCC’s main conclusions. Only 43% of climate scientists agree with the IPCC “95%” certainty

More than 1800 international scientists studying various aspects of climate change (including climate physics, climate impacts, and mitigation) responded to the questionnaire. Some 6550 people were invited to participate in this survey, which took place in March and April 2012. Respondents were picked because they had authored articles with the key words ‘global warming’ and/or ‘global climate change’, covering the 1991–2011 period, via the Web of Science, or were included the climate scientist database assembled by Jim Prall, or just by a survey of peer reviewed climate science articles. Prall’s database includes some 200 names that have criticized mainstream science and about half had only published in “gray literature”. (But hey, the IPCC quotes a lot of gray literature itself, as Donna LaFramboise found.)

Fabius Maximus suggests we exclude the “I don’t knows” which brings up the number to 47%. Since these are “climate scientists” I don’t see why those responses should be excluded. An expert saying “I don’t know” on the certainty question is an emphatic disagreement with the IPCC 95% certainty.

The IPCC AR5 Statement:

“It is extremely likely {95%+ certainty} that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. ”

— Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC’s AR5 Working Group I.

Climate scientists, survey, consensus, 97%, certainty,

Climate Scientists, consensus, survey, 97%, 43%, certainty

The researchers acknowledge that skeptics may be slightly over-represented, “it is likely that viewpoints that run counter to the prevailing consensus are somewhat (i.e. by a few percentage points) magnified in our results.” I say, given that skeptics get sacked, rarely get grants to research, and find it harder to get published, they are underrepresented in every way in the “certified” pool of publishing climate scientists. Skeptical scientists, I daresay, would be much less likely to use the keyword phrase “global warming” in the papers they do publish. I imagine it’s easier to get papers published that don’t specifically poke the mainstream buttons.