Yes, There Is A 97% Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

Climate Change Consensus Skeptical Science

Earlier today David Robertson defended Republicans for their anti-scientific viewpoint in denying the scientific consensus on climate change at The Moderate Voice, where many of my posts are also posted. Dorian De Wind followed up, citing work by NASA to debunk what David wrote on the science. As this part of the debate has already been answered, I will address a more specific claim that there is no consensus. Climate change denialists typically make one of two related arguments, either denying that there is a strong consensus among climate scientists or denying the entire concept of a scientific consensus.

David quoted a paper by science fiction writer Michael Crichton denying the concept of a scientific consensus. Crichton is not a climate scientist, but  is a well known denier of climate science. Both his view on the scientific consensus and his arguments against climate change have frequently been debunked. As a fellow physician, he should have known very well that the use of consensus statements is common in science.  Consensus papers are actually extremely common in medicine, as experts in a field decide what the best evidence shows to guide those providing medical care. For example, a quick Google search will show what seems like an endless number of consensus statements from the National Institute of Health. This is just one of many organizations which has issued consensus statements in health care, and other scientific fields also commonly use consensus statements.

Reaching a scientific consensus does matter beyond the scientific community. For example, the scientific consensus on climate change has often been compared to the scientific consensus that cigarette smoking causes cancer. This consensus has resulted in both a change in attitude by the general public and a change in laws regarding cigarette smoking. A comparable change is necessary to respond to the scientific consensus on climate change.

There is a scientific consensus on climate change, and NASA has described it:

Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources.

The report then goes on to cite statements from several organizations and includes this list of almost two hundred organizations which take the position that climate change has been caused by human action.

Skeptical Science has also reviewed the claims that there is no scientific consensus on climate change, debunking such arguments. Their findings were consistent with what NASA and other scientific organizations have reported on the scientific consensus on climate change. They note that, “A survey of over 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science papers by our citizen science team at Skeptical Science has found a 97% consensus in the peer-reviewed literature that humans are causing global warming.”

Originally posted at The Moderate Voice


  1. 1
    David Duff says:

    There's 100% agreement on 'climate CHANGE' because the climate has never stopped changing ever since the earth formed.

    So why did you drop the title "global warming"?  Could it be anything to do with the fact that there hasn't been any for the last 19 years?  A fact which none of your 'warmer' scientists (I use the term loosely)  ever predicted?

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    The consensus is on human activity causing climate change. Climate change is used because, while the overall climate is becoming warmer, the changes are more complex than warming alone. The claim by science deniers that there has not been warming for the last nineteen years, based upon cherry picking data, has frequently been debunked.

  3. 3
    Brian says:

    We as humans do not CAUSE global warming, so this article is misleading –which makes it look like a game is being played. The earth NATURALLY warms over very long periods of time, then to correct the phenomenon in effort to maintain homeostasis with a cold climate (hence 'the ice age'). The impact that humans have is that we are speeding this process up. The question of whether or not the global climate will change has never been "if" but "when". And instead of getting a grip on an ACTION plan for reducing human-kinds footprint (which would potentially  lead to measures to combat the phenomenon altogether), we as a species is busy arguing points about whether or not the science sector has been wrong for the last millennia… If ANYONE wants to challenge whether or not the science sector knows what they are talking about here, then we had better check ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING based off of science. I.E. rotation of the earth, effects of deforestation, GRAVITY, the moon, Mars, global oceanic currents, El Niño……. Etc…. 

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