Report: There is no 97 percent global warming consensus

Written by The Daily Caller.

12:52 PM  09/04/2013


The vaunted scientific consensus around manmade global  warming  may be exaggerated, according to a study by the Global Warming Policy  Foundation.

A May 2013 report by climate scientist  John Cook and fellow researchers found that among “abstracts expressing a  position on [manmade global warming], 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that  humans are causing global warming.”

This is misleading, writes Andrew Montford of GWPF, since the methodology of  Cook’s report reveals that the researchers cast such a wide net to create the 97  percent consensus that it encompasses people who don’t believe in catastrophic  global warming.

To be part of the “consensus” one need only agree that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse  gas and that human activities have warmed the planet “to some unspecified  extent” — both of which are uncontroversial points.

“Almost everybody involved in the climate debate, including the majority of  sceptics, accepts these propositions, so little can be learned from the Cook et  al. paper,” writes Montford. “The extent to which the warming in the last two decades of the  twentieth century was man-made and the likely extent of any future warming  remain highly contentious scientific issues.”

Montford points out that there are two possible ways one can view of the “consensus” around manmade global warming. One is “shallow” view that human  activity caused some unspecified extent. The other is the “deep” view that human  activity is the main driver behind global warming.

According to Montford, the Cook paper takes the “shallow” view because his  study counted a paper as endorsing the “consensus” if it accepted the concept of  anthropogenic global warming, either implicitly or explicitly, regardless of  whether it quantified the extent of human influence  on the planet’s temperature.”

Most papers implicitly endorsed Cook’s consensus, Montford claimed.

“A paper was only said to reject the consensus if it minimised the human  contribution, for example by proposing that natural mechanisms dominate or, more  explicitly, suggested that the human contribution is minimal,” Montford  wrote.

Activists and even the Obama administration has touted Cook’s study as proof  that the science surrounding global warming is settled and that it’s primarily  driven by human activity, such as burning fossil fuels.

“So the question is not whether we need to act. The overwhelming judgment of  science — of chemistry and physics and millions of measurements — has put all  that to rest. Ninety-seven percent of scientists, including, by the way, some  who originally disputed the data, have now put that to rest,” President Obama said while unveiling his new plan to combat  global warming. “They’ve acknowledged the planet is warming and human activity  is contributing to it.”

Climate scientists have been struggling to explain why the Earth has not  warmed in at least the past 15 years despite rapidly rising carbon dioxide emissions  from human activity.

“The consensus as described by Cook et al. is virtually meaningless and tells  us nothing about the current state of scientific  opinion beyond the trivial observation that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas  and that human activities have warmed the planet to some unspecified extent,” Montford concluded.



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