Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming?

I had someone ask me: by what rights do I claim "over 95% of scientists who are familiar with global warming issues - understand and support the notion that CO2 and other GreenhouseGases are the major drivers of recent unusual increases in Earth's temperature and weather patterns?"  

Well, it's a long story.  We can begin with this list compiled by the folks at

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Scientific organizations endorsing the consensus

The following scientific organizations endorse the consensus position that "most of the global warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities":
The Academies of Science from 19 different countries all endorse the consensus. 13 countries have signed a joint statement endorsing the consensus position:
  • Academia Brasiliera de Ciencias (Brazil)
  • Royal Society of Canada
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Academie des Sciences (France)
  • Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany)
  • Indian National Science Academy
  • Accademia dei Lincei (Italy)
  • Science Council of Japan
  • Academia Mexicana de Ciencias (Mexico)
  • Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Academy of Science of South Africa
  • Royal Society (United Kingdom)
"Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science."
The consensus is also endorsed by a Joint statement by the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC), including the following bodies:
  • African Academy of Sciences
  • Cameroon Academy of Sciences
  • Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Kenya National Academy of Sciences
  • Madagascar's National Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences
  • Nigerian Academy of Sciences
  • l'Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
  • Uganda National Academy of Sciences
  • Academy of Science of South Africa
  • Tanzania Academy of Sciences
  • Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences
  • Zambia Academy of Sciences
  • Sudan Academy of Sciences
Other Academies of Sciences that endorse the consensus:

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Scientific Consensus on Global Warming

Scientific societies and scientists have released statements and studies showing the growing consensus on climate change science. A common objection to taking action to reduce our heat-trapping emissions has been uncertainty within the scientific community on whether or not global warming is happening and if it is caused by humans. However, there is now an overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is indeed happening and humans are contributing to it. Below are links to documents and statements attesting to this consensus. 

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G8+5 Academies’ joint statement:
Climate change and the transformation of energy technologies for a low carbon future
Climate change and sustainable energy supply are crucial challenges for the future of humanity. It is essential that world leaders agree on the emission reductions needed to combat negative consequences of anthropogenic climate change at the UNFCCC negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009.
At the same time, agreement is needed on actions to ensure basic energy services are available to all of the world’s people.

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Science 3 December 2004: Vol. 306 no. 5702 p. 1686 ~ DOI: 10.1126/science.1103618
The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change
  1. Naomi Oreskes
The drafting of such reports and statements involves many opportunities for comment, criticism, and revision, and it is not likely that they would diverge greatly from the opinions of the societies' members. Nevertheless, they might downplay legitimate dissenting opinions. That hypothesis was tested by analyzing 928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords “climate change” (9). 
The 928 papers were divided into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.

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Scientific consensus on global warming
Science community concurs warming is happening — and people are the cause

The most respected scientific bodies have stated unequivocally that global warming is occurring, and people are causing it by burning fossil fuels and cutting down forests.
This conclusion is shared by the national science academies of developed and developing countries (read the statement [PDF]), plus many other organizations, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was established by the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization to provide the world with "a clear scientific view" on climate change.

The only real debate is about how fast warming will occur, and how much damage will be done, as a result of human activities that produce heat-trapping CO2 and other greenhouse-gas emissions.

Peer review ensures sound science
Climate scientists, like all scientists, are professional skeptics. They welcome — in fact, rely upon — rigorous challenges to their work from colleagues. Through this process of peer review and independent verification, scientists critique and double- (and triple- and quadruple-) check each others work.

This can lead to debate and controversy, but over time, solid research is validated, errors are discarded, and a body of reliable facts is created. In addition, science advances by focusing on what is not yet known. In the case of climate change, for example, there is an extremely good general understanding of the phenomenon, but many details are not yet understood. These gaps in the research, as they come to light, are systematically tackled by the scientific community.

In this context, the kind of material used by climate-change skeptics to cast doubt on global warming — whether it be a handful of emails stolen from an East Anglian research facility or a few errors in an IPCC report — are meaningless. The mountain of climate data assembled over decades by the scientific community as a whole is irrefutable. The records collected and analyzed by independent scientists from many disciplines and thousands of locations, paint a consistent, verifiable picture of a rapidly warming world.

Make no mistake: Science has given us unequivocal warning that global warming is real. The time to start working on solutions is now.

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 On Scientific Consensus 
By David Barash  ~ July 18, 2012, 10:43 am 
. . . It may be that some people, lacking any real concept of science, are indeed under the impression that consensus is somehow inimical to the scientific process.  They couldn’t be more incorrect. 
Like nearly all human endeavors, and perhaps more than most, science is a cumulative enterprise. Discoveries build on earlier findings, occurring within a context of what is known; i.e., what constitutes a scientific consensus. Otherwise, we would each have to discover every truth for ourselves, leaving little if any room for what can legitimately be called intellectual progress. One would think that even conservatives, who ostensibly have special reverence for received wisdom, would understand this. . .

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Scientific Consensus Stronger than Scientists Thought?

An innovative sampling of a small group of climate scientists’ perspectives suggests their views may be more commonly shared among their science colleagues than they had thought.
More than two decades after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began publishing the latest scientific consensus on the globe’s changing climate, widespread doubts persist in the U.S. over whether there really is widespread agreement among scientists. It’s the primary argument of those who deny basic scientific foundations of warming.
But new and innovative survey results suggest the consensus among scientists might actually be stronger than the scientists themselves had thought.

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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Then there is always the IPCC which despite being victim to ruthless PR attack really is doing a good job and open to anyone who wants to know about it. 
Visit their website:

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