Evidence and Education

There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that humans cause climate change. You do not need to be a climate scientist to be able to see that the vast majority of climate scientists do believe in human caused climate change. So let’s go over the evidence.

According to the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, 

97 percent of climate scientists are convinced, based upon the evidence, that human-caused global warming is happening.[1]

And while Yale is absolutely a top school, being around number 3 in the U.S. and number 10 in the world (varies by ranker and year, nonetheless a top school), it is just one study. So let’s look at another.

NASA sources a study by John Cook, a member of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland in Australia. Cook examined 11,944 abstracts of climate science reports published from 1991 to 2011. Around two-thirds of the abstracts didn’t have a stance on human caused climate change,

but for around the 4,000 studies that did, 97.1 percent of them stated humans are contributing to climate change.[2]

I could go on, but study after study will yield similar results. If you want to see more, Politifact has a good article on covering different studies to see if the 97% of scientists believe that humans cause climate change. Spoiler, the number reflects climate scientists more so than the whole scientific community, and it’s difficult to find an exact number, but yes, the vast majority of climate scientists do believe in human caused climate change. Here’s the article: Politifact: Don Beyer says 97 percent of scientists believe humans contribute to global warming.

But let’s move beyond statistics. What about scientific organizations? Individuals are great but what do scientific organizations find?

Well

  • NASA,

  • The US National Academy of Sciences,

  • The American Institute of Physics,

  • The American Geophysical Union,

  • the American Meteorological Society,

  • The National Center for Atmospheric Research,

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,

  • The Environmental Protection Agency,

  • The World Health Organization,

  • The Union of Concerned Scientists,

  • the national academy of science or equivalent organization of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sweden, and many, many more organizations,

all hold the belief that humans do cause climate change.

Additionally, the The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change( IPCC) Third Assessment Report, Working Group 1 (TAR WG1), is the most comprehensive compilation and summary of current climate research ever attempted, and is arguably the most thoroughly peer reviewed scientific document in history. If you are aware of a scientific report that had more scientists from as many nations as the IPCC 3rd Assessment, I am genuinely interested in what it was.

Why is this a concern? Well the World Health Organization claims that “Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year.”[3.] A little basic math shows that in those twenty years, five million people are expected to die from climate change. And as sad as it is, I would not expect that number to get better in decades to follow if we do not resolve this issue.

I hope this page has brought to your attention the massive scientific consensus there is. I am not asking you to be able to understand every bit of how climate change is occurring, it can be very complex: I am asking you to truly consider whether you really think that ~97% of climate scientists, as well as the vast majority of large scientific organizations that have a stance on the issue are wrong.

So please check out our Take Action page, this a very important issue that cannot be solved without the help of others.


Article written by John Fernow, Environmental Studies and Computer Science Dual Major.

Editor: Summer Aldred

Sources:

“97 percent of climate scientists are convinced, based upon the evidence, that human-caused global warming is happening.”

[1.] Scientific Consensus on Climate Change as a Gateway Belief. Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.


“Cook examined 11,944 abstracts of climate science reports published from 1991 to 2011. Around two-thirds of the abstracts didn’t have a stance on human caused climate change, but for around the 4,000 studies that did, 97.1 percent of them stated humans are contributing to climate change.”

[2.] Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature.

John Cook1,2,3, Dana Nuccitelli2,4, Sarah A Green5, Mark Richardson6, Ba ̈rbel Winkler2, Rob Painting2, Robert Way7, Peter Jacobs8 and Andrew Skuce2,9

1 Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, Australia
2 Skeptical Science, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
3 School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, Australia
4 Tetra Tech, Incorporated, McClellan, CA, USA
5 Department of Chemistry, Michigan Technological University, USA
6 Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK
7 Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
8 Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, USA 9 Salt Spring Consulting Ltd, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada


[3.] “World Health Organization claims that ‘Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year.'”

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs266/en/

 

 

External Resources

Great Documentaries

Before the Flood (National Geographic)

https://www.beforetheflood.com/screenings/

Great Shows

Adam Ruins Everything – Season 2, Episode 15

$1.99 at YouTube, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play

Great Books

How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything

Great Journalism to Keep up-to-date with Climate Change and other Scientific Issues

Science News

Climate Central

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