OCT 21, 2021 3:00 PM PDT

Over 99%: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change Confirmed, Again

WRITTEN BY: Matthew Lundy

The scientific consensus on human-caused climate change is overwhelming. A recent study published this week in Environmental Research Letters has confirmed this consensus once again, finding the level of agreement to exceed “99% in the peer reviewed scientific literature.” This means that, in climate-focused scientific research which has undergone the process of peer review, one of the core methods that the scientific community uses to vet and verify research, over 99% of studies and papers agree on the topic and existence of “human-caused contemporary climate change.”

The study was conducted by researchers from Cornell University and the Alliance for Science (also based in Ithaca, New York). In what is somewhat rare in the world of research, the study is open access and freely available. It is also straightforward to read. The authors explain their methodology of collecting over 88,000 climate related papers and choosing a randomized set of 3,000 of these to perform their analysis on.

Climate change is already worsening floods and making rainfall more erratic.

One result that might seem odd is that the majority of papers expressed no position on climate change. All of the papers are climate related, but when getting into the weeds about very niche science in the environment and climate, the broader subject of global climate change is not always relevant to the discussion. Among those in the randomized sample set that did indicate a position on human-caused climate change (whether explicitly or implicitly), the researchers found 892 papers which endorsed the concept and just 4 that rejected it.

(Scientific consensus was at least as high as 97% three years ago)

In concise fashion, the authors conclude that “there is no significant scientific debate among experts about whether or not climate change is human-caused.” While this finding has been shown before, it is still important research to replicate, especially given that only 55% of Americans believe “most scientists think global warming is happening.” As the climate crisis continues to grow more threatening and global action continues to be discussed at world summits such as the upcoming COP26, the people of the world should be aware of where our collective scientific understanding stands. It is only with such an informed understanding that constituents can fully participate in our democratic systems and inform their representatives how important climate action is. Research like this helps to straightforwardly communicate science to the broader public and is invaluable in our ongoing understanding of and grappling with the climate crisis.

 

Source: IOPScience; Yale Program on Climate Change Communication

About the Author
MS in Science Communication, BS in Astrophysics and Philosophy
Science communicator passionate about physics, space, and our, unfortunately, changing climate; exploring the universe through written word and the occasional video.
You May Also Like
OCT 12, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Moon Glass Shows Correlation Between Lunar Asteroid Impacts and Earth
OCT 12, 2022
Moon Glass Shows Correlation Between Lunar Asteroid Impacts and Earth
In a recent study published in Science Advances, an international team of researchers led by the Chinese Academy of Geol ...
OCT 24, 2022
Plants & Animals
Genetic insight into a Neandertal community
OCT 24, 2022
Genetic insight into a Neandertal community
New research based on genetic sequencing provides insight into a Neandertal social structure.
NOV 01, 2022
Technology
Arranging Nanoparticles Without Damaging Surface Material
NOV 01, 2022
Arranging Nanoparticles Without Damaging Surface Material
In a recent study published in Science Advances, a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ha ...
NOV 02, 2022
Plants & Animals
New fossil fish moves evolution of jaws back 14 million years
NOV 02, 2022
New fossil fish moves evolution of jaws back 14 million years
Newly discovered fossil fish in China suggest an earlier origin for the evolution of jaws
NOV 08, 2022
Earth & The Environment
Seasonal Thawing in Antarctica Playing Tricks with Scientists
NOV 08, 2022
Seasonal Thawing in Antarctica Playing Tricks with Scientists
In a recent study published in Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, a trio of researchers led by Colgate University e ...
NOV 19, 2022
Health & Medicine
Artificial Light Exposure May Increase Diabetes Risk
NOV 19, 2022
Artificial Light Exposure May Increase Diabetes Risk
In the modern world, many people are exposed to artificial light at night. It's even become such a problem that dark sky ...
Loading Comments...