Review of the consensus and asymmetric quality of research on human-induced climate change

Review of the consensus and asymmetric quality of
research on human-induced climate change

John P. Abraham
University of St. Thomas, School of Engineering
St. Paul (MN), USA.

John Cook
University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

John T. Fasullo
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Boulder (CO), USA

Peter H. Jacobs
Department of Environmental Science and Policy
George Mason University, Fairfax, USA

Scott A. Mandia
Suffolk Country Community College
Selden (NY), USA

Dana A. Nuccitelli
Skeptical Science
Brisbane, Australia


AbstractClimate science is a massively interdisciplinary field with different areas understood to varying degrees. One area that has been well understood for decades is the fundamental fact that humans are causing global warming. The greenhouse effect has been understood since the 1800s, and subsequent research has refined our understanding of the impact of increased concentrations of greenhouse gases on the planet. Also increasing has been the consensus among the world’s climate scientists that the basic principles of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are correct. This has been demonstrated by multiple reinforcing studies that the consensus of scientists on the basic tenets of AGW is nearly unanimous. Nevertheless, the general public in many countries remains unconvinced not only of the existence of AGW, but also of the degree of scientific consensus. Additionally, there remain a few high-profile scientists who have continued to put forth alternative explanations for observed climatic changes across the globe. Here, we summarize research on the degree of agreement amongst scientists and we assess the quality of scholarship from the contrarian scientists. Many major contrarian arguments against mainstream thinking have been strongly challenged and criticized in the scientific literature; significant flaws have often been found. The same fate has not befallen the prominent consensus studies.


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Cosmopolis, 2014/1
pp. 3-18

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