More than 99.9% of peer-reviewed scientific papers have concluded that humans are the main cause of climate change
According to a new survey of 88,125 climate-related studies, more than 99.9% of peer-reviewed scientific papers agree that climate change is mainly caused by humans.
The researchers examined a randomised sample of 3,000 studies from the dataset of 88,125 English-language climate papers published between 2012-2020 and found that only four were sceptical of human-caused climate change.
“We knew that [climate sceptical papers] were vanishingly small in terms of their occurrence, but we thought there still must be more in the 88,000,” Mark Lynas, a visiting fellow at the Alliance for Science at Cornell University and the paper’s first author, said.
Co-author Simon Perry, a United Kingdom-based software engineer and volunteer at the Alliance for Science, created an algorithm that searched out keywords, such as “solar,” “cosmic rays” and “natural cycles”, and applied it to all 88,000-plus papers.
Overall, the search yielded 28 papers that were implicitly or explicitly sceptical, all published in minor journals.
Benjamin Houlton, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell and a co-author of the study, said: “It’s critical to acknowledge the principal role of greenhouse gas emissions so that we can rapidly mobilise new solutions since we are already witnessing in real-time the devastating impacts of climate-related disasters on businesses, people and the economy. Greater than 99% Consensus on Human-Caused Climate Change in the Peer-Reviewed Scientific Literature.”
However, public opinion polls, as well as opinions of politicians and public representatives, continue to point to false beliefs that a debate still exists among scientists over the true cause of climate change, despite the results.
The Pew Research Center found that only 27% of U.S. adults believe that “almost all” scientists agreed that climate change is due to human activity and a 2021 Gallup poll pointed to a deepening partisan divide in American politics.
Human-caused climate change
Lynas concluded: “We are virtually certain that the consensus is well over 99% now and that it’s pretty much case closed for any meaningful public conversation about the reality of human-caused climate change.”
Greater than 99% Consensus on Human Caused Climate Change in the Peer-Reviewed Scientific Literature, Environmental Research Letters (2021). https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ac2966
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