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Science AMA Series: We just published a study showing that ~97% of climate experts really do agree humans causing global warming. Ask Us Anything!
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Hello there, /r/Science! We* are a group of researchers who just published a meta-analysis of expert agreement on humans causing global warming. The lead author John Cook has a video backgrounder on the paper here, and articles in The Conversation and Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Coauthor Dana Nuccitelli also did a background post on his blog at the Guardian here. You may have heard the statistic “97% of climate experts agree that humans are causing global warming.” You may also have wondered where that number comes from, or even have heard that it was “debunked”. This metanalysis looks at a wealth of surveys (of scientists as well as the scientific literature) about scientific agreement on human-caused global warming, and finds that among climate experts, the ~97% level among climate experts is pretty robust. The upshot of our paper is that the level of agreement with the consensus view increases with expertise. When people claim the number is lower, they usually do so by cherry-picking the responses of groups of non-experts, such as petroleum geologists or weathercasters. Why does any of this matter? Well, there is a growing body of scientific literature that shows the public’s perception of scientific agreement is a “gateway belief” for their attitudes on environmental questions (e.g. Ding et al., 2011, van der Linden et al., 2015, and more). In other words, if the public thinks scientists are divided on an issue, that causes the public to be less likely to agree that a problem exists and makes them less willing to do anything about it. Making sure the public understands the high level of expert agreement on this topic allows the public dialog to advance to more interesting and pressing questions, like what as a society we decided to do about the issue. We’re here to answer your questions about this paper and more general, related topics. We ill be back later to answer your questions, Ask us anything! *Joining you today will be: Stuart Carlton aka @jscarlton John Cook aka /u/SkepticScience Sarah Green aka @FataMorgana_LS Peter Jacobs aka /u/past_is_future Stephan Lewandowsky aka /u/StephanLewandowsky Andy Skuce aka /u/AndySkuce Bart Verheggen aka @BVerheggen and perhaps some others if they have time Mod Note: Due to the geographical spread of our guests there will be a lag in some answers, please be patient!