Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature
We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics 'global climate change' or 'global warming'. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors' self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research.
Environmental Research Letters
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Cook, John; Nuccitelli, Dana; Green, Sarah A.; Richardson, Mark; Winkler, Bärbel; Painting, Rob; Jacobs, Peter; and Skuce, Andrew G., "Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature" (2013). Department of Chemistry Publications. 71.