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  (Source: Smart Power)
Study says skeptics are not well-informed on the topic

Stanford University recently conducted a study that shows a minimal number of scientists who do not accept that human beings have contributed to the Earth's climate change have "far less expertise and prominence in climate research" than scientists who do believe climate change has been affected by humans. 

The university came to these conclusions by analyzing the number of research papers published "by more than 900 climate researchers" and the number of times these researchers' works were cited by other scientists. The expertise was evaluated by citing the number of research papers written by scientists (with the minimum number for inclusion being 20).

Prominence was analyzed by finding the four most popular climate change and non-climate change papers published by scientists, and "tallying" the number of times these papers were cited. According to the results, approximately 64 percent of papers by climate researchers convinced of human contribution were cited more often than those who are unconvinced. 

"These are standard academic metrics used when universities are making hiring or tenure decisions," said William Anderegg, lead author of a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The scientists who participated in the study were also involved in creating the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which compiled and "assessed the evidence for and against human involvement in climate change, as well as any climate researchers who signed a major public statement disagreeing with the findings of the panel's report."

In addition, the university's team of scientists decided on who the top 100 climate researchers are by determining the "total number of climate-related publications each had." According to Anderegg, 97 percent of those in the top 100 agree with and/or endorse the IPCC's assessment. He also says that this result has been "borne out" by other studies that use different methodology.  

"We really wanted to bring the expertise dimension into this whole discussion," said Anderegg. "We hope to put to rest the notion that keeps being repeated in the media and by some members of the public that 'the scientists disagree' about whether human activity is contributing to climate change."

The scientists at Stanford have mentioned that they are ready to take some heat from doubters of anthropogenic, or human-affected, climate change who "object to their data." But according to Stephen Schneider, a professor of biology and a coauthor of the paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team "took pains to avoid any sort of prejudice or skewed data in their analysis." When selecting researchers for the study who either disagreed with statements of the IPCC or signed the petitions, the Stanford team was sure to stay completely neutral in the study by omitting "those who had no published papers in the climate literature."

Schneider says that despite the careful analysis of this study, skeptics of human-affected climate change will "claim foul" anyway, and will say that climate researchers who are onboard with the idea of anthropogenic climate change are "just trying to deny publication of the doubters' opinion," but he challenges them to "go out and do a study to prove it -- it is of course not true."

"I think the most typical criticism of a paper like this -- not necessarily in academic discourse, but in the broader context -- is going to be that we haven't addressed these sorts of differences could be due to some clique or, at the extreme, a conspiracy of the researchers who are convinced of climate change," Anderegg said. 

"When you stop to consider whether some sort of 'group think' really drives these patterns and it could really exist in science in general, the idea is really pretty laughable," he said. "All of the incentives in science are exactly the opposite."

This Stanford study is the first of its kind to address the issue of scientists' opinions of human-affected climate change, and what their level of expertise and prominence in the field is. 

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RE: Of course its part of a clique
By gamerk2 on 6/28/2010 2:57:51 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that all Global Warming/Climate Change models predicated on a principle that Earth's temperature is stagnant. Meaning, within a certain time frame, temp is supposed to remain steady and even.

Where do people get this stuff? Yes, the planets temperature changes. NO ONE IS ARGUING OTHERWISE!

Its all about trendlines; if the line starts to skew in one direction, is that a varience, or a new trend? And over the past century, the trend has been a steady linaer increase in temperature [which indicates that in the short term, we should expect a continuing linear trend].

Secondly, opponents to Climate Change have yet to put forth any theory of their own to explain away that trend; arguing against GW with an opposing theory is one thing, but arguing against it without another explanation of the data is another one entirely.

Temperature changes for a reason; be it a decrease in solar output, to the moon steadily moving away from the planet, to GW affecting the atmosphere as a whole.

And before people bring up the Global Cooling debate of the mid-70's, the thought at the time was that increasing CO2 concentration in the atmoshphere would block out more heat then would be trapped, cooling the planet. This theory was thrown out after probes from Venus [mainly done by the USSR] started to measure Venus' surface temperatures, and people realised the opposite effect is true.

Heck, Venus is a pretty good example all by itself: A thick CO2 covering traps in heat [hence why Venus is warmer then even Mercury at the surface, despite significantly less Solar output]. Heck, CO2 is KNOWN beyond any reasonable doubt to trap heat. The only real argument is whether enough of it is being dumped to have an effect on Earth.

By shin0bi272 on 6/28/2010 3:20:36 PM , Rating: 5
no the entire concept of global warming is that oh no its hotter by 1 degree now than it was 200 years ago we are all about to die!

The problem with the trend lines is the "scientists" all have different ones! Ive seen trend lines from an MIT scientist/professor that shows trend lines going down slightly over time since 1990. But then you look at the ones from the now discredited east anglia and they are all going up. You cant trust the data most of the time and the way they calculate the global average temperature is so convoluted that their own model doesnt compile (seriously some computer scientist tried to get their data to compile and he couldnt because several portions of it were hard coded to a certain value that was then tied to a variable that was supposed to be input by the user). I know we use satellite data but how hard is it to come up with a simple average for the data points where the satellites acquire their temp data?

The opponents of man made global warming dont have to put forth a theory to prove that the man made global warming supporters are mathematically wrong.

You do know that a lot of the temp data that the global warming scientists are using for temps earlier in time is from 3 (not 30 or 300 or 3000...just 3) trees cherry picked for their large rings out of Siberia. That's what they are pinning their older temps on... 3 tree's rings from 1 location in Russia.

Since you brought up the global cooling debate I will say that that was just as ludicrous.

If our atmosphere was so thick that you couldnt see the ground from space (like venus) then yeah there would be some global warming due to the particulate and/or gasses in the atmosphere... but its not and that's why there's no life on venus (shocker I know).

Lastly you do know that 95% of the greenhouse gasses is water vapor right? The entire atmosphere contains 0.0390% co2 (venus is 96.5% CO2).

By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/2010 4:09:42 PM , Rating: 1
Where do people get this stuff? Yes, the planets temperature changes. NO ONE IS ARGUING OTHERWISE!

Well they DO use that to make their case. If it's a hot summer we hear news stories about it being proof of Global Warming. Cold Winters? Proof of that too. Bad hurricane season? Yup you guessed it, proof of global warming.

RE: Of course its part of a clique
By JediJeb on 6/28/2010 4:16:39 PM , Rating: 5
Heck, Venus is a pretty good example all by itself: A thick CO2 covering traps in heat [hence why Venus is warmer then even Mercury at the surface, despite significantly less Solar output]. Heck, CO2 is KNOWN beyond any reasonable doubt to trap heat. The only real argument is whether enough of it is being dumped to have an effect on Earth.

Actually Venus is not the best example to prove CO2 is what is warming the Earth. The Earth does not have large amounts of Sulfuric Acid in the atmosphere, nor does it have tiny amounts of Water Vapor. That is like saying an Apple is an Orange because they are both spherical. Mercury is not as hot as Venus because there is no atmosphere at all to keep the dark side warm, just like the Moon there is an extreme temperature differential from light to dark because of lack of atmosphere. The Earth or Venus would be the same without atmosphere, and even if the atmosphere were 100% Nitrogen you would still have the effect of stabilizing the temperature differential to some degree. There are 100s of variables to consider when talking about climate, to reduce it to one (like CO2)and claim it is the total driving force is laughable.

This study shows there are many other chemicals that are much stronger at causing a greenhouse effect. It also states that they could become factors in warming that are manmade but are not yet at concentrations high enough to have much of an effect. The article also shows that until last November noone had actually done a spectroscopic study of gasses to see what their greenhouse potential really is, it is interesting how much stronger freon is than CO2. But on top of all this, you have to consider how well the gasses migrate into the upper atmosphere where they can actually cause the greenhouse effect. If they tend to stay near the ground as most heavier molecules do, then the effect is negated by their placement.

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