Print 101 comment(s) - last by Swedishelk.. on Jul 5 at 1:30 PM

  (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. 

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

It's a Trick Question..
By just4U on 6/29/2010 4:53:42 AM , Rating: 2
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.

Think about it, Has mankind contributed even in just a miniscule way towards climate change? The answer would likely be yes.. and overall should be a given. Now the questions that should have been asked of those prominent in the field is,

Has mankind contributed dramatically to climate change? Overall what do you believe the cause and effect of climate change will have upon the planet and humanity in particular?

In my opinion there's to much smoke and mirrors here to try and whip us (the masses) into a frenzy but we've gotten somewhat wise to that tactic.. so now ask these people the right questions. I don't believe their "IN ON IT" From what I've been told many are pissed off about the whole thing and how it's being twisted.

RE: It's a Trick Question..
By alanore on 6/29/2010 10:00:16 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you completely.

Carbon Dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Carbon Dioxide is released by burning fossil fuels. Therefore it has a greenhouse effect on the atmosphere.

The question is the magnitude of the effect.

If I fill a bucket with water out of the sea, the sea level will decrease. It just so happens that its such a small amount that its totally unmeasurable by monitoring sea levels. More over, there are so many natural effects, evaporation, rain, hell even the amount of sewage getting pumped into the sea, would complete mask the effect I'm having on it.

If I bought a bigger bucket, say 100 billion gallon, it would have a measurable effect, and it would have a knock-on effect on natural processes.

I know that on the whole the climate and trying to model it, is an extremely complex task, so its unlikely that we are going to see any definitive answers, but as yet there has been no huge effect that can be blamed on global warming 100%, so we do have time.

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki