There is no Consensus Among Scientists on Global Warming

Yes, there is consensus among scientists no matter what Skeptics claim.

About 93% or more of individual scientists* agree that there is global warming and that we are the cause of it.

When Skeptics debate that, they refer to meteorologists and atmospheric scientists who, according to misinterpretation of some sources, are equally divided in their opinion that there is global warming and that it is caused by man. However, in a paper by the American Meteorologist Association, Meteorologists’ Views About Global Warming – A Survey of American Meteorological Society Professional Members we read that:

Climate science experts who publish mostly on climate change and climate scientists who publish mostly on other topics were the two groups most likely to be convinced that humans have contributed to global warming, with 93%* of each group indicating their concurrence. – Page 1033

This indicates two things. First, a large percentage of climate scientists believe in human-caused global warming. Second, when you look at the table that includes the statistics (see below) you’ll find that the AMS considers “climate scientists” to be a different profession from meteorologists and atmospheric scientists.

One thing that must be kept in mind is that a meteorologist is to a climatologist what a nurse is to a doctor. They may both be in the same field working together but you don’t go to a nurse for surgery.

Like medicine, science is a broad profession which has a wide variety of specialized positions. A brain surgeon is not likely to know what a heart surgeon does. Likewise, for science – a chemist might not know what an astronomer does. In similar fashion, a meteorologist does not have the expertise of a climatologist. This is implicit in the survey that the AMS put out where they separate those professions.

Another point that the AMS brought out is that those who disbelieve human-caused global warming base their belief on their political inclination and psychological reasons, not scientific knowledge:

Political ideology. Decision making about how to mount an effective societal response to climate change in the United States has been complicated by increasing polarization over the issue, which has occurred largely along political lines. In the late 1990s, similar proportions of liberals and conservatives saw global warming as real; by 2008 (Dunlap and McCright 2008)—and continuing to the present (Leiserowitz et al. 2012)—large differences had emerged such that liberals were more likely to see it as real, and conservatives had become increasingly skeptical. This growing polarization appears not to be caused by differences in scientific understanding—indeed, most Americans know very little about the science of global warming (Leiserowitz et al. 2010)—but rather by differences in political ideology and deeper underlying values (Kahan et al. 2011). Many conservatives see the solutions proposed to mitigate global warming as being more harmful than global warming itself due to their effect on the economy (McCright and Dunlap 2011). Liberals, on the other hand, are more likely to accept the dominant scientific view, as they see the proposed responses to global warming as strengthening activities they value—namely, protection of the environment and regulation of industrial harm. – Page 1030

The AMS survey below (Page 1034) shows climatologists in the left column. It also shows meteorologists (weathermen) in the center column. Those who were not publishers or climate experts had a lower chance of believing in human-caused global warming.

American Meteorological Society Global Warming Consensus - 3

It should be said that weathermen have no training in climatology and are thus predisposed to make their opinions based on politics and other personal reasons.

The percentage of climate experts who believed in global warming was 88% but in the survey, it stated that 6 respondents (5%) would have voted differently if they were told that global warming started 50 years ago instead of 150 (Pages 1035-1036). That would have raised the percentage up to 93%. This does not count the 5% who stated that there was insufficient evidence for its being caused by humans for the past 150 years.

Those climatologists believe that human-caused global warming began 50 years ago instead of 150 because that is close to when the most dramatic effects have occurred.

As a result, close attention is needed to understand how many climate specialists believe in global warming.

It is not just individuals

*Different surveys vary from 93 to 97 percent depending on exact wording and differing criteria.

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