Scientific opinion on climate change

Scientific opinion on climate change

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The predominant scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth is in an ongoing phase of global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

 primarily caused by an enhanced greenhouse effect due to the anthropogenic release of carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 and other greenhouse gas
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

es. This scientific consensus is expressed in synthesis reports
Systematic review
A systematic review is a literature review focused on a research question that tries to identify, appraise, select and synthesize all high quality research evidence relevant to that question. Systematic reviews of high-quality randomized controlled trials are crucial to evidence-based medicine...

, scientific bodies of national or international standing, and surveys of opinion among climate scientists. Individual scientists, universities, and laboratories contribute to the overall scientific opinion via their peer-reviewed
Peer review
Peer review is a process of self-regulation by a profession or a process of evaluation involving qualified individuals within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards, improve performance and provide credibility...

 publications
Scientific journal
In academic publishing, a scientific journal is a periodical publication intended to further the progress of science, usually by reporting new research. There are thousands of scientific journals in publication, and many more have been published at various points in the past...

, and the areas of collective agreement and relative certainty are summarised in these high level reports and surveys. Self-selected
Self-selection
In statistics, self-selection bias arises in any situation in which individuals select themselves into a group, causing a biased sample with nonprobability sampling...

 lists of individuals' opinions, such as petitions, are not normally considered to be part of the scientific process
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

.

National and international science academies
Academy of Sciences
An Academy of Sciences is a national academy or another learned society dedicated to sciences.In non-English speaking countries, the range of academic fields of the members of a national Academy of Science often includes fields which would not normally be classed as "science" in English...

 and scientific societies
Learned society
A learned society is an organization that exists to promote an academic discipline/profession, as well a group of disciplines. Membership may be open to all, may require possession of some qualification, or may be an honor conferred by election, as is the case with the oldest learned societies,...

 have assessed the current scientific opinion, in particular on recent global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

. These assessments have largely followed or endorsed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a scientific intergovernmental body which provides comprehensive assessments of current scientific, technical and socio-economic information worldwide about the risk of climate change caused by human activity, its potential environmental and...

 (IPCC) position of January 2001 which states:
No scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion; the last was the American Association of Petroleum Geologists
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
The American Association of Petroleum Geologists is one of the world's largest professional geological societies with over 31,000 members as of 2007. The AAPG works to advance the science of geology , to promote technology, and to inspire high professional conduct...

, which in 2007 updated its 1999 statement rejecting the likelihood of human influence on recent climate with its current non-committal position. Some other organizations, primarily those focusing on geology, also hold non-committal positions.

Synthesis reports


Synthesis reports are assessments of scientific literature that compile the results of a range of stand-alone studies in order to achieve a broad level of understanding, or to describe the state of knowledge of a given subject.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007


In February 2007, the IPCC released a summary of the forthcoming Fourth Assessment Report
IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
Climate Change 2007, the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , is the fourth in a series of reports intended to assess scientific, technical and socio-economic information concerning climate change, its potential effects, and options for...

. According to this summary, the Fourth Assessment Report finds that human actions are "very likely" the cause of global warming, meaning a 90% or greater probability. Global warming in this case is indicated by an increase of 0.75 degrees in average global temperatures over the last 100 years.

The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

reported that “the leading international network of climate scientists has concluded for the first time that global warming is 'unequivocal' and that human activity is the main driver, very likely' causing most of the rise in temperatures since 1950”.

A retired journalist for The New York Times, William K. Stevens wrote: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the likelihood was 90 percent to 99 percent that emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, spewed from tailpipes and smokestacks, were the dominant cause of the observed warming of the last 50 years. In the panel’s parlance, this level of certainty is labeled 'very likely'. Only rarely does scientific odds-making provide a more definite answer than that, at least in this branch of science, and it describes the endpoint, so far, of a progression.”.

The Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 summarized the position on sea level rise:

U.S. Global Change Research Program


formerly the Climate Change Science Program
Climate Change Science Program
The Climate Change Science Program was the program responsible for coordinating and integrating research on global warming by U.S. government agencies from February 2002 to June 2009...



The U.S. Global Change Research Program
U.S. Global Change Research Program
The United States Global Change Research Program or USGCRP coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The program began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was codified by Congress through the Global Change Research Act...

 reported in June, 2009 that:
The report, which is about the effects that climate change is having in the United States, also says:

Arctic Climate Impact Assessment


In 2004, the intergovernmental Arctic Council
Arctic Council
The Arctic Council is a high-level intergovernmental forum which addresses issues faced by the Arctic governments and the indigenous people of the Arctic.- History of the Arctic Council :...

 and the non-governmental International Arctic Science Committee
International Arctic Science Committee
The International Arctic Science Committee is a non-governmental organization which is composed of international science groups participating in arctic science research. IASC is an International Scientific Associate of ICSU, and was established in 1990...

 released the synthesis report of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment is a study describing the ongoing climate change in the Arctic and its consequences: rising temperatures, loss of sea ice, unprecedented melting of the Greenland ice sheet, and many impacts on ecosystems, animals, and people...

:

Statements by organizations


This list of scientific bodies of national or international standing, that have issued formal statements of opinion, classifies those organizations according to whether they concur with the IPCC view, are non-committal, or dissent from it.
Joint science academies' statements

Since 2001, 32 national science academies have come together to issue joint declarations confirming anthropogenic global warming, and urging the nations of the world to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The signatories of these statements have been the national science academies of 32 countries.
  • 2001 Following the publication of the IPCC Third Assessment Report
    IPCC Third Assessment Report
    The IPCC Third Assessment Report, Climate Change 2001, is an assessment of available scientific and socio-economic information on climate change by the IPCC. The IPCC was established in 1988 by the United Nations Environment Programme and the UN's World Meteorological Organization ".....

    , seventeen national science academies issued a joint statement, entitled "The Science of Climate Change", explicitly acknowledging the IPCC position as representing the scientific consensus on climate change science. The statement, printed in an editorial in the journal Science
    Science (journal)
    Science is the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is one of the world's top scientific journals....

    on May 18, 2001, was signed by the science academies of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

  • 2005 The national science academies of the G8
    G8
    The Group of Eight is a forum, created by France in 1975, for the governments of seven major economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1997, the group added Russia, thus becoming the G8...

     nations, plus Brazil, China and India, three of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the developing world, signed a statement on the global response to climate change. The statement stresses that the scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action, and explicitly endorsed the IPCC consensus. The eleven signatories were the science academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

  • 2007 In preparation for the 33rd G8 summit
    33rd G8 summit
    The 33rd G8 summit took place at Kempinski Grand Hotel in Heiligendamm in the old Duchy of Mecklenburg in the Northern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on the Baltic Coast. The group of eight leaders met together from 6 June to 8 June 2007...

    , the national science academies of the G8+5
    G8+5
    The G8+5 group of leaders consists of the heads of government from the G8 nations , plus the heads of government of the five leading emerging economies .-February 2007 Declaration:On February 16, 2007, The Global Legislators Organisation The G8+5 group of leaders consists of the heads of government...

     nations issued a declaration referencing the position of the 2005 joint science academies' statement, and acknowledging the confirmation of their previous conclusion by recent research. Following the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
    IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
    Climate Change 2007, the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , is the fourth in a series of reports intended to assess scientific, technical and socio-economic information concerning climate change, its potential effects, and options for...

    , the declaration states, "It is unequivocal that the climate is changing, and it is very likely that this is predominantly caused by the increasing human interference with the atmosphere. These changes will transform the environmental conditions on Earth unless counter-measures are taken." The thirteen signatories were the national science academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

  • 2008 In preparation for the 34th G8 summit
    34th G8 summit
    The 34th G8 summit took place in on the northern island of Hokkaidō, Japan from July 7–9, 2008. The locations of previous summits to have been hosted by Japan include: Tokyo ; and Nago, Okinawa . The G8 Summit has evolved beyond being a gathering of world political leaders...

    , the national science academies of the G8+5 nations issued a declaration reiterating the position of the 2005 joint science academies’ statement, and reaffirming “that climate change is happening and that anthropogenic warming is influencing many physical and biological systems.” Among other actions, the declaration urges all nations to “(t)ake appropriate economic and policy measures to accelerate transition to a low carbon society and to encourage and effect changes in individual and national behaviour.” The thirteen signatories were the same national science academies that issued the 2007 joint statement.

  • 2009 In advance of the UNFCCC negotiations to be held in Copenhagen
    Copenhagen
    Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

     in December 2009, the national science academies of the G8+5 nations issued a joint statement declaring, "Climate change and sustainable energy supply are crucial challenges for the future of humanity. It is essential that world leaders agree on the emission reductions needed to combat negative consequences of anthropogenic climate change". The statement references the IPCC's Fourth Assessment of 2007, and asserts that "climate change is happening even faster than previously estimated; global emissions since 2000 have been higher than even the highest predictions, Arctic sea ice has been melting at rates much faster than predicted, and the rise in the sea level has become more rapid." The thirteen signatories were the same national science academies that issued the 2007 and 2008 joint statements.

InterAcademy Council

As the representative of the world’s scientific and engineering academies
Academy of Sciences
An Academy of Sciences is a national academy or another learned society dedicated to sciences.In non-English speaking countries, the range of academic fields of the members of a national Academy of Science often includes fields which would not normally be classed as "science" in English...

, the
InterAcademy Council (IAC) issued a report in 2007 titled Lighting the Way: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future.
European Academy of Sciences and Arts

In 2007, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts
European Academy of Sciences and Arts
The European Academy of Sciences and Arts was created in 1990 in Salzburg, Austria by heart surgeon Felix Unger of Salzburg; the cardinal archbishop of Vienna, Franz König; and the political scientist and philosopher Nikolaus Lobkowicz....

 issued a formal declaration on climate change titled Let's Be Honest:
International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences

In 2007, the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences
International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences
The International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences, Inc. is an organization of national engineering and technological sciences academies...

 (CAETS) issued a Statement on Environment and Sustainable Growth:
Network of African Science Academies

In 2007, the Network of African Science Academies
Network of African Science Academies
The Network of African Science Academies was formed in December 2001 as an independent forum, for African science academies to discuss scientific issues of common concern.Member academies are:* African Academy of Sciences* Cameroon Academy of Sciences...

 submitted a joint “statement on sustainability, energy efficiency, and climate change” to the leaders meeting at the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany:
The thirteen signatories were the science academies of Cameroon
Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

, Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

, Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

, Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

, Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

, Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

, as well as the African Academy of Sciences
African Academy of Sciences
The African Academy of Sciences is an Africa-wide scientists organisation. It serves firstly to honour African scientists who have become internationally renowned through their efforts in their respective fields, and secondly to encourage the development of the research and technology base...

.
Royal Society of New Zealand

Having signed onto the first joint science academies' statement in 2001, the Royal Society of New Zealand
Royal Society of New Zealand
The Royal Society of New Zealand , known as the New Zealand Institute before 1933, was established in 1867 to co-ordinate and assist the activities of a number of regional research societies including the Auckland Institute, the Wellington Philosophical Society, the Philosophical Institute of...

 released a separate statement in 2008 in order to clear up "the controversy over climate change and its causes, and possible confusion among the public":
Royal Society of the United Kingdom

The Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 of the United Kingdom has not changed its concurring stance. According to the Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

, "The most prestigious group of scientists in the country was forced to act after forty-three fellows complained that 'uncertainty in the debate' over man made global warming were not being communicated to the public." In May 2010, it announced that it "is presently drafting a new public facing document on climate change, to provide an updated status report on the science in an easily accessible form, also addressing the levels of certainty of key components." The society says that it is three years since the last such document was published and that, after an extensive process of debate and review, the new document was printed in September 2010.
It summarises the current scientific evidence and highlights the areas where the science is well established, where there is still some debate, and where substantial uncertainties remain. The society has stated that "this is not the same as saying that the climate science itself is in error – no Fellows have expressed such a view to the RS". The introduction includes this statement:
Polish Academy of Sciences

In December 2007, the General Assembly of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Polish Academy of Sciences
The Polish Academy of Sciences, headquartered in Warsaw, is one of two Polish institutions having the nature of an academy of sciences.-History:...

  issued a statement endorsing the IPCC conclusions, and states:

National Research Council (US)

In 2001, the Committee on the Science of Climate Change of the National Research Council
United States National Research Council
The National Research Council of the USA is the working arm of the United States National Academies, carrying out most of the studies done in their names.The National Academies include:* National Academy of Sciences...

 published Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions. This report explicitly endorses the IPCC view of attribution of recent climate change as representing the view of the scientific community:
American Association for the Advancement of Science

As the world's largest general scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association for the Advancement of Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsibility, and supporting scientific education and science outreach for the...

 adopted an official statement on climate change in 2006:
American Chemical Society

The American Chemical Society
American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society is a scientific society based in the United States that supports scientific inquiry in the field of chemistry. Founded in 1876 at New York University, the ACS currently has more than 161,000 members at all degree-levels and in all fields of chemistry, chemical...

 stated:
American Institute of Physics

The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics
American Institute of Physics
The American Institute of Physics promotes science, the profession of physics, publishes physics journals, and produces publications for scientific and engineering societies. The AIP is made up of various member societies...

 endorsed the AGU statement on human-induced climate change:
American Physical Society

In November 2007, the American Physical Society
American Physical Society
The American Physical Society is the world's second largest organization of physicists, behind the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. The Society publishes more than a dozen scientific journals, including the world renowned Physical Review and Physical Review Letters, and organizes more than 20...

 (APS) adopted an official statement on climate change:
Australian Institute of Physics

In 2005, the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) issued a science policy document in which they stated:
European Physical Society

In 2007, the European Physical Society
European Physical Society
The European Physical Society is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote physics and physicists in Europe. Formally established in 1968, its membership includes the national physical societies of 41 countries, and some 3200 individual members. The Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft,...

 issued a position paper regarding energy:
European Science Foundation

In 2007, the European Science Foundation
European Science Foundation
The European Science Foundation is an association of 78 member organisations devoted to scientific research in 30 European countries. It is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organisation that facilitates cooperation and collaboration in European research and development, European...

 issued a Position Paper on climate change:
Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies

In 2008, the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies
Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies
The Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies represent the interests of about 68,000 Australian scientists and technologists, and promotes their views on a wide range of policy issues to Government, industry and the community....

 (FASTS) issued a policy statement on climate change:
American Geophysical Union

The American Geophysical Union
American Geophysical Union
The American Geophysical Union is a nonprofit organization of geophysicists, consisting of over 50,000 members from over 135 countries. AGU's activities are focused on the organization and dissemination of scientific information in the interdisciplinary and international field of geophysics...

 (AGU) statement, adopted by the society in 2003 and revised in 2007, affirms that rising levels of greenhouse gases have caused and will continue to cause the global surface temperature to be warmer:
American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America

In May, 2011, the American Society of Agronomy
American Society of Agronomy
The American Society of Agronomy is a scientific and professional society of agronomists and scientists of related disciplines, principally in the United States but with a large number of non-U.S. members as well...

 (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America
Soil Science Society of America
The Soil Science Society of America , is a scientific and professional society of soil scientists, principally in the U.S. but with a large number of non-U.S. members as well...

 (SSSA) issued a joint position statement on climate change as it relates to agriculture:
European Federation of Geologists

In 2008, the European Federation of Geologists(EFG) issued the position paper Carbon Capture and geological Storage :
European Geosciences Union

In 2005, the Divisions of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences of the European Geosciences Union
European Geosciences Union
The European Geosciences Union is an interdisciplinary non-profit learned society open to individuals who are professionally engaged in or associated with geosciences, planetary and space sciences, and related studies.The mission statement of the EGU is "Dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in...

 (EGU) issued a position statement in support of the joint science academies’ statement on global response to climate change. The statement refers to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a scientific intergovernmental body which provides comprehensive assessments of current scientific, technical and socio-economic information worldwide about the risk of climate change caused by human activity, its potential environmental and...

 (IPCC), as "the main representative of the global scientific community
Scientific community
The scientific community consists of the total body of scientists, its relationships and interactions. It is normally divided into "sub-communities" each working on a particular field within science. Objectivity is expected to be achieved by the scientific method...

", and asserts that the IPCC
Additionally, in 2008, the EGU issued a position statement on ocean acidification
Ocean acidification
Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH and increase in acidity of the Earth's oceans, caused by the uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere....

 which states, "Ocean acidification is already occurring today and will continue to intensify, closely tracking atmospheric
Carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere
The concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere is approximately 392 ppm by volume and rose by 2.0 ppm/yr during 2000–2009. 40 years earlier, the rise was only 0.9 ppm/yr, showing not only increasing concentrations, but also a rapid acceleration of concentrations...

 increase. Given the potential threat to marine ecosystems and its ensuing impact on human society and economy, especially as it acts in conjunction with anthropogenic global warming, there is an urgent need for immediate action." The statement then advocates for strategies "to limit future release of to the atmosphere and/or enhance removal of excess from the atmosphere."
Geological Society of America

In 2006, the Geological Society of America
Geological Society of America
The Geological Society of America is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of the geosciences. The society was founded in New York in 1888 by Alexander Winchell, John J. Stevenson, Charles H. Hitchcock, John R. Proctor and Edward Orton and has been headquartered at 3300 Penrose...

 adopted a position statement on global climate change. It amended this position on April 20, 2010 with more explicit comments on need for reduction.

Geological Society of London

In November 2010, the Geological Society of London
Geological Society of London
The Geological Society of London is a learned society based in the United Kingdom with the aim of "investigating the mineral structure of the Earth"...

 issued the position statement Climate change: evidence from the geological record:
International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics

In July 2007, the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
The International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the scientific study of the Earth using geophysical and geodesic techniques. The IUGG was established in 1919. Some areas within its scope are environmental preservation, reduction of the effects of...

 (IUGG) adopted a resolution titled “The Urgency of Addressing Climate Change”. In it, the IUGG concurs with the “comprehensive and widely accepted and endorsed scientific assessments carried out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and regional and national bodies, which have firmly established, on the basis of scientific evidence, that human activities are the primary cause of recent climate change.” They state further that the “continuing reliance on combustion of fossil fuels as the world’s primary source of energy will lead to much higher atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasses, which will, in turn, cause significant increases in surface temperature, sea level, ocean acidification, and their related consequences to the environment and society.”
National Association of Geoscience Teachers

In July 2009, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) adopted a position statement on climate change in which they assert that "Earth's climate is changing [and] "that present warming trends are largely the result of human activities":
American Meteorological Society

The American Meteorological Society
American Meteorological Society
The American Meteorological Society promotes the development and dissemination of information and education on the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences and the advancement of their professional applications. Founded in 1919, the American Meteorological Society has a membership...

 (AMS) statement adopted by their council in 2003 said:
Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society

The Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
The Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society is an independent learned society that supports and fosters interest in Meteorology, Oceanography and other related sciences...

 has issued a Statement on Climate Change, wherein they conclude:
Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences

In November 2005, the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
The Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences is Canada's main funding body for university-based research on climate, atmospheric and related oceanic work...

 (CFCAS) issued a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 stating that
Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society

In November 2009, a letter to the Canadian Parliament by The Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society states:

Royal Meteorological Society (UK)

In February 2007, after the release of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, the Royal Meteorological Society
Royal Meteorological Society
The Royal Meteorological Society traces its origins back to 3 April 1850 when the British Meteorological Society was formed as a society the objects of which should be the advancement and extension of meteorological science by determining the laws of climate and of meteorological phenomena in general...

 issued an endorsement of the report. In addition to referring to the IPCC as “world’s best climate scientists”, they stated that climate change is happening as “the result of emissions since industrialization and we have already set in motion the next 50 years of global warming – what we do from now on will determine how worse it will get.”
World Meteorological Organization

In its Statement at the Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change presented on November 15, 2006, the World Meteorological Organization
World Meteorological Organization
The World Meteorological Organization is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 189 Member States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization , which was founded in 1873...

 (WMO) confirms the need to “prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system
Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
The related terms "avoiding dangerous climate change" and "preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" date to 1995 and earlier, in the Second Assesment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change and previous science it cites.In 2002, the United Nations...

.” The WMO concurs that “scientific assessments have increasingly reaffirmed that human activities are indeed changing the composition of the atmosphere, in particular through the burning of fossil fuels for energy production and transportation.” The WMO concurs that “the present atmospheric concentration of was never exceeded over the past 420,000 years;” and that the IPCC “assessments provide the most authoritative, up-to-date scientific advice.”

American Quaternary Association

The American Quaternary Association
American Quaternary Association
The American Quaternary Association is a professional organization of North American scientists devoted to studies of the quaternary geological period. They were founded in 1970 and their stated goals are to "foster cooperation and communication among the remarkably broad array of disciplines...

 (AMQUA) has stated
International Union for Quaternary Research

The statement on climate change issued by the International Union for Quaternary Research
International Union for Quaternary Research
The International Union for Quaternary Research was founded in 1928. It has members from a number of scientific disciplines who study the environmental changes that occurred during the glacial ages, the last 2.6 million years...

 (INQUA) reiterates the conclusions of the IPCC, and urges all nations to take prompt action in line with the UNFCCC principles.
American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians

The American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians (AAWV) has issued a position statement regarding "climate change, wildlife diseases, and wildlife health":
American Institute of Biological Sciences

In October 2009, the leaders of 18 US scientific societies and organizations sent an open letter to the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 reaffirming the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and is primarily caused by human activities. The American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Institute of Biological Sciences
The American Institute of Biological Sciences is a non-profit scientific association that is dedicated to advancing biological research and education.-Overview:...

 (AIBS) adopted this letter as their official position statement:
Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.

The letter goes on to warn of predicted impacts on the United States such as sea level rise and increases in extreme weather events, water scarcity, heat waves, wildfires, and the disturbance of biological systems. It then advocates for a dramatic reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases.
American Society for Microbiology

In 2003, the American Society for Microbiology
American Society for Microbiology
The American Society for Microbiology is a professional organization for scientists who study viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae, and protozoa as well as other aspects of microbiology. Microbiology is the study of organisms too small to be seen with the naked eye and which must be viewed with a...

 issued a public policy report in which they recommend “reducing net anthropogenic emissions to the atmosphere” and “minimizing anthropogenic disturbances of” atmospheric gases:
Australian Coral Reef Society

In 2006, the Australian Coral Reef Society issued an official communique regarding the Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the world'slargest reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres over an area of approximately...

 and the "world-wide decline in coral reefs through processes such as overfishing
Overfishing
Overfishing occurs when fishing activities reduce fish stocks below an acceptable level. This can occur in any body of water from a pond to the oceans....

, runoff of nutrients from the land, coral bleaching
Coral bleaching
Coral bleaching is the loss of intracellular endosymbionts through either expulsion or loss of algal pigmentation.The corals that form the structure of the great reef ecosystems of tropical seas depend upon a symbiotic relationship with unicellular flagellate protozoa, called zooxanthellae, that...

, global climate change, ocean acidification
Ocean acidification
Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH and increase in acidity of the Earth's oceans, caused by the uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere....

, pollution
Pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

", etc.:
Institute of Biology (UK)

The UK's Institute of Biology
Institute of Biology
The Institute of Biology was a professional body for biologists, primarily those working in the United Kingdom. The Institute was founded in 1950 by the Biological Council: the then umbrella body for Britain's many learned biological societies...

 states “there is scientific agreement that the rapid global warming that has occurred in recent years is mostly anthropogenic, ie due to human activity.” As a consequence of global warming, they warn that a “rise in sea levels due to melting of ice caps is expected to occur. Rises in temperature will have complex and frequently localised effects on weather, but an overall increase in extreme weather conditions and changes in precipitation patterns are probable, resulting in flooding and drought. The spread of tropical diseases is also expected.” Subsequently, the Institute of Biology advocates policies to reduce “greenhouse gas emissions, as we feel that the consequences of climate change are likely to be severe.”
Society of American Foresters

In 2008, the Society of American Foresters
Society of American Foresters
The Society of American Foresters is a scientific and educational 501 non-profit organization, representing the forestry profession in the United States of America...

 (SAF) issued two position statements pertaining to climate change in which they cite the IPCC and the UNFCCC:
The Wildlife Society (international)

The Wildlife Society
The Wildlife Society
Founded in 1937, The Wildlife Society is an international non-profit scientific and educational association dedicated to excellence in wildlife stewardship through science and education...

 has issued a position statement titled Global Climate Change and Wildlife:
The statement goes on to assert that “evidence is accumulating that wildlife and wildlife habitats have
been and will continue to be significantly affected by ongoing large-scale rapid climate change.”

The statement concludes with a call for “reduction in anthropogenic (human-caused) sources of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global climate change and the conservation of -
consuming photosynthesizers
Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis is a chemical process that converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, especially sugars, using the energy from sunlight. Photosynthesis occurs in plants, algae, and many species of bacteria, but not in archaea. Photosynthetic organisms are called photoautotrophs, since they can...

 (i.e., plants).”
American Academy of Pediatrics

In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is the major professional association of pediatricians in the United States. The AAP was founded in 1930 by 35 pediatricians to address pediatric healthcare standards. It currently has 60,000 members in primary care and sub-specialist areas...

 issued the policy statement Global Climate Change and Children's Health:
American College of Preventive Medicine

In 2006, the American College of Preventive Medicine
American College of Preventive Medicine
Founded in 1954, the American College of Preventive Medicine is a U.S.-based physician organization focused on practice, research, publication, and teaching of evidence-based preventive medicine...

 issued a policy statement on “Abrupt Climate Change and Public Health Implications”:
American Medical Association

In 2008, the American Medical Association
American Medical Association
The American Medical Association , founded in 1847 and incorporated in 1897, is the largest association of medical doctors and medical students in the United States.-Scope and operations:...

 issued a policy statement on global climate change declaring that they:
American Public Health Association

In 2007, the American Public Health Association
American Public Health Association
The American Public Health Association is Washington, D.C.-based professional organization for public health professionals in the United States. Founded in 1872 by Dr. Stephen Smith, APHA has more than 30,000 members worldwide...

 issued a policy statement titled ‘’Addressing the Urgent Threat of Global Climate Change to Public Health and the Environment’’:
Australian Medical Association

In 2004, the Australian Medical Association
Australian Medical Association
The Australian Medical Association is a professional association for Australian doctors and medical students.The AMA uses a representative structure involving state branches and committees to work with members to promote and protect the interests of doctors.The mechanisms that allow this include:*...

 issued the position statement Climate Change and Human Health in which they recommend policies "to mitigate the possible consequential health effects of climate change through improved energy efficiency, clean energy production and other emission reduction steps."

This statement was revised again in 2008:
World Federation of Public Health Associations

In 2001, the World Federation of Public Health Associations issued a policy resolution on global climate change:
World Health Organization

In 2008, the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

' World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 issued their report Protecting health from climate change:
American Astronomical Society

The American Astronomical Society
American Astronomical Society
The American Astronomical Society is an American society of professional astronomers and other interested individuals, headquartered in Washington, DC...

 has endorsed the AGU statement:
American Statistical Association

On November 30, 2007, the American Statistical Association
American Statistical Association
The American Statistical Association , is the main professional US organization for statisticians and related professions. It was founded in Boston, Massachusetts on November 27, 1839, and is the second oldest, continuously operating professional society in the United States...

 Board of Directors adopted a statement on climate change:
Engineers Australia (The Institution of Engineers Australia)


International Association for Great Lakes Research

In February 2009, the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) issued a Fact Sheet on climate change:
Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand

In October 2001, the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) published an Informatory Note entitled "Climate Change and the greenhouse effect":

American Association of Petroleum Geologists


As of June 2007, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
The American Association of Petroleum Geologists is one of the world's largest professional geological societies with over 31,000 members as of 2007. The AAPG works to advance the science of geology , to promote technology, and to inspire high professional conduct...

 (AAPG) Position Statement on climate change stated:
Prior to the adoption of this statement, the AAPG was the only major scientific organization that rejected the finding of significant human influence on recent climate, according to a statement by the Council of the American Quaternary Association. Explaining the plan for a revision, AAPG president Lee Billingsly wrote in March 2007:
AAPG President John Lorenz announced the sunsetting of AAPG’s Global Climate Change Committee in January 2010. The AAPG Executive Committee determined:

American Association of State Climatologists


The Association has no current statement. The previous statement, discussed below, became inoperative in 2008.

The 2001 statement from the American Association of State Climatologists
American Association of State Climatologists
The American Association of State Climatologists is a professional scientific organisation for climatologists in the United States, which was founded in 1976.There are currently 47 state climatologists in the AASC, one from each represented state...

 noted the difficulties with predicting impacts due to climate change, while acknowledging that human activities are having an effect on climate:

American Geological Institute


In 1999, the American Geological Institute
American Geological Institute
The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 45 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 100,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists...

 (AGI) issued the position statement ‘’Global Climate Change’’:

American Institute of Professional Geologists


In 2009, the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) sent a statement to President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 and other US government officials:
Concerned that the original statement issued in March 2009 was too ambiguous, AIPG’s National Executive Committee approved a revised position statement issued in January 2010:
In August 2009, the Ohio Section of AIPG submitted a position statement to Senators Brown and Voinovich opposing H.R. 2454, the Markey-Waxman climate bill. The statement professed that “there is no scientific evidence supporting…. the premise that human production of gas is responsible for ‘global warming’….” The statement went on to challenge the findings of the IPCC and made numerous references to articles published by the Heartland Institute.

In March 2010, AIPG’s Executive Director issued a statement regarding polarization of opinions on climate change within the membership and announced that the AIPG Executive had made a decision to cease publication of articles and opinion pieces concerning climate change in AIPG’s news journal, The Professional Geologist. The Executive Director noted that “the question of anthropogenicity of climate change is contentious.”

Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences



Geological Society of Australia


In July 2009, the Geological Society of Australia
Geological Society of Australia
The Geological Society of Australia was established as a non-profit organisation in 1952 to promote, advance and support earth sciences in Australia...

 issued the position statement Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change supportive of the IPCC position. However in 2011 the position statement was withdrawn because members contended that they were not consulted by the society's executive in its content and had no approval for its release.The society in 2011 was canvassing members to decide its future stance on this issue.

Statements by dissenting organizations


Since 2007, when the American Association of Petroleum Geologists
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
The American Association of Petroleum Geologists is one of the world's largest professional geological societies with over 31,000 members as of 2007. The AAPG works to advance the science of geology , to promote technology, and to inspire high professional conduct...

 released a revised statement, no scientific body of national or international standing rejects the findings of human-induced effects on climate change.

Statements by individual scientists opposing the mainstream assessment of global warming do include opinions that the earth has not warmed, or that warming is attributable to causes other than increasing greenhouse gases.

Surveys of scientists and scientific literature



Various surveys have been conducted to evaluate scientific opinion on global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

.

Anderegg, Prall, Harold, and Schneider, 2010


A 2010 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, usually referred to as PNAS, is the official journal of the United States National Academy of Sciences...

 (PNAS) reviewed publication and citation data for 1,372 climate researchers and drew the following two conclusions:

(i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC (Anthropogenic Climate Change) outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.


The methodology of the Anderegg et al. study was challenged in PNAS by Lawrence Bodenstein for "treat[ing] publication metrics
H-index
The h-index is an index that attempts to measure both the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar. The index is based on the set of the scientist's most cited papers and the number of citations that they have received in other publications...

 as a surrogate for expertise". He would expect the much larger side of the climate change controversy
Global warming controversy
Global warming controversy refers to a variety of disputes, significantly more pronounced in the popular media than in the scientific literature, regarding the nature, causes, and consequences of global warming...

 to excel in certain publication metrics as they "continue to cite each other's work in an upward spiral of self-affirmation". Anderegg et al. replied that Bodenstein "raises many speculative points without offering data" and that his comment "misunderstands our study’s
framing and stands in direct contrast to two prominent conclusions in the paper. The Anderegg et al. study was also criticized by Roger A. Pielke
Roger A. Pielke
Roger A. Pielke, Sr. is an American meteorologist with interests in climate variability and climate change, environmental vulnerability, numerical modeling, atmospheric dynamics, land/ocean - atmosphere interactions, and large eddy/turbulent boundary layer modeling...

, Pat Michaels, Roger Pielke, Jr., and John Christy
John Christy
John R. Christy is a climate scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville whose chief interests are satellite remote sensing of global climate and global climate change. He is best known, jointly with Roy Spencer, for the first successful development of a satellite temperature...

. Pielke Jr. commented that "this paper simply reinforces the pathological politicization of climate science in policy debate."

Doran and Kendall Zimmerman, 2009


A poll performed by Peter Doran
Peter Doran
Peter Doran, Ph.D. is Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.Doran specializes in polar regions, especially Antarctic climate and ecosystems. Doran was the lead author of a research paper about Antarctic temperatures that was published in the journal...

 and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman at Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago, or UIC, is a state-funded public research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, near the Chicago Loop...

 received replies from 3,146 of the 10,257 polled Earth scientists. Results were analyzed globally and by specialization. 76 out of 79 climatologists who "listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change" believe that mean global temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800s levels, and 75 out of 77 believe that human activity is a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures. Among all respondents, 90% agreed that temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800 levels, and 82% agreed that humans significantly influence the global temperature. Economic geologists and meteorologists were among the biggest doubters, with only 47 percent and 64 percent, respectively, believing in significant human involvement. A summary from the survey states that:

Bray and von Storch, 2008


Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch
Hans von Storch
Hans von Storch is a German climate scientist. He is Professor at the Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg, and Director of the Institute for Coastal Research at the Helmholtz Research Centre in Geesthacht, Germany...

 conducted a survey in August 2008 of 2058 climate scientists from 34 different countries. A web link with a unique identifier was given to each respondent to eliminate multiple responses. A total of 373 responses were received giving an overall response rate of 18.2%. No paper on climate change consensus based on this survey has been published yet (February 2010), but one on another subject has been published based on the survey.

The survey was composed of 76 questions split into a number of sections.
There were sections on the demographics of the respondents, their assessment of the state of climate science, how good the science is, climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation, their opinion of the IPCC, and how well climate science was being communicated to the public.
Most of the answers were on a scale from 1 to 7 from 'not at all' to 'very much'.

In the section on climate change impacts questions 20, 21 were relevant to scientific opinion on climate change.
Question 20 "How convinced are you that climate change, whether natural or anthropogenic, is occurring now?" got 67.1% very much agree, 26.7% to some large extent (5–6), 6.2% said to some small extent (2–4), none said not at all.
Question 21 "How convinced are you that most of recent or near future climate change is, or will
be, a result of anthropogenic causes?" received 34.6% very much agree, 48.9% agreeing to a large extent (5–6), 15.1% to a small extent (2–4), and 1.35% not agreeing at all.

STATS, 2007


In 2007, Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive , headquartered in New York, New York, is a custom market research firm, known for the Harris Poll. Harris works in a wide range of industries...

 surveyed 489 randomly selected members of either the American Meteorological Society
American Meteorological Society
The American Meteorological Society promotes the development and dissemination of information and education on the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences and the advancement of their professional applications. Founded in 1919, the American Meteorological Society has a membership...

 or the American Geophysical Union
American Geophysical Union
The American Geophysical Union is a nonprofit organization of geophysicists, consisting of over 50,000 members from over 135 countries. AGU's activities are focused on the organization and dissemination of scientific information in the interdisciplinary and international field of geophysics...

 for the Statistical Assessment Service
Statistical Assessment Service
Statistical Assessment Service is a non-profit educational organization, based in Washington, DC, which analyzes and critiques the presentation of scientific findings and statistical evidence in the news media.-Overview:...

 (STATS) at George Mason University
George Mason University
George Mason University is a public university based in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, United States, south of and adjacent to the city of Fairfax. Additional campuses are located nearby in Arlington County, Prince William County, and Loudoun County...

. The survey found 97% agreed that global temperatures have increased during the past 100 years; 84% say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that “currently available scientific evidence” substantiates its occurrence. Only 5% believe that that human activity does not contribute to greenhouse warming; and 84% believe global climate change poses a moderate to very great danger.

Oreskes, 2004


A 2004 article by geologist and historian of science Naomi Oreskes
Naomi Oreskes
Naomi Oreskes is an American science historian, and Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California San Diego. She has worked on studies of geophysics, environmental issues such as global warming, and the history of science...

 summarized a study of the scientific literature on climate change. The essay concluded that there is a scientific consensus
Scientific consensus
Scientific consensus is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists in a particular field of study. Consensus implies general agreement, though not necessarily unanimity. Scientific consensus is not by itself a scientific argument, and it is not part of the...

 on the reality of anthropogenic climate change. The author analyzed 928 abstracts
Abstract (summary)
An abstract is a brief summary of a research article, thesis, review, conference proceeding or any in-depth analysis of a particular subject or discipline, and is often used to help the reader quickly ascertain the paper's purpose. When used, an abstract always appears at the beginning of a...

 of papers from refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, listed with the keywords "global climate change". Oreskes divided the abstracts into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate
Paleoclimatology
Paleoclimatology is the study of changes in climate taken on the scale of the entire history of Earth. It uses a variety of proxy methods from the Earth and life sciences to obtain data previously preserved within rocks, sediments, ice sheets, tree rings, corals, shells and microfossils; it then...

 analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. 75% of the abstracts were placed in the first three categories, thus either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, thus taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change; none of the abstracts disagreed with the consensus position, which the author found to be "remarkable". According to the report, "authors evaluating impacts, developing methods, or studying paleoclimatic change might believe that current climate change is natural. However, none of these papers argued that point."

Older surveys of scientists

  • In 2003, Bray and von Storch conducted a survey of the perspectives of climate scientists on global climate change. The survey received 530 responses from 27 different countries. The 2003 survey has been strongly criticized on the grounds that it was performed on the web with no means to verify that the respondents were climate scientists or to prevent multiple submissions. The survey required entry of a username and password, but the username and password were circulated to a climate skeptics mailing list and elsewhere on the internet. Bray and von Storch defended their results. and accused climate change skeptics of interpreting the results with bias. Bray's submission to Science
    Science (journal)
    Science is the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is one of the world's top scientific journals....

    on December 22, 2004 was rejected.

One of the questions asked in the survey was "To what extent do you agree or disagree that climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic causes?", with a value of 1 indicating strongly agree and a value of 7 indicating strongly disagree. The results showed a mean of 3.62, with 50 responses (9.4%) indicating "strongly agree" and 54 responses (9.7%) indicating "strongly disagree". The same survey indicates a 72% to 20% endorsement of the IPCC reports as accurate, and a 15% to 80% rejection of the thesis that "there is enough uncertainty about the phenomenon of global warming that there is no need for immediate policy decisions."

  • In 1997, the conservative think tank Citizens for a Sound Economy
    Citizens for a Sound Economy
    Citizens for a Sound Economy was a conservative political group operating in the United States, whose self-described mission was "to fight for less government, lower taxes, and less regulation." In 2004, Citizens for a Sound Economy split into two new organizations, with Citizens for a Sound...

     surveyed America's 48 state climatologists
    American Association of State Climatologists
    The American Association of State Climatologists is a professional scientific organisation for climatologists in the United States, which was founded in 1976.There are currently 47 state climatologists in the AASC, one from each represented state...

     on questions related to climate change. Of the 36 respondents, 44% considered global warming to be a largely natural phenomenon, compared to 17% who considered warming to be largely man-made. 89% agreed that "current science is unable to isolate and measure variations in global temperatures caused ONLY by man-made factors," and 61% said that historical data do not indicate "that fluctuations in global temperatures are attributable to human influences such as burning fossil fuels." though the time scale for the next glacial period was not specified.
  • In 1996, Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch undertook a survey of climate scientists on attitudes towards global warming and related matters. The results were subsequently published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
    Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
    The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society is a scientific journal published by the American Meteorological Society.The official organ of the society, it is devoted to editorials, topical reports to members, articles, professional and membership news, conference announcements, programs and...

    . The paper addressed the views of climate scientists, with a response rate of 40% from a mail survey questionnaire to 1000 scientists in Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    , the USA and Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    . Most of the scientists believed that global warming was occurring and appropriate policy action should be taken, but there was wide disagreement about the likely effects on society and almost all agreed that the predictive ability of currently existing models was limited. On a scale of 1 (highest confidence) to 7 (lowest confidence) regarding belief in the ability to make "reasonable predictions" the mean was 4.8 for 10 year predictions and 5.2 100 years. On the question of whether global warming is occurring or will occur the mean response was 3.3, and for future prospects of warming the mean was 2.6.
  • Global Environmental Change Report, 1990: GECR climate survey shows strong agreement on action, less so on warming. Global Environmental Change Report 2, No. 9, pp. 1–3
  • Stewart, T. R., Mumpower, J. L., and Reagan-Cirincione, P. (1992). Scientists' opinions about global climate change: Summary of the results of a survey. NAEP (National Association of Environmental Professionals) Newsletter, 17(2), 6-7.
  • In 1991, the Center for Science, Technology, and Media commissioned a Gallup poll of 400 members of the American Geophysical Union
    American Geophysical Union
    The American Geophysical Union is a nonprofit organization of geophysicists, consisting of over 50,000 members from over 135 countries. AGU's activities are focused on the organization and dissemination of scientific information in the interdisciplinary and international field of geophysics...

     and the American Meteorological Society
    American Meteorological Society
    The American Meteorological Society promotes the development and dissemination of information and education on the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences and the advancement of their professional applications. Founded in 1919, the American Meteorological Society has a membership...

     along with an analysis of reporting on global warming by the Center for Media and Public Affairs
    Center for Media and Public Affairs
    The Center for Media and Public Affairs is a self-described nonpartisan and nonprofit research and educational organization that is affiliated with George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. It was founded in 1985 by political scientists Dr. S. Robert Lichter and his ex-wife, the late Dr....

    , a report on which was issued in 1992. Accounts of the results of that survey differ in their interpretation and even in the basic statistical percentages:
    • Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
      Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
      Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting is a progressive media criticism organization based in New York City, founded in 1986.FAIR describes itself on its website as "the national media watch group" and defines its mission as working to "invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity...

       states that the report said that 67% of the scientists said that human-induced global warming was occurring, with 11% disagreeing and the rest undecided.
    • George Will
      George Will
      George Frederick Will is an American newspaper columnist, journalist, and author. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winner best known for his conservative commentary on politics...

       reported "53 percent do not believe warming has occurred, and another 30 percent are uncertain." (Washington Post, September 3, 1992). In a correction Gallup stated: "Most scientists involved in research in this area believe that human-induced global warming is occurring now."
    • A 1993 publication by the Heartland Institute
      Heartland Institute
      The Heartland Institute is a libertarian, American public policy think tank based in Chicago, Illinois which advocates free market policies. The Institute is designated as a 501 non-profit by the Internal Revenue Service and advised by a 15 member board of directors, which meets quarterly. As of...

       reports: "A Gallup poll conducted on February 13, 1992 of members of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society-the two professional societies whose members are most likely to be involved in climate research-found that 18 percent thought some global warming had occurred, 33 percent said insufficient information existed to tell, and 49 percent believed no warming had taken place."

Scientific consensus


A question that frequently arises in popular discussion of climate change is whether there is a scientific consensus on climate change. Several scientific organizations have explicitly used the term "consensus
Scientific consensus
Scientific consensus is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists in a particular field of study. Consensus implies general agreement, though not necessarily unanimity. Scientific consensus is not by itself a scientific argument, and it is not part of the...

" in their statements:
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsibility, and supporting scientific education and science outreach for the...

    , 2006: "The conclusions in this statement reflect the scientific consensus represented by, for example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the Joint National Academies' statement."
  • US National Academy of Sciences
    United States National Academy of Sciences
    The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...

    : "In the judgment of most climate scientists, Earth’s warming in recent decades has been caused primarily by human activities that have increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. ... On climate change, [the National Academies’ reports] have assessed consensus findings on the science..."
  • Joint Science Academies' statement, 2005: "We recognise the international scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)."
  • Joint Science Academies' statement, 2001: "The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the consensus of the international scientific community on climate change science. We recognise IPCC as the world’s most reliable source of information on climate change and its causes, and we endorse its method of achieving this consensus."
  • American Meteorological Society
    American Meteorological Society
    The American Meteorological Society promotes the development and dissemination of information and education on the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences and the advancement of their professional applications. Founded in 1919, the American Meteorological Society has a membership...

    , 2003: "The nature of science is such that there is rarely total agreement among scientists. Individual scientific statements and papers—the validity of some of which has yet to be assessed adequately—can be exploited in the policy debate and can leave the impression that the scientific community is sharply divided on issues where there is, in reality, a strong scientific consensus.... IPCC assessment reports are prepared at approximately five-year intervals by a large international group of experts who represent the broad range of expertise and perspectives relevant to the issues. The reports strive to reflect a consensus evaluation of the results of the full body of peer-reviewed research.... They provide an analysis of what is known and not known, the degree of consensus, and some indication of the degree of confidence that can be placed on the various statements and conclusions."
  • Network of African Science Academies
    Network of African Science Academies
    The Network of African Science Academies was formed in December 2001 as an independent forum, for African science academies to discuss scientific issues of common concern.Member academies are:* African Academy of Sciences* Cameroon Academy of Sciences...

    : “A consensus, based on current evidence, now exists within the global scientific community that human activities are the main source of climate change and that the burning of fossil fuels is largely responsible for driving this change.”

  • International Union for Quaternary Research
    International Union for Quaternary Research
    The International Union for Quaternary Research was founded in 1928. It has members from a number of scientific disciplines who study the environmental changes that occurred during the glacial ages, the last 2.6 million years...

    , 2008: "INQUA recognizes the international scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)."
  • Australian Coral Reef Society, 2006: "There is almost total consensus among experts that the earth’s climate is changing as a result of the build-up of greenhouse gases.... There is broad scientific consensus that coral reefs are heavily affected by the activities of man and there are significant global influences that can make reefs more vulnerable such as global warming...."

See also


  • 4 Degrees and Beyond International Climate Conference
    4 Degrees and Beyond International Climate Conference
    The 4 Degrees and Beyond International Climate Conference, subtitled Implications of a Global Climate Change of 4+ Degrees for People, Ecosystems and the Earth-system, was held 28-30 September 2009 at Oxford, United Kingdom. Implications of...

  • Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
    Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
    The related terms "avoiding dangerous climate change" and "preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" date to 1995 and earlier, in the Second Assesment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change and previous science it cites.In 2002, the United Nations...

  • Economics of global warming
    Economics of global warming
    -Definitions:In this article, the phrase “climate change” is used to describe a change in the climate, measured in terms of its statistical properties, e.g., the global mean surface temperature. In this context, “climate” is taken to mean the average weather. Climate can change over period of time...

  • Effects of global warming
    Effects of global warming
    This article is about the effects of global warming and climate change. The effects, or impacts, of climate change may be physical, ecological, social or economic. Evidence of observed climate change includes the instrumental temperature record, rising sea levels, and decreased snow cover in the...

  • Global warming controversy
    Global warming controversy
    Global warming controversy refers to a variety of disputes, significantly more pronounced in the popular media than in the scientific literature, regarding the nature, causes, and consequences of global warming...

  • History of climate change science
    History of climate change science
    The history of the scientific discovery of climate change began in the early 19th century when natural changes in paleoclimate were first suspected and the natural greenhouse effect first identified. In the late 19th century, scientists first argued that human emissions of greenhouse gases could...

  • International Year of Planet Earth
    International Year of Planet Earth
    The United Nations General Assembly declared 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth to increase awareness of the importance of Earth sciences for the achievement of sustainable development. UNESCO was designated as the lead agency...

  • List of authors from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis
  • List of climate scientists
  • National Registry of Environmental Professionals
    National Registry of Environmental Professionals
    The National Registry of Environmental Professionals is a the largest U.S. non-governmental environmental accrediting organization, and is recognized by the US Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency...

     survey on climate change
  • Public opinion on climate change
    Public opinion on climate change
    Public opinion on climate change is the aggregate of attitudes or beliefs held by the adult population concerning the science, economics, and politics of global warming. It is affected by media coverage of climate change.-Regional:...

  • Scientific consensus
    Scientific consensus
    Scientific consensus is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists in a particular field of study. Consensus implies general agreement, though not necessarily unanimity. Scientific consensus is not by itself a scientific argument, and it is not part of the...