Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Climate change denial claims debunked

Also see this report by the California Office of Planning and Research, which provides scientific evidence debunking many climate denier claims. They use the IPCC but also the US National Academy of Sciences, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the UK's Royal Society. A few examples of the debunking: 

“There isn’t a scientific consensus on climate change. Lots of scientists have signed a petition against it.”

In fact, there is a very strong scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and is caused by humans. Recent studies have shown that about 97% of active climate researchers agree that climate change is human-caused. And the few who disagree have substantially less climate expertise than the 97%. Some years ago, a petition rejecting a consensus on climate change garnered press attention, with its proponents claiming they had collected thousands of signatures from scientists. In truth, the signatories largely had training irrelevant to climate science such as veterinary medicine or no scientific expertise at all.

(Anderegg et al. (2010). Doran and Zimmerman (2009).) 

“Scientists are out for personal gain, publishing alarmist studies to capture research grants.”

There is no evidence to support this argument. Scientists who participate in the IPCC climate assessments are not paid, nor are those who participate in panels for the National Academy of Sciences. Career advancement in the sciences is not based on holding popular views, but on publishing original research. By contrast, many deniers have received funding from entities with a financial stake in fossil fuel-based energy system. 

“The Climategate scandal showed that scientists have manipulated data to invent the climate problem.”

“Climategate” was coined to refer to a series of hacked emails from climate researchers at the University of East Anglia in 2009. No evidence of scientific wrongdoing was ever found. No fewer than seven committees, including bodies from the U.S. and British governments, looked into the emails and all reached the conclusion that the scientists committed no research misconduct, their results were accurate, and nothing in the emails refuted the overwhelming evidence of climate change.

(House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, March 24, 2010; University of East Anglia, April 12, 2010; Pennsylvania State University, June 4, 2010; The Independent Climate Change Emails Review, July 2010; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, July 29, 2010; U.S. Department of Commerce, February 24, 2011; National Science Foundation, August 15, 2011)

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