Scientific agreement on human-caused climate change reaches over 99%, study shows

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Whether humans are responsible for climate change is a question that the scientific community has largely agreed upon, but new data suggests that agreement has become nearly unanimous.

A study back in 2013 found that there was a 97.1% scientific consensus that climate change was caused by humans. The study looked at peer reviewed scientific literature to determine skeptics of human caused climate change compared to papers where there was no skepticism.

While 97.1% is still the vast majority on the subject, what about the remaining almost 3%?

A new recent study took a fresh look at whether the scientific consensus had changed. Using 88,125 climate-related papers published since 2012, scientists analyzed them to determine whether there were skeptical words or narrative against the human-caused climate change consensus.

The study was performed in two ways.

First, 3,000 of those 88,125 papers were randomly selected and scrutinized to determine any man-made climate change skeptical content.

Secondly, the entire dataset of 88,125 was analyzed for key-words believed to be skeptical against climate change.

Of the 3,000 papers sampled, a total of 4 papers were human-caused climate change skeptical. That means roughly 99.86% of that sample of climate-related papers believed in human caused climate change.

When looking at the entire dataset of 88,125 papers, 28 of those were “implicitly or explicitly” skeptical of man-made climate change. That equates to a 99.96% scientific consensus in man-made climate change.

The more recent study published Oct. 19, 2021 reached the following conclusion:

We conclude with high statistical confidence that the scientific consensus on human-caused contemporary climate change — expressed as a proportion of the total publications — exceeds 99% in the peer reviewed scientific literature.

Mark Lynas et al 2021 Environ. Res. Lett. 16 114005

While scientists may be increasingly convinced, elected officials still have some work to do.

A Gallup poll from April 2021 found 109 representatives out of 435 and 30 senators out of 100 do not believe humans are the cause of climate change.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Summit will meet in Glasgow, Scotland beginning on Oct. 31 lasting through Nov. 12.

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