Jon Cook brings us a new visualization of the climate consensus.
Imagine if you filled a room with a representative sample of 100 climatologists, how many would agree with the basic scientific consensus that our GHG emissions are warming the planet? According to a “>recent study, and a survey conducted last year, 97 of them (the green ones) would agree, while only 3 (the red ones) would disagree.
Why does this matter? Does a consensus of climate experts prove that humans are causing global warming? No, science doesn’t work that way. The evidence for man-made global warming lies in the multiple, independent observations that confirm man’s influence on climate . It’s not based just on theory or models or even just a single dataset but many different observations all pointing to a consistent result. In my quieter moments of introspection when I wonder if this could all be wrong, ultimately I can’t avoid all the different lines of evidence.
But not everyone has the time or inclination to dig through the peer-reviewed literature to uncover all the empirical evidence. Or read the thousands of pages in the IPCC reports. When it comes to complex science, whether it be climate science or heart surgery or how a plane manages to stay up in the air, we defer to the experts who do this stuff for a living. Why? Because they know every nook and cranny of their area of expertise. Every day when they go to work, climate scientists are knee deep in the full body of evidence. They arrive at their opinion of man-made global warming by taking into account all this evidence. The reason why there’s a consensus of scientists is because there’s a consensus of evidence.
See part 1 for more visualizations