From Reuters, three days ago:
“I still stand by that the science is not settled on man-made global warming,” Perry said while campaigning in the key early primary state of New Hampshire.
By the way of contrast, from the Preface to National Academy of Sciences, Advancing the Science of Climate Change (2010):
…there is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documenting that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities. …
While much remains to be learned, the core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious scientific debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations.
Here is a graph of the global land-ocean temperature anomaly
Figure 1: The Monthly Global (land and ocean combined into an anomaly) Index (degrees C). Red line is centered 10 year moving average. Source: NOAA NCDC, and author’s calculations.From the Summary to National Academy of Sciences, Advancing the Science of Climate Change (2010):
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE Conclusion 1: Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for—and in many cases is already affecting—a broad range of human and natural systems. This conclusion is based on a substantial array of scientific evidence, including recent work, and is consistent with the conclusions of recent assessments by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (e.g., USGCRP, 2009a), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC, 2007a-d), and other assessments of the state of scientific knowledge on climate change. Both our assessment—the details of which can be found in Chapter 2 and Part II (Chapters 6-17) of this report—and these previous assessments place high or very high confidence in the following findings:
- Earth is warming. Detailed observations of surface temperature assembled and analyzed by several different research groups show that the planet’s average surface temperature was 1.4ºF (0.8ºC) warmer during the first decade of the 21st century than during the first decade of the 20th century, with the most pronounced warming over the past three decades. These data are corroborated by a variety of independent observations that indicate warming in other parts of the Earth system, including the cryosphere (snow- and icecovered regions), the lower atmosphere, and the oceans.
- Most of the warming over the last several decades can be attributed to human activities that release carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—for energy is the single largest human driver of climate change, but agriculture, forest clearing, and certain industrial activities also make significant contributions.
- Natural climate variability leads to year-to-year and decade-to-decade fluctuations in temperature and other climate variables, as well as substantial regional differences, but cannot explain or offset the long-term warming trend.
- Global warming is closely associated with a broad spectrum of other changes, such as increases in the frequency of intense rainfall, decreases in Northern Hemisphere snow cover and Arctice sea ice, warmer and more frequent hot days and nights, rising sea levels, and widespread ocean acidification.
- Human-induced climate change and its impacts will continue for many decades, and in some cases for many centuries. Individually and collectively, these changes pose risks for a wide range of human and environmental systems, including freshwater resources, the coastal environment, ecosystems, agriculture, fisheries, human health, and national security, among others.
- The ultimate magnitude of climate change and the severity of its impacts depend strongly on the actions that human societies take to respond to these risks.
It’s important to undestand that the assessment orginates from a specific government chartered organization, the National Academy of Sciences:
To meet the government’s urgent need for an independent adviser on scientific matters, President Lincoln signed a congressional charter forming the National Academy of Sciences in 1863 to “investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science.” As science began to play an ever-increasing role in national priorities and public life, the National Academy of Sciences eventually expanded to include the National Research Council in 1916, the National Academy of Engineering in 1964, and the Institute of Medicine in 1970.
This of course won’t carry any weight with those who are anti-expertise. Nor will the results from the paper “Expert credibility in climate change,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2010):
… we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97-98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC 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.
Two key graphs (shown in this post highlight that fact that among published (in peer reviewed journals) climate scientist, the overwhelming consensus is on that anthropogenic climate change (ACC) is occurring.
Note that UE denotes unconvinced; CE denotes convinced (by the thesis of anthropogenic climate change).
This post originally appeared at Econbrowser and is reproduced with permission.