4 out of 5 dentists agree

Remember the ad about the “4 out of 5 dentists” who recommended a certain gum? Well, 29 out of 30 climate scientists (97%) accept “anthropogenic climate change” (ACC) as a fact. The more research they did, the more papers they published, the more expertise they had — the more likely they were to believe in ACC.

From Anderegg, W. R. L., et al. Expert Credibility in Climate Change, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (online before print, June 21, 2010):

Although preliminary estimates from published literature and expert surveys suggest striking agreement among climate scientists on the tenets of anthropogenic climate change (ACC), the American public expresses substantial doubt about both the anthropogenic cause and the level of scientific agreement underpinning ACC. A broad analysis of the climate scientist community itself, the distribution of credibility of dissenting researchers relative to agreeing researchers, and the level of agreement among top climate experts has not been conducted and would inform future ACC discussions. Here, 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.


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