About that overwhelming 97-98% number of scientists that say there is a climate consensus…

Larry Bell writes in his weekly Forbes column about that oft repeated but less than truthy “98% of all scientists” statistic. Supposedly, this was such an easy and quick to do survey, it was a no-brainer according to the two University of Illinois researchers who conducted it:

To maximize the response rate, the survey was designed to take less than 2 minutes to complete, and it was administered by a professional online survey site ( www.questionpro.com  ) that allowed one-time participation by those who received the invitation.

I think it is hilarious that so few people who cite this survey as “proof” of consensus actually look into the survey and the puny response numbers involved. So, I decided to graph the data to give some much needed perspective. Apparently, the majority of AGU members polled didn’t think this poll on climate change consensus was worth returning. – Anthony

That Scientific Global Warming Consensus…Not! – Forbes

By Larry Bell

So where did that famous “consensus” claim that “98% of all scientists believe in global warming” come from? It originated from an endlessly reported 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) survey consisting of an intentionally brief two-minute, two question online survey sent to 10,257 earth scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois. Of the about 3.000 who responded, 82% answered “yes” to the second question, which like the first, most people I know would also have agreed with.

Then of those, only a small subset, just 77 who had been successful in getting more than half of their papers recently accepted by peer-reviewed climate science journals, were considered in their survey statistic. That “98% all scientists” referred to a laughably puny number of 75 of those 77 who answered “yes”.

That anything-but-scientific survey asked two questions. The first: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”  Few would be expected to dispute this…the planet began thawing out of the “Little Ice Age” in the middle 19th century, predating the Industrial Revolution. (That was the coldest period since the last real Ice Age ended roughly 10,000 years ago.)

The second question asked: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” So what constitutes “significant”? Does “changing” include both cooling and warming… and for both “better” and “worse”? And which contributions…does this include land use changes, such as agriculture and deforestation?

Read the whole article: That Scientific Global Warming Consensus…Not! – Forbes

Here’s the survey as it appeared in EOS:

EOS, TRANSACTIONS AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION, VOL. 90, NO. 3, PAGE 22, 2009 doi:10.1029/2009EO030002

BRIEF REPORT

Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

Peter T. Doran, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago

Maggie Kendall Zimmerman,  Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago

Fifty-two percent of Americans think most climate scientists agree that the Earth has been warming in recent years, and 47% think climate scientists agree (i.e., that there is a scientific consensus) that human activities are a major cause of that warming, according to recent polling (see http://www.pollingreport.com/enviro.htm). However, attempts to quantify the scientific consensus on anthropogenic warming have met with criticism. For instance, Oreskes [2004] reviewed 928 abstracts from peer-reviewed research papers and found that more than 75% either explicitly or implicitly accepted the consensus view that Earth’s climate is being affected by human activities. Yet Oreskes’s approach has been criticized for overstating the level of consensus acceptance within the examined abstracts [Peiser, 2005] and for not capturing the full diversity of scientific opinion [Pielke, 2005]. A review of previous attempts at quantifying the consensus and criticisms is provided by Kendall Zimmerman [2008]. The objective of our study presented here is to assess the scientific consensus on climate change through an unbiased survey of a large and broad group of Earth scientists.

…and the paper with the data:  http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf
UPDATE: The original Larry Bell article referenced 98%, but the actual calculated number is 97.4%. On the web, 97 and 98% values are both referred to individually in articles, as well as a range of 97-98% I’ve amended the title to use the range – Anthony

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92 thoughts on “About that overwhelming 97-98% number of scientists that say there is a climate consensus…

  1. I hope somebody administers a more probing survey of scientists, soon. This time, include some physicists and chemical engineers, who have the backgrounds in thermodynamics, radiative heat transfer, mathematically modeling (and testing!) of real systems. This time, ask if the scientists believe the increase in CO2 over the past 100 years has had a significant, measurable effect on temperature, precipitation, extreme events, etc. Ask about confidence and error in our temperature records and adjustments. Ask about biases in the academic community. Ask if the participant has received funding for climate work, and by whom.

  2. Addendum, that first question is… what kind of nonsense is that? The only answer to it can be yes.

    “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”

    That’s like asking “Is a soccer ball round, is the Pope Catholic, is the United States of America in North America?”

    It does explain why only roughly one third even sent it back. The other almost 6,000 probably saw the first question and went “What the heck?!”

  3. In other words, people whose paycheck depends on answering “Yes” answered “Yes”.

  4. Very poor sampling method, very poor question construction, cannot evaluate administration of the survey based upon this info but overall a very poor study to be sure. High probability of sample bias and questions structured to obtain a directed response. My opinion is based upon designing and managing survey research for over 20 years either directly or as a function of departments I managed. Quoting this study is, indeed, meaningless.

  5. Selection of those “in the business” of global warming is what led to the result. It is not surprising that those getting their support from biased sponsors would answer in accord with self-interest.

  6. Whenever I see a % being used in a discussion my BS alarm goes off. Much like the long lost R Gates who was so fond of quoting “a 40% increase in CO2″ and the much ado about nothing 15% tax rate of Mitt Romney. (BTW, Romney paid over $3 million in taxes while almost half the people in the U.S. paid nothing yet those people used most of the government services. Who isn’t paying their fair share?)
    The old saying “figures lie and liars figure” is correct, 97% of the time.

  7. Umm, I’m not trained in statistics, but 75 of 77 is not 98%. It’s 97% (97.40%). If my math is wrong, I’m sure someone will correct me.

  8. The second question asked: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”

    Being statistically inclined, I would have interpreted “significant” as “statistically significant”. Although I’m not aware of any study that actually does this, I would be surprised if human CO2 emissions haven’t had some statistically significant contribution to warming since 1800, however small, so I would have to answer yes.

    But this wouldn’t mean I thought it was an important contributing factor, or that warming was a great concern or threat. And, as Larry Bell points out, “human activity” is not necessarily CO2 — it could be deforestation, urbanization, or non-CO2 smokestack and auto emissions.

    So I’d say the second question does not make the desired point.

  9. “42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.”
    –The Hon. W. Richard Walton, Sr.

  10. And while I’m not trained in statistics, I think it is a meaningful that 75 of 3,146 respondents is only 2.38%. Yes, I read that the survey administrators apparently filtered respondents to those supposedly qualified to answer the question.

  11. Lies, damn lies and the EPA…

    Science authoritarians make a mockery of truth, science and morality. Because of Government-funding a consensus of academics who are lost to reason have been created. They do not want to hear about anything that is contrary to a host of beliefs that they are no longer able to defend. It is now impossible for any of them to face the fact that nothing they have done has made a worthwhile contribution to society.

    And, that is what the EPA is doing in putting its support behind global warming alarmism–empowering overreaching Leftists to take full advantage of credulous and thoughtless dimwits. The EPA is hiding the truth, hiding the decline, hiding the immorality and the harm to the public and to the culture and to all the kids in the dropout factories whose futures are being wiped out.

  12. Nice post. We have needed a concise report on this survey.

    Recently Tim Blair (July 16, 2012) linked to a statement by Matt Neal wherein the survey (97% in Neal’s article) was used under the heading “The climate change debate is over” in the Warrnambool Standard [on AU’s south coast 230 km west of Melbourne]. One of the statements is:
    As someone working in the media, I would love to see my fellow journalists and reporters put a ban on covering the views of climate change deniers.” [by Matt Neal]
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    An analogy to the original survey might be to ask the College of Cardinals if they thought the Pope was Catholic. Other questions of a similarly silly nature are often repeated.

  13. Scientists use real math, not statistics. Only the pseudoprofessionals of Illinois can use statistics think it makes something real.

  14. Steve Divine says:
    July 18, 2012 at 9:13 am

    “Umm, I’m not trained in statistics, but 75 of 77 is not 98%. It’s 97% (97.40%). If my math is wrong, I’m sure someone will correct me.”

    They homogenised it…

  15. It’s still a consensus of 98% of the elite 2% of the 33% that responded out of a quantity equal to 50% of the earth scientists in Canada in 2009. You must be a Big Oil shill to disagree with such a broad consensus of scientific individuals employed mainly by Big Oil and Government.

  16. I call unfair! Just like with Mann’s work, we’re just supposed to accept the conclusions without asking for the data.

    The debate is over. Four out of 5 dentists climatologists surveyed would recommend sugarless gum to their patients who chew gum not showing their work to people who would ask too many questions.

  17. Nothing to see here, really. CO_2 emissions continue to rise so that is all we need to know about how the ordinary consumer views this CAGW meme. If they think about it, they still don’t care. And that’s fine by me!

  18. There is an old concept of “preaching to the choir”, and then there is the flip side of that disk: “polling the choir.”
    Imagine asking everybody in a large restaurant at a Sunday luncheon if they attend church. That includes the church choir that meets there after services each week.
    The conclusion might read “98+% of all vocalists polled attend church regularly.”
    I am sure the ‘climate scientists’ who responded also contacted their fellow scientists and urged them to complete the poll as well, so their opinions would be well-represented. After all, that is something activists do!

  19. Another point that I think is worth mentioning. Most of the scientists who say there is global warming are basing this on the data from GISS and CRU (and I think NOAA?).
    Aren’t these the organizations that comprise “the team” members who might have tampered with the temperature data?

  20. If 18%( 3146*.18=566) of the total that responded did not agree, then they outnumber the cherry picked 75 by almost 8 to 1.

  21. A high percentage of “Earth scientists” are likely to be self-selected warmists. I should like to see a study of the history of the establishment and curricular content of “climate studies” departments at universities. These are the “scientific” wings of sociology and political science departments, funded and staffed because they have a political axe to grind. Faculty and students – after seven years of watching Inconvenient Truth – are recruited because they have a political agenda. These intellectually unsound departments are accorded a spurious expertise by their more rigorously scientific colleagues who are too busy to call the bluff or rock the boat. Anecdotally, I know this to be the case: a world-famous biologist says he agrees with AGW because he defers to the expertise of his telegenic, catastrophist AGW colleagues and is not prepared to look for himself into what he thinks is a boring and, er, a scientifically trivial pursuit. Being tenured, elderly, and comfortably ensconced in an ivory tower, he is happy to allow his AGW colleagues work with politicians to tell the world to shut down industry. He and thousands of other academic apathetic deferrers inflate the “consensus of scientists.” Apathetic deferring also explains why activist catastrophists can hijack professional scientific organizations to give their imprimatur to AGW as a political position.

  22. They don’t need to have anywhere close to the total number of invitees to make the claim. But they didn’t get anywhere close to the number they would have needed. They got 75–they needed 366. They are way out of line to be making any statements regarding what earth scientists believe.

  23. I lived in Chicago when this came out, and talked to Doran. The written responses to the questions were hilarious, along the lines of “Pre-1800′S? Temperatures have been far higher and far lower, just how far Pre are we talking about here?”

  24. I have come to the conclusion that climatologists that believe in man-made global warming,are not truly scientists. True scientists always question….when we have something as believeable as Newtons laws, if we didn’t continue to seek we would not have the theory of relativity. We have just begun to understand cyclic events in the ocean and climatic variations that take decades to be revealed all of which affect climate..how can we be so certian that the earth s undergoing man-made global warming? Perhaps many of them feel guilty and need to blame mankind to satisfy their appetite for everything. How gullible can we be? Furthermoore consensus is not science, remember it was’t too long ago that man believed the world was flat.

  25. This has to be one of the most successful surveys of all time. Not because of its accuracy, or profundity, or keen scientific approach. It’s succinct. It’s easy to remember. It’s shocking. And it can be easily shaped to fit nearly any discussion on AGW. Everyone interested in GW seems to have heard it — AND THEY REMEMBER IT! As a tool of propaganda for the Team it was perfect. That was the goal and they achieved it admirably.

  26. Mason P Wilson, Jr, Ph.D retired professor of Thermodynamics and a weatherman in service says:
    July 18, 2012 at 10:34 am
    I have come to the conclusion that climatologists that believe in man-made global warming,are not truly scientists. True scientists always question….when we have something as believeable as Newtons laws, if we didn’t continue to seek we would not have the theory of relativity. We have just begun to understand cyclic events in the ocean and climatic variations that take decades to be revealed all of which affect climate..how can we be so certian that the earth s undergoing man-made global warming? Perhaps many of them feel guilty and need to blame mankind to satisfy their appetite for everything. How gullible can we be? Furthermoore consensus is not science, remember it was’t too long ago that man believed the world was flat.

    I think whomever coined the phrase “green” to describe the environmentalist movement was colorblind. They’re all reds when you look at them closely.

  27. Realist2, can I also suggest the inclusion of solar physicists and cosmologists in any new survey. There are quite a few scientists who think that the big yellow thing in the sky might have something to do with the climate. Not just TSI, but the effect of magnetic field fluctuations.

  28. “””””…..That anything-but-scientific survey asked two questions. The first: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?” …..”””””

    Ignoring the esoterica of the quantum mechanical world, where the answer may be uncertain, until it is certain; I would say the correct answer to this question as worded is :- “Yes.”

  29. Lawrence Solomon of the Fin’l Post reported this long ago. Just giving credit. Great it is now getting more coverage.

  30. Do 97% of experts agree with the IPCC that human CO2
    emissions are causing dangerous global warming?

    Climate Movement activists frequently claim that “97%” of qualified experts agree with the basic premise of climate alarmism: that human CO2 emissions are causing a dangerous warming of the earth’s climate, which will have catastrophic consequences for mankind and the Earth’s ecosystems, unless CO2 emissions are quickly and drastically curtailed.

    That “97%” claim is significant, not for what it what it reveals about the science of climate change, but for what it reveals about the Climate Movement spin machine. It turns out to be a classic example of the Big Lie. Here are some articles about it:

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/01/03/lawrence-solomon-97-cooked-stats/
    http://climatequotes.com/2011/02/10/study-claiming-97-of-climate-scientists-agree-is-flawed/
    http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.3684
    http://sppiblog.org/news/the-97-consensus-is-only-75-self-selected-climatologists

    The 97% claim comes from an article by Peter T. Doran about a survey by Margaret R. K. Zimmerman of 10,257 Earth Scientists, of whom 3146 responded.

    The 97% claim is based on the answers to just two questions, both of which were so uncontroversial that even I, and most other climate change skeptics, would answer “yes” to them.

    Worse yet, 97.5% of those who responded were excluded after their responses were received. Of 3146 responses received, only 79 responses were considered for one question, and only 77 for the other.

    Nor is it clear that 97% of the 79 scientists even answered yes to both questions. For one of the two questions, 77 of 79 answered “yes,” and for the other question 75 of 77 answered “yes,” which seems to indicate that at least two of those who answered the first question didn’t answer the second question.

    76 of 79 (96.2%) answered “risen” to this question: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”

    75 of 77 (97.4%) answered “yes” to this question: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”

    (3146-79) / 3146 = 97.5% of the respondents were excluded after the responses were received.

    Plus, neither of the two questions actually addressed anthropogenic global warming!

    The first question asked respondents to compare current temperatures to the depths of the Little Ice Age (“pre-1800s”), and asked whether it’s warmer now. Well, of course it is! What’s remarkable is that they didn’t get 100% agreement. 3 of 79 apparently didn’t agree even with that.

    The second question asks whether any human activities significantly affect global temperatures. That encompasses both GHG-driven warming and particulate/aerosol-driven cooling.

    Since just about everyone acknowledges that anthropogenic particulate/aerosol air pollution causes cooling, I would have expected just about everyone to answer “yes” to this question. Yet 2 of 77 apparently did not.

    Why do you suppose they didn’t ask an actual question about Anthropogenic Global Warming? Why didn’t they ask something like, “Do you believe that emissions of CO2 from human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, are causing dangerous increases in global average temperatures?” 

    Note:  If you read the Doran article, you might wonder whether they actually did ask a question like that, because the Doran article mentions that “up to nine” questions were asked, but never tells us about the other seven. So I bought the Zimmerman report, to find out. It turns out that other questions were mostly just about demographics. These were the nine questions:
     
    Q1. When compared with pre-1800′s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
    1. Risen
    2. Fallen
    3. Remained relatively constant
    4. No opinion/Don’t know
     
    Q2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?  [This question wasn't asked if they answered "remained relatively constant" to Q1]
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. I’m not sure
     
    Q3. What do you consider to be the most compelling argument that supports your previous answer (or, for those who were unsure, why were they unsure)?  [This question wasn't asked if they answered "remained relatively constant" to Q1]
     
    Q4. Please estimate the percentage of your fellow geoscientists who think human activity is a contributing factor to global climate change.
     
    Q5. Which percentage of your papers published in peer-reviewed journals in the last 5 years have been on the subject of climate change?
     
    Q6. Age
     
    Q7. Gender
     
    Q8. What is the highest level of education you have attained?
     
    Q9. Which category best describes your area of expertise?

     
    Dave Burton
    March 1, 2012

     
    Permalink: http://tinyurl.com/Clim97pct

  31. It was designed to get the outcome it got. There never was any other possible outcome. All that followed then was just conjecture and bullshit.

  32. I’ve always thought that my geostats professor would have whacked my peepee with a ruler if I attempted to hand this in as completion of an assignment. There is no way I could have gotten partial fulfillment of an M.S. degree with Kendall Zimmerman’s thesis.

  33. Serious question time, guys:

    I had been told somewhere, that there were at least three other studies done, which came to same conclusion: 97%
    Now, I find that to be total bull (and unfortunately, I have never been able to find my way back to that list the person presented).

    Here’s my question(s):

    1. Are any of you aware of these other studies?

    2. Have they ever been picked apart like the one mentioned above?

    and

    3. Where might one find this information?

    I’d be pleased to hear from any of you… say, perhaps, AGW fanatacists.

  34. Note also that the second question does not mention CO2 – only human activity as a significant factor. Since pretty much everyone accepts a significant urban heat island effect and most accept that this affects the temperature as measured by the weather stations, which are then used to estimate mean global temperature. On that basis, you could include me in the 97/98 %, but I sure as heck don’t think human CO2 emissions are significant.

    In all surveys, it pays to study the actual wording of the questions – and when the results are being spun, it pays to compare the message you are being given with the actual question asked.

  35. Can this data be verified or replicated? Names of respondents and contact information would be required, and although I haven’t opened the pdf (it freezes my browser) such information is likely to be withheld due to privacy issues. If this is so, then are we expected to take their word for it? Perhaps they would release such information only to True Climate Scientists to whom they could trust with the metadata.

  36. Wow did I scramble that last bit.

    I AM interested in hearing from anyone who is aware of those other studies. AGW fanatacists need not apply.

  37. More interesting is the number of scientists who once believed in AGW theory who have since made a beeline for the UN exits. After the foi2009.pdf disclosures that has been anyone with a reputation to protect. No valid scientific question that can be described as Left vs. right issue–that is how we know that global warming is about politics not science.

  38. daveburton: Very good summary. I’m glad to see skeptics seeing through the tricks well enough for me not even to need to write more myself. ;-)

  39. 77 is the number of respondents to question #2 “who listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change” So I think the graph at the top of this post is in urgent need of revision. Specifically, the labels on the 3rd and 4th bars are not accurate.

  40. Otter, the first paragraph of the Doran article mentions one:

    “…attempts to quantify the scientific consensus on anthropogenic warming have met with criticism. For instance, Oreskes [2004] reviewed 928 abstracts from peer-reviewed research papers and found that more than 75% either explicitly or implicitly accepted the consensus view that Earth’s climate is being affected by human activities. Yet Oreskes’s approach has been criticized for overstating the level of consensus acceptance within the examined abstracts [Peiser, 2005] and for not capturing the full diversity of scientific opinion [Pielke, 2005]. A review of previous attempts at quantifying the consensus and criticisms is provided by Kendall Zimmerman [2008]. The objective of our study presented here is to assess the scientific consensus on climate change through an unbiased survey…”

    Okay I recognize that the final sentence about their “objective” is guffaw-provoking. But Oreskes [2004] is one such other study. (Note: Zimmerman [2008] is just the study report upon which Doran’s article is based.)

    Here’s an article which quotes Benny Peiser saying that, of the 928 abstracts, “just over a dozen explicitly endorse the “consensus,” while the vast majority of abstracts [do] not mention anthropogenic global warming.”

    In other words, Oreskes [2004] was as much of a fraud as Doran/Zimmerman.

    However, there are also some surveys that the Climate Movement activists never cite:

    1. What Scientists Really Think About Global Warming, by S. Robert Lichter.  Harris polled 500 leading American Meteorological and Geophysical scientists in early 2007, and even back then (before Climategate) there was no consensus. They found that:
    “97% agree that ‘global average temperatures have increased’ during the past century. But not everyone attributes that rise to human activity. A slight majority (52%) believe this warming was human-induced, 30% see it as the result of natural temperature luctuations and the rest are unsure.” (More details here.)

    2. From the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society we learn that most broadcast meteorologists disagree with the IPPC claim that humans are primarily responsible for recent global warming.

    3. A subsequent survey of all American broadcast meteorologists by researchers at George Mason University confirms that result.

  41. Mason P Wilson, Jr, Ph.D retired professor of Thermodynamics and a weatherman in service says: @ July 18, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I have come to the conclusion that climatologists that believe in man-made global warming,are not truly scientists. True scientists always question…
    ____________________________
    As a professor of Thermodynamics and a weather person could you please write an article for WUWT on the subject of Earth’s long wave radiation vs the sun’s short, high energy radiation, CO2 and the amount of energy absorbed and returned to earth by CO2 vs the variability in solar energy and TSI and more importantly the short, high energy solar radiation that is absorbed by the world’s oceans.

    We are told by climatologists the variability in total solar energy is very small > 0.1% (the changes in the mix of wavelengths is left out) but it is always given as a PERCENT and not in total energy. It is also not compared to the amount of energy supposedly returned to the earth by CO2. It would seem that a change of up to 6% in the high energy EUV and UV wavelengths absorbed by the oceans at depth would have a heck of a lot more impact on the climate over time compared to the puny low energy wavelengths returned by man’s 4% contribution to the 400 ppm of atmospheric CO2.

    I am afraid that thermo was not one of my better subjects in college so I do not dare attempt to do this myself. However the orders of magnitude involved makes me think we have been treated to a pile of mushroom fertilizer so I would really like to see someone with a good background take a look see. Thanks

    • Thanks for the invite and you are right on..I’ll take a look at it but it seems to me that I would have to make a number of assumptions concerning the absorption of the high energy wavelengths in the sea, since the opacity of the sea vs depth I believe is dependant on the pllankton…if so it would make a big difference as to the energy being absorbed close to the surface and reraidiated at a higher rate than if absorption occured at lower depth. If this is so my assumptions could sway the outcome as much as the global warming buffs. While the analysis might prove interesting I think I would rather wait and gather the information to make informative assumptions than make a claim that can’t hold up under the scutiny of other scientists…thanks again…mason

  42. This whole notion of “consensus of scientists” reminds me of a two question survey
    a senior staff physicist once put out on the network at a lab where I was working; he
    called it the “Scientist Test”. The two questions were 1. Do you consider yourself
    to be an expert in your field of research? 2. Do you disagree with everyone else
    who is considered to be an expert in your field of research?

    If you answered “yes” to both questions, you must be a scientist.

  43. Their whole point was to have something they could claim was factual (if looked at the “right” way, of course) and convince the general public that their consensus was mighty. No one was supposed to look at it too closely. Good on Larry Bell and Forbes for publishing this. Well done. :)

  44. Can these two questions be any more vague?

    “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”

    “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”

    For question 1, define relatively. If we’re measuring in degree Kelvin, how much of a change have we really seen? You can easily argue the temperatures have been relatively stable. But with a starting point in the Little Ice Age, the answer was largely predetermined. Other possible answers such as “I don’t know” or “indeterminate” weren’t on the menu, either.

    As for number 2, how many different human activities are there which may influence the climate and have nothing to do with CO2 or GHG emissions? What level is significant? Is 10% significant, or does it have to be 50% or more to qualify.

    With these questions, what other results could they get? The significant thing about this survey is the number of people who chose not to respond.

  45. more soylent green! says:

    “I think whomever coined the phrase “green” to describe the environmentalist movement was colorblind. They’re all reds when you look at them closely.”

    We are correct. We all need to be careful here as 20% of males have a degree of Red/Green Colorblindness.

  46. “The second question asked: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”

    If the “mean global temperature” is that meaningless metric which is calculated by CRU , GISS etc from land station data.. then the answer has to be “Yes”..
    UHI, data adjustments, loss of cold station data.. its all due to man.

  47. more soylent green! says:
    July 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Can these two questions be any more vague?….

    With these questions, what other results could they get? The significant thing about this survey is the number of people who chose not to respond.
    ______________________________________
    Or whose responses were not printable in a family blog…

  48. Michael Moon says:
    July 18, 2012 at 10:31 am
    I lived in Chicago when this came out, and talked to Doran. The written responses to the questions were hilarious, along the lines of “Pre-1800′S? Temperatures have been far higher and far lower, just how far Pre are we talking about here?”

    ========================================================================

    Is there anywhere on the net to find the responses by the actual scientists who took the survey. (“The 77″) I have heard that they were very telling ……. or did I imagine that.

  49. More than 2/3rds of scientists asked to respond to the questionairre didn’t find it worthwhile to do so.

  50. No matter how many times this myth is busted – it arises again. It is just another zombie belief held and trumpeted, by the AGW religion. It will not… cannot die… die … die. GK

  51. My understanding, collected from recent polls,is that the more educated an individual is the less they believe in CAGW.
    Don’t these findings just agree with that consensus? Climate scientists are less educated than other scientists!

  52. I’ve given up on this particular piece of climate krap. Nowadays, when I see or hear someone quote the 97% number I just shale my head. I’ve found it only wastes my time explaining the specifics behind that number. They don’t care. It is the provibial leading of the horse to water – except for the fact it’s actually a jackass, if you look closely.

  53. Otter says:
    July 18, 2012 at 11:51 am
    “Serious question time, guys:

    I had been told somewhere, that there were at least three other studies done, which came to same conclusion: 97%
    Now, I find that to be total bull (and unfortunately, I have never been able to find my way back to that list the person presented).

    Here’s my question(s):

    1. Are any of you aware of these other studies?”
    ——————————–

    Here’s another one of the 97%ers:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107.full

    “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 surveyed here support the tenets of ACC (anthropogenic climate change) 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.”

    This is akin to using an extensive dataset of the most active pot smokers to determine whether we should legalize marijuana.

  54. Hmmm… These “earth” scientists… I’m not a native Francophone, but if “merde” is loosely translated as “earth”, are these earth scientists really merde scientists?

    (Apologies to geologists, solid earth geophysicists, etc.)

  55. I swear I read an article about this survey right here a couple years ago – but I’ve been through the archives and can’t find it. It went through the exact same breakdown. Does anyone else remember anything similar?

  56. As Bill Tuttle posted here on WUWT a week ago in reference to another survey:

    From that same [AMS/AMU] study [ at http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html ]: Former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth” rates better than any traditional news source, with 26% finding it “very reliable” and 38% as somewhat reliable.

    The egregious errors and bunk science in Gore’s slide show were well-publicized by the time that survey was made, yet 64% if those polled found it — pardon my chuckles — “reliable.”

    The survey bias is obvious.

    Therefore, as a “yardstick” to the respondents’ objectivity, future surveys should ask their opinion of the Inconvenient Truth film.

    TonyG: here are more threads on these surveys (not necessarily different surveys):

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/02/scientific-consensus-on-global-warming-sample-size-79/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/04/lawrence-solomon-on-consensus-statistics/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/25/where-consensus-fails/

  57. more soylent green! says:
    July 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I think whomever coined the phrase “green” to describe the environmentalist movement was colorblind. They’re all reds when you look at them closely.

    Not necessarily. Dictionary.com provides a useful list of possible definitions for green, when used as an adjective. Among them are:-

    Not fully developed or perfected in growth or condition; unripe; not properly aged: This peach is still green;
    Unseasoned; not dried or cured: green lumber;
    Immature in age or judgement; untrained; inexperienced: a green worker;
    Simple; unsophisticated; gullible; easily fooled;
    Fresh, recent, or new: an insult still green in his mind; or
    Having a sickly appearance; pale; wan: green with fear; green with envy.

  58. I would like to see the raw data and assess the filtering used to the dataset to ensure that it did not bias the results. Could anyone get it to me?

  59. well, i’m tired of being called a ‘denier’, like i was a holocaust denier or something. how about we ‘up the ante’ on the AGW ‘alarmists’ and just call them what they really are, ‘extremists’. just like religious terrorists distort their religion for their own goals its seems comparable to me to call AGW the same as they so readily distort, change or exaggerate the facts to further their ‘religion’.
    man once did believe the earth was flat, that our planet was the centre of the universe, you could call that a consensus on both, didnt mean it was right.
    they attempt to terrorise the public with their extreme views, those nasty Extremist AGW Terrorists.

  60. i have worked in construction and logistics my entire working life and been a member of a couple of different unions, i have always previously voted ‘left’, labour party here in australia. i will not be voting left the next election because of the worlds highest carbon tax ( 6 times higher than the EU’s scheme), ‘there will be no carbon tax under the government i lead’, ‘the science is settled’ (juliar gillard, prime minister), introduced at the beginning of this month. all for a temperature reduction, best case scenario, of just 0.0038 of a degree celsius by the end of this century………. yeah truth. that comes from the IPCC itself. Lord Monkton was not so generous – 0.00005 of a degree celsius. they really did it even though the science and maths says its pointless. could it be the tax dollars?
    growing up i remember many times hearing that if the government could find a way to tax the air we breath they would. i thought it was a joke. obviously they finally found a way. they wont get away with it though, its political suicide according to the polls. as it truely deserves.

    time magazine cover from 1977- ‘How to survive the coming ice age- 51 things you can do to make a difference.’ anyone old enough to remember this? i bet the science was ‘settled’ and their was a consensus too. dont be fooled all over again. its here-

    http://state-of-the-nation.com/2828/time-magazine-april-1977-survive-coming-ice-age-global-warming/time_iceage1/

  61. Juan – thanks for the links. They weren’t what I was looking for but I’m going to read them over anyways :)

    Roger – your first link was the one I was trying to find – thanks!

  62. If 98% of scientists believe in global warming then all the papers produced by them and peer reviewed by them are biassed!

  63. Since there are around 6.1 billion people now, and the average heat output from the human body is around 28 watts, then there is a constant heat source of 170 billion watts running 24/7/365. No wonder the world has heated up a tiny tiny bit. Better depopulate quick, lets start with all the greenies.

  64. The first: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”

    I would have to answer as follows:

    Since “mean global temperature” is a meaningless construct, your first question is invalid. Since the second question relies on the premise laid down in the first, the second question is also meaningless.

  65. Soo.. what was the result of the survey you graphed. Those 3K odd returned surveys don’t give me a % of opinion….

  66. It is notable that no commenter above has noticed that she filtered her responses through a “Do you work for the government agency (or government-paid institution) whose future budget will rely on the 1.3 trillion dollars per year of CAGW income that will come from your research?”

    Only those 78 CAGW-funded government-paid eco-theists whose funding requires a CAGW case be built up from their imaginations and their fabricated research were counted.

  67. Hu McCulloch SAID(being statistically inclined) “I would be surprised if human CO2 emissions haven’t had some statistically significant contribution to warming since 1800, however small, so I would have to answer yes”.
    So – you don’t know. would have said yes despite thinking it was not true. So – logically we should not trust the statistically inclined because they’re inclined to lie.

  68. Any intelligent scientist reading the survey questions would throw it aside, seeing how pre-cooked and irrelevant it was. Therefore the ones who returned it were the stupidest and/or most biased in favor of its obvious intent. Thus the survey conclusion should be, “98% of the stupidest and most biased scientists agree with AGW.”

  69. more soylent green! says:
    July 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I think whomever coined the phrase “green” to describe the environmentalist movement was colorblind. They’re all reds when you look at them closely.

    Blackberries are green when they’re red.

  70. I would answer yes, the earth has warmed over the last century, and yes, yes, humans have had a significant effect on the warming- and I’m a CAGW cynic. Seeing those questions in a SURVEY, I’d immediately jump to the conclusion that this was a propaganda poll, with no validity, and throw it away. A more reasonable conclusion would be 1 – (3146/10,257)= 69.3 % of scientists think that pushing CAGW is a scam and a waste of their valuable time.

  71. I never did see a number telling me how many of the 7,000+ who did not return the survey were climate scientists. For me that is also telling. Seven thousand scientists of the type they wanted on their roll call just trashed the survey. Perhaps a one third response is a reasonable amount for any survey of this type. What is also telling is that they disregarded the responses of the respondents who weren’t defined as climate scientists. So why then did they poll them?

  72. I’m glad to see that was explained here on this site because I’ve been saying the same thing on the NewsVine Science forum for maybe the past 2+ years.

  73. “It originated from an endlessly reported 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) survey consisting of an intentionally brief two-minute, two question online survey sent to 10,257 earth scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois.

    …well, that says it all right there!! We are on our THIRD U of I President in less than 3 years, with numerous other scandals and problems. Poor UI, we’ve seen better days….but at least we ain’t Penn State!

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