97% of Climate Scientists Believe...

Back in 2008, The Guardian and the Washington Post highlighted a new survey which had apparently found that 97% of climate scientists agreed with the 'consensus' on global warming. This was said to be based on questioning 10,257 Earth scientists.

The claim was looked into. It turned out that the survey was the work of an MSc student at the University of Illinois, with guidance from her supervisor. She had initially decided to approach 10,257 scientists, but it was decided that many of them worked in disciplines which did not qualify them to answer, including physicists, geologists, astronomers and specialists on solar activity. I would have thought that these people were the best ones to ask, but no; they were unsuitable. So now it was only necessary to approach 3,146 people.

The 3,146 were asked whether they accepted that the world had warmed since the pre-industrial era.

10% said No.

Secondly, they were asked whether they believed human activity had contributed significantly to the warming.

82% said Yes.

The researchers knew that 82% was hardly an overwhelming consensus, so they did some more thinning. They were left with just 77 people who described themselves as climate scientists AND who had recently published papers on climate change.

Of this group, 75 had given a positive answer to the second question.

75 divided by 77 is 0.97, or 97%.

This showed, apparently, that 97% of climate scientists supported the 'global warming consensus'.

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