Statistically Speaking: What Do Scientists Think About Climate Change?

Ah, delving into the mind of a scientist. There’s a heady task. The media talk of both consensus and scientific debate when it comes to climate change. So what do actual scientists really think? A new survey of 3,146 scientists attempts to answer this question and more.

The American Geophysical Union’s publication Eos has just published a poll that should put to rest any notion that there is less than a consensus on global warming. (See press release from University of Illinois, Chicago.)

Top Findings Show Strong Consensus

Percentage of scientists surveyed agreeing that global temperatures have risen compared to pre-industrial levels: 90
Percentage of scientists agreeing that humans have played a significant role in this change: 82

Areas of Expertise Impacts Scientists’ Understanding of Climate Change

Percentage of climate scientists agreeing: 97.4
Percentage of meteorologists agreeing: 64
Percentage of economic geologists agreeing: 47

Percentage of general public believing that people are responsible for global warming: 58*

Which group of scientists does the public have the most exposure to?

*SOURCE: 2008 Gallup poll – www.gallup.com/poll/1615/Environment.aspx

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