2011-12-11 03:11:10Is there a case against human-caused global warming in the peer-reviewed literature. More on Part 3.
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.100

This post has been put to one side for various reasons but I believe we are ready to publish it after your suggestions. (We are still working on a couple of links to arguments.)

 

Is there a case against human-caused global warming in the peer-reviewed literature? Part 3

Part 1 in this series introduced a database of global warming skeptics and the number of peer-reviewed papers each has published. Part 2 examined the “takeaways” from these papers. To generate these lists we identified some 120 global warming skeptics, searched the Web of Science for their peer-reviewed papers, then read the abstracts and sometimes the entire paper to flag those that denied or attempted to cast substantial doubt on human-caused global warming. 

We have now sorted the papers by argument and by year. The list sorted by argument has links to the rebuttals, allowing these conclusions:

  1. Not only are these papers largely speculative and devoid of a “killer argument” against human-caused global warming, the major claim of each has been thoroughly rebutted in the scientific literature, as summarized on SkS here. This is further evidence that the answer to the question of this series is no: there is no case against human-caused global warming in the peer-reviewed literature.
  2. Some of the arguments that rank highly by popularity are conspicuous by their absence among the skeptic papers. None argues that (1) climate’s changed before, (4) there is no consensus, (8) animals and plants can adapt, (9) it hasn’t warmed since 1998, (10) ice age predicted in the 70s, (11) Antarctica is gaining ice, or (12) CO2 lags temperature. Global warming skeptics continue to make these arguments at every opportunity, but demonstrably it is not possible to back up any of them with evidence that will pass peer-review. Until there is such evidence, there is no reason anyone should pay attention to these unsupported and misleading claims.

 

2011-12-12 01:20:43
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.100

Talking off-line with Dana, we agreed that I should add a final summary of the main takeaways from the three posts. Here is a new version with that added.

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Is there a case against human-caused global warming in the peer-reviewed literature? Part 3

Part 1 in this series introduced a database of global warming skeptics and the number of peer-reviewed papers each has published. Part 2 examined the “takeaways” from these papers. To generate these lists we identified some 120 global warming skeptics, searched the Web of Science for their peer-reviewed papers, then read the abstracts and sometimes the entire paper to flag those that denied or attempted to cast substantial doubt on human-caused global warming. 

We have now sorted the papers by argument and by year. The list sorted by argument has links to the rebuttals, allowing these conclusions:

  1. The principal claim of each of these arguments has been thoroughly rebutted in the scientific literature, as summarized on SkS here
  2. Some of the arguments that rank highly by popularity are conspicuous by their absence among the skeptic papers ranked by SkS. None argues that (1) climate’s changed before, (4) there is no consensus, (8) animals and plants can adapt, (9) it hasn’t warmed since 1998, (10) ice age predicted in the 70s, (11) Antarctica is gaining ice, or (12) CO2 lags temperature. Global warming skeptics continue to make these arguments at every opportunity, but demonstrably it is not possible to back up any of them with evidence that will pass peer-review. Until there is such evidence, there is no reason anyone should pay attention to these unsupported and misleading claims.

To reiterate the principal conclusions of this series:

  • 70% of the global warming skeptics identified, including some of the most outspoken, have no scientific publications that deny or cast substantial doubt on global warming.   
  • None of the papers provides the “killer argument,” the one devastating fact that would falsify human-caused global warming. Each skeptic argument has been debunked in other peer-reviewed papers. 
  • The skeptics have no theory to counter human-caused global warming. 
  • Even though the evidence for human-caused global warming and the scientific consensus have grown stronger, no skeptic who wrote in the first half of the 1990s has recanted. To be a climate skeptic is to remain a skeptic. 

The answer to the question of this series is resounding no: there is no case against human-caused global warming in the peer-reviewed literature.


2011-12-12 06:07:38
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.83.229

Nice summary and work! Thumbs up here.

2011-12-14 03:22:29
Jim Powell

jpowell@usc.edu
207.154.96.100

I have made a couple of edits below, the main one being to add a sentence about how this differs from Naomi Oreskes's work:

 

Is there a case against human-caused global warming in the peer-reviewed literature? Part 3

Part 1 in this series introduced a database of global warming skeptics and the number of peer-reviewed papers each has published. Part 2 examined the “takeaways” from these papers. To generate these lists we identified some 120 global warming skeptics, searched the Web of Science for their peer-reviewed papers, then read the abstracts and sometimes the entire paper to flag those that denied or attempted to cast substantial doubt on human-caused global warming. (This study differs from the one by Oreskes (2004) who did not count papers that "cast substantial doubt.")

We have now sorted the papers by argument and by year. The list sorted by argument has links to the rebuttals, allowing these conclusions:

  1. The principal claim of each of these arguments has been thoroughly rebutted in the scientific literature, as summarized on SkS here
  2. Some of the arguments that rank highly by popularity are conspicuous by their absence among the skeptic papers ranked by SkS. None argues that (1) climate’s changed before, (4) there is no consensus, (8) animals and plants can adapt, (9) it hasn’t warmed since 1998, (10) ice age predicted in the 70s, (11) Antarctica is gaining ice, or (12) CO2 lags temperature. Global warming skeptics continue to make these arguments at every opportunity, but demonstrably it is not possible to back up any of them with evidence that will pass peer-review. Until there is such evidence, there is no reason anyone should pay attention to these unsupported and misleading claims.

To reiterate the principal conclusions of this series:

  • 70% of the global warming skeptics identified, including some of the most outspoken, have no scientific publications that deny or cast substantial doubt on global warming.   
  • None of the papers provides the “killer argument,” the one devastating fact that would falsify human-caused global warming. Each skeptic argument has been debunked in other peer-reviewed papers. 
  • The skeptics have no theory to counter explain human-caused global warming. 
  • Even though the evidence for human-caused global warming and the scientific consensus have grown stronger, no skeptic who wrote in the first half of the 1990s has recanted. To be a climate skeptic is to remain a skeptic. 

The answer to the question of this series is resounding no: there is no case against human-caused global warming in the peer-reviewed literature.