Skeptical Science says 87% is 97%

A common topic on this blog has been the infamous Skeptical Science global warming consensus paper. The central point I've put forth is the authors of the paper have misled people about what the paper found. Today I've found proof, in case more was needed, in the form of a post written by the Skeptical Science group.

As I summed up in a previous post:

John Cook, Dana Nuccitelli and others published a lengthy response to criticisms by Richard Tol. In it, they described their famous paper about a consensus on global warming as:

C13 classified abstracts of climate science papers based on the level of endorsement that most of the recent global warming is man-made (AGW, Categories 1–3)

But when discussing what the definition their paper would use, Dana Nuccitelli specifically said:

Category 2 is "Explicitly endorses but does not quantify (or minimize) AGW." Thus it doesn't require an assumption of >50%.

How can Category 2 not "require an assumption of >50%" human contribution if Categories 1-3 say "most of the recent global warming is man-made"?

I was more blunt in another post titled, "Cook et al Lie Their Faces Off." Put simply, the Skeptical Science group presents their "consensus" by saying things like (Tom Curtis):

Endorsement levels 1-3 each endorse anthropogenic factors as causing 50+% of recent warming.

John Cook, in a paper published in a scientific journal:

Of the 4,014 abstracts that expressed a position on the issue of human-induced climate change, Cook et al. (2013) found that over 97% endorsed the view that the Earth is warming up and human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause.

And Dana Nuccitelli:

the 96-97% consensus is that AGW since 1950 is >50%.

There are many more examples. The point is, the Skeptical Science group has repeatedly presented their "97% consensus" as being: "Human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause" of global warming. Critics of the paper have disagreed, saying their "consensus" is merely that humans contribute, to some extent, to global warming. This critic, goes beyond that and says John Cook and the other authors are intentionally lying about their results.

I don't see how anyone could argue otherwise after looking at an article I just found on Skeptical Science's website. A version of this article has existed since at least September, 2013. That means it has been on the Skeptical Science website for over a year, during pretty much the entire time people have argued about what this "consensus" is.

With that in mind, read these two excerpts:

The IPCC position (humans causing most global warming) was represented in our categories 1 and 7, which include papers that explicitly endorse or reject/minimize human-caused global warming, and also quantify the human contribution. Among the relatively few abstracts (75 in total) falling in these two categories, 65 (87%) endorsed the consensus view.

As noted above, when we perform this calculation, the consensus position that humans are the main cause of global warming is endorsed in 87% of abstracts and 96% of full papers.

That comes straight from the horse's mouth. According to Skeptical Science, the "consensus" humans are the main cause of global warming is not 97%. Why then, has the Skeptical Science group repeatedly said it is?

As an aside, I don't agree with their 87% figure. As I've pointed out before, their Categories 5-7 were labeled as, "Reject AGW." If Categories 5&6 reject AGW, they obviously must reject the idea humans are the main cause of global warming. This is made even more clear by their category titles, "Implicitly minimizes/rejects AGW” and, "6. Explicitly minimizes/rejects AGW but does not quantify.” I'm baffled as to how anyone could believe a paper "which minimizes/rejects AGW" does not reject the idea "humans [are] causing most global warming." Accounting for that strange belief would reduce the 87% figure to ~45%. It doesn't really matter though. Neither 45% nor 87% is 97%.

One comment

Comments are closed.