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Bryan's Blog 2004/12/08
Naomi Oreskes reports an analysis of all 982 papers indexed by ISI with keywords climate change between 1993 and 2003 (indexed by ISI means they had to be peer reviewed!).
The 928 papers were divided into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.
The final statement was pretty unambiguous:
Many details about climate interactions are not well understood, and there are ample grounds for continued research to provide a better basis for understanding climate dynamics. The question of what to do about climate change is also still open. But there is a scientific consensus on the reality of anthropogenic climate change. Climate scientists have repeatedly tried to make this clear. It is time for the rest of us to listen.
As an aside, I've had to link to this paper via the doi redirect (dx.doi.org), rather than via the doi:blah syntax because browser support for doi is still limited ...