High Confidence: survey of 13,000 science papers finds only 24 that reject climate change

Sometimes a picture (or graph) can say it all:


A survey of scientific literature conducted by James Lawrence Powell of or 13,000 papers on global warming found that ony 24 (0.17%) rejected the connection between carbon emissions and global warming.

Powell reviewed papers published between January 1991 and November 2012 – a twenty-one year period.

It’s not a question of the debate being over – there never was a debate.

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81 thoughts on “High Confidence: survey of 13,000 science papers finds only 24 that reject climate change

  1. Given the detail and resources that seemingly went into this research, it strikes me as odd that:

    “To be classified as rejecting, an article had to clearly and explicitly state that the theory of global warming is false or, as happened in a few cases, that some other process better explains the observed warming.”

    was not complimented by a balancing:

    “To be classified as accepting, an article had to clearly and explicitly state that the theory of anthropogenic global warming is true or, as happened in a few cases, that it was the best explanation of the observed warming.”

    You’ll note that I have added the term “anthropogenic” since it would appear that the researchers mistakenly left it out (since I think it’s a fair assumption that they were indeed speaking of human-related global warming here, true?)

    Why do you think they left out such an obvious and simple note of concrete support for their position?

    I’m sure the folks at WUWT would argue that it’s because the results would not have supported the conclusion, but I’d be interested in hearing what the folks here have to offer as reasonable explanation.

    – MJM

  2. Eric Worrall says:

    This is a strawman.

    Most serious sceptics do not reject a connection between CO2 and global warming – I’ve consistently said CO2 contributes to global warming, and that without other feedbacks CO2 should cause around 1c / doubling.

    What I, and prominent scientists such as Lindzen, Edward Teller, and Freeman Dyson reject is the alarmist theory that the small amount of CO2 warming (approx. 1c / doubling of CO2) would be amplified 2x or more by water vapour.

    This unproven water vapour amplification is central to the alarmist theory. The main prediction of the water vapour amplification theory – the equatorial tropospheric hotspot – has not been observed.

    In addition, there are serious discrepancies between alarmist theory and observations, however much activist scientists in the alarmist camp try to hide them. The following report from NOAA (2008) suggested that a period of 15 years without significant global warming would represent a 95% confidence level of a discrepancy between alarmist theories and observations.


    Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.

    So keep putting up your strawmen if it makes you feel happy. The world isn’t warming, the climate conferences are failing, and people just don’t care anymore.

    • Pvolt says:

      I reject your distinction between “serious sceptics” and deniers.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        That is because, from my perspective at least, you are an intolerant religious fanatic. Any deviation from the true faith of absolute alarmism is unacceptable to you. You refuse to accept any position other than your own could possibly hold any merit.

    • Nick says:

      ‘The world isn’t warming’ ! Eric,you’re a fool. A couple of dozen national all-time high temp records were set in the last three years. What are the odds of that happening in a world that is not warming?

      An interesting aside on nuclear supremacist Edward Teller. He’s the guy who,back in the fifties, suggested using a nuclear bomb to blast out a harbour in Arctic Alaska. And wanted to frak the tar sands with similar bull-in-a-china-shop finesse. So much consideration for the locals and so much understanding of atmospheric circulation at high latitudes [sarc]. He was a fool,too,Eric.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        The thermometers aren’t giving you the result you want, so now you’re turning to signs and portents. Whats next, reading tea leaves?

        As for you trying to diss Edward Teller, nice try, but it won’t wash. There were a lot of suggestions for non military uses for atomic bombs back in the 50s, such as Project Orion. Unless you are suggesting his plan would not have worked?

      • Nick says:

        ‘The thermometers are not giving you the results you want’. Huh? Don’t be dim,read what I wrote. Not that I ‘want’ such ‘results’,but they are being routinely registered. A bunch of November all-time heat records went in Australia. But of course Eric the world is not warming…

        Yep,you can make a big ole harbour with a hydrogen bomb,Eric,just don’t think you can use it safely for quite a few years…fortunately,some less well-qualified folk talked Teller down. He was bright,but nuts,let’s face it.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Absolutely, and I wouldn’t be too keen on living downwind from such a project. I don’t think we need a new harbour in Alaska that badly.

          Having said that though, there are plenty of toxic chemicals in the world which are as hazardous to health as radioactive fallout.

          Nicotine for example, weight for weight, is more toxic than plutonium. And at least with radiation, there is a simple way to detect dangerous levels of contamination, and with fallout, the toxicity falls off very quickly.

  3. EoR says:

    And most of those papers weren’t even published in the brief period when global warming was actually occurring.

    “But the global warming theory itself is based on just 16 years of warming – from 1980 to 1996.”
    Andrew Bolt, Climate Scientist to the Coal Industry

    • Eric Worrall says:

      If you look at episodes of global warming in the recent past, the world has only warmed for about 40 of the past 150 years. The rest of the time, temperatures have been flat, or have declined slightly.


      The mistake the alarmists made was they thought this time it would be different – that CO2 had finally come to dominate other forcings, and the 1980s warming would just continue upwards, like a hockey stick.

      Instead, we seem to be 15 years into another 30-40 year flat period.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Your graph just corroborates what I said. Your graph doesn’t go back as far as the Hardcrut series I presented, but If you look at the year scale underneath periods of warming, the total time in which the Earth was warming is only about 40 years long (give or take a few years).

          The alarmist mistake was to think that this warming was any different to the warming which occurred between 1920 and 1940. The slope and period of both warming events is similar, so there is a good chance the current flat period in temperatures will last as long as the 1940 – 1980 flat; until 2040 or thereabouts.

      • john byatt says:

        the graph goes back to 1880,

        are you blind ?

        The whole period has been warming, you are contradicting yourself as usual.

        remember eric the natural variation signal as the world warms,

        you have a real problem with confirmation bias

        • Eric Worrall says:

          There has been warming since 1880, but the slope of the warming is important.

          Your climate heroes thought that the warming event from 1980ish to 1995 would continue indefinitely, until we cut CO2 emissions.

          It didn’t.

          Instead we seem to have entered a new flat period.

          You have no idea how precarious the alarmist position is with respect to rates of warming – but hey, we discovered yesterday that you can’t do math.

      • Nick says:

        “Instead,we seem to be 15 years into another 30-40 year flat period.”

        Wishful thinking and false estimations aside,this statement is worthless. Thanks for guessing,you can take your entrails,tea-leaves and navel lint back, and close the door on your way out.

        To humor you,pretending we are in a so-called ‘flat period’, the inertia in response times to temperature rise preceding this flat period will see sea-level continue to rise and ice mass continue to diminish,with consequent feedbacks from albedo change. As well,permafrosted earth will continue to thaw releasing greater quantities of CH4 throughout the ‘flatness’,while frakking insanity the world over will see the leakage of gasses to the atmosphere leap further.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Thats where it gets interesting. Because if climate sensitivity is much below 2c / doubling, there is nothing to get alarmed about – we could burn every scrap of fossil fuel on the planet without significantly shifting the climate.

      • Nick says:

        You think a globally averaged 2C shift isn’t significant? Oh boy… we don’t live in the ocean….over land that means 4C. Regionally,that shift means 6C at higher latitudes. Now you might understand that even 1C means more than you thought.

        Sea level will rise at least six metres in a few centuries; IOW quite quickly and quite a lot. A really large chunk of agricultural land will go,and will not be in any way adequately replaced by low fertility high latitude gains in the like.

        There will be next to no permanent ice left in the Alps. The consequences for domestic water supply,power generation,navigation and irrigation are profound.

        The examples of what 1 or 2C will bring regionally are many. You might like to really look at the subject sometime.

      • Nick says:

        Observation –the realisation of projections– of Arctic amplification tells us it is happening. Geological evidence tells us it has happened,Eric. Think Eemian.

        Again,I don’t think you have much of a handle on what has actually been observed.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Events like the Eemian warming just sinks the boot into suggestions that the current warming is unprecedented.

          The Eemian was caused by natural variation, unless all those neanderthals were into driving a bunch of SUVs.

      • Nick says:

        You cannot discard context glibly,Eric. Warming per se from any cause is not unprecedented. Warming from a [so-far] 100ppm/150 years carbon slug is….and we are proceeding more quickly than Eemian global average rise

        The challenge which you reject is navigating through climate change with a large population of Homo sapiens with extensive fixed infrastructure wishing to consume more energy per capita in the course of their activities. During the Eemian this was not a consideration.

        You also ignore regional shifts which observation and geology tells us can be expected to be profound. Regional shifts can be profound even without a global increase in a GHG.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          You cannot discard context glibly,Eric. Warming per se from any cause is not unprecedented. Warming from a [so-far] 100ppm/150 years carbon slug is….and we are proceeding more quickly than Eemian global average rise

          But probably not more quickly than some periods in the Eemian rise. And there are periods even in the Holocene in which dramatically fast warming and cooling events occurred, such as the Younger Dryas. Even in the early 20th century, there were periods of warming equal to present rates of warming, well before industrial output started to make a significant contribution to global CO2.

          The challenge which you reject is navigating through climate change with a large population of Homo sapiens with extensive fixed infrastructure wishing to consume more energy per capita in the course of their activities. During the Eemian this was not a consideration

          Wrong, my position is the climate changes anyway – on your own evidence, the Eemian was warmer than today. Significant stretches of the Holocene were warmer than today. Frittering away our resources on nonsense global warming mitigation projects would harm our ability to face largely natural shifts in climate. A billion here, 10 billion there, soon you’re talking about real money. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/baillieu-government-knew-water-users-were-overcharged-306m/story-e6frf7kx-1226519132235

          You also ignore regional shifts which observation and geology tells us can be expected to be profound. Regional shifts can be profound even without a global increase in a GHG.

          Once again that “are expected to be”. You’re confusing dodgy model output with evidence.

    • Nick says:

      I said ‘observations’ and ‘geology’ tells us about past profound regional climate shift,not ‘models’. Stop operating in auto-pilot Eric.

      And I’ve observed before that attempting a distinction between mitigation and adaption is meaningless.

      You want to know what we really are ‘frittering away’? Natural ‘capital’,for want of a better expression. Imagine running the boom/bust enrich-the-few capitalist model [an anachronistic conception based on limitless space and resources and a permanent uneducated and dispensable peasantry] until resources are exhausted and finding you do not have the ready fossil energy to continue adapting to climate change! Because we will be adapting over centuries as climate warms and sea level rises over centuries. All of those adaptive actions involving engineering will need sustained power intensity.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Observations suggest that the current climate shift is indistinguishable from natural variation, both in magnitude and range – so hardly a global emergency.

        There is a profound difference between “mitigation” and “adaption”. Mitigation is an attempt to prevent a problem. Adaption is adapting to the consequences of a change. But I and many other people clearly do not accept the case for mitigating a problem we don’t believe exists, otherwise global mitigation efforts would be more than lip service.

        Capitalism is freedom. Every other economic system uses force in place of choice. Consider my TV viewing choices:-

        I choose to watch Foxtel – my decision to help fund Foxtel is entirely up to me.

        I don’t have a choice about whether to fund the ABC – I don’t even watch the ABC. My money is taken from me and spent on the ABC without my consent. If I try to stop my money being taken to help fund the ABC, I face a variety of unpleasant state sanctions.

        The thought of reducing economic choice in my life, in favour of forced allocation of my personal effort to efforts I do not support, does not fill me with enthusiasm.

      • rubber taster says:

        Nick, he can’t understand you. He is stuck too far in the denialist bog.

      • rubber taster says:

        Lying sack of crap Eric…when will you apologise to john?

        • Eric Worrall says:

          When I have something to apologise for.

          Hansen is IMO a nutcase. He’s been arrested at least twice. He’s made speeches about boiling oceans and dying biospheres. He believes the Chinese dictatorship, which is currently presiding over more CO2 growth than any other country, is our main hope for a low carbon future. He insists that America should use economic coercion (or other unspecified means) to stop Canada from exploiting her oil sands.

      • rubber taster says:

        Yep, you are a liar Pants. John called you out. You are squirming and wriggling like the denier-liar that you are. No honour that is for sure.

      • rubber taster says:

        That’s what happens when you wear a condom when you are wanking Pants.

  4. john byatt says:

    Skeptical Science takes a different approach to Naomi Oreskes’ Science paper who sorted her papers into “explicit endorsement of the consensus position”, “rejection of the consensus position” and everything else (neutral). In this case, the backbone of our site is our list of climate myths. Whenever a climate link is added to our database, it is matched to any relevant climate myths. Therefore, each link is assigned “skeptic”, “neutral” or “proAGW” whether it confirms or refutes the climate myth.

    This means a skeptic paper doesn’t necessarily “reject the consensus position” that humans are causing global warming. It may address a more narrow issue like ocean acidification or the carbon cycle. For example, say a paper is published examining the impacts of ocean acidification on coral reefs. If the paper finds evidence that ocean acidification is serious, the paper is categorised as pro-AGW and added to the list of papers addressing the “ocean acidification isn’t serious” myth.

    There are a large number of neutral papers. Neutral does not mean to say each paper was unable to resolve the climate myth. Sometimes, a paper is relevant to a number of climate myths and the results are mixed as to whether it endorses or rejects all the myths. In many cases, the paper doesn’t directly set out to directly resolve the myth or the paper has a regional emphasis rather than global. Papers that met any of these criteria are often categorised as neutral.

    So yes, categorisation can get a little complicated and I expect there will continue to be discussion on the issue of classification. I’m starting to think Naomi’s approach was the better way to go!

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Using this extreme classification system, papers by Judith Curry and Richard Lindzen acknowledge some warming from CO2, so would be classified as supporting the consensus position.

      • john byatt says:

        Now post a paper from Curry to support your claim, it is not her area of expertise,

        Lindzen does not support the Climate sensitivity levels, but has never had a paper survive citation rebuttal,

        last paper I read from curry was that the Arctic death spiral would change the atmospherics over europe causing cold winters for a start, in other words it was a pro AGW or neutral paper

        Pro AGW papers would be posted against the Lindzen low CS myth

      • Nick says:

        Lindzen has never committed himself specifically on global sensitivity,leaving his wriggling to be done in pop-sci world. Pfft to him.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Lindzen has estimated sensitivity at around 0.5c / doubling from memory, though he thinks it could be as high as 1c / doubling.

          My point is it has to be really high to be alarming – otherwise it takes insane amounts of CO2 to shift the climate.

          For example, at 1c / doubling, for a 2c rise in global temperature, CO2 levels would have to reach 390ppm (today) x 2 x 2 = 1560ppm. Considering that the entire period of industrial civilisation to date has only raised CO2 from 280ppm to 390ppm, thats quite a tall order – we’d run out of fossil fuels long before we achieved that level of CO2.

      • Nick says:

        It actually does not take insane amounts of CO2 to shift the climate. Insane amounts will shift it more quickly,’sane’ amounts will do the deed more slowly…but you get to uncomfortable places just the same.

        And here we are with just 40% of a doubling and 0.8 C of a rise. Lindzen doesn’t even bother any more.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          We also had a solar grand maximum greater than anything seen since the dawn of civilisation in the 20th century, so attributing the entire 0.8c rise to CO2 is a bit of a stretch.

          And even if you are right, you have just made the case for a climate sensitivity of 1.6c / doubling or so – nowhere near the IPCC 3c / doubling.

    • john byatt says:

      comprehension problem

      • Eric Worrall says:

        What part of Carbon dioxide emission reductions required to limit global warming to 2°C are becoming a receding goal based on new figures reported today in the latest Global Carbon Project (GCP) calculations published today in the advanced online edition of Nature Climate Change. … do you not understand?

      • john byatt says:

        Which does not support your throwing in the towel claim, how come you forget what you post only a few seconds later

        He said that remaining below a 2°C rise above pre-industrial levels will require a commitment to technological, social and political innovations and an increasing need to rely on net negative emissions in future.

        The Global Carbon Project, supported by CSIRO and the Australian Climate Change Science Program, generates annual emission summaries contributing to a process of informing policies and decisions on adaptation, mitigation, and their associated costs. The summaries are linked to long-term emission scenarios based on the degree of action taken to limit emissions.

  5. 2012 and all that says:

    Of course they would say that, they’re all taking money from The Great Liberal Conspiracy to Destroy Capitalism (TM) [/sarcasm]

    Unfortunately, I don’t think this is going to make anybody on the other side sit up and take notice

    • Eric Worrall says:

      For people who criticise “deniers” for believing in conspiracy theories, you guys sure spend a lot of time inventing conspiracy theories you think we believe in.

      • rubber taster says:

        like your belief in alien gamma ray communications?

        • Eric Worrall says:

          I don’t believe in alien gamma rays rubber. What I suggested is that, since our communication systems are using ever higher frequencies, if projects like SETI are looking for alien communications, they are more likely to find them at the gamma ray end of the spectrum than at the radio wave end.

      • rubber taster says:

        Now Pants, you are telling lies again. You were advocating your belief that the aliens were communicating via gamma rays. Don’t be afraid, this isn’t the stupidest thing you believe.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Thats a lie.

          I said that if an advanced alien civilisation were to communicate, they would be more likely to use high frequency radiation, than radio waves. As evidence I cited our use of ever higher frequencies, because of their greater bandwidth.

      • rubber taster says:

        So you believe in aliens communicating via gamma rays. That’s fine. As I said, that is nowhere near as stupid as many of your climate denial posts.
        (btw, do these advanced beings communicate directly with you?)

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Thats a lie Rubber. I was talking about the SETI research programme, and suggesting they are looking at the wrong part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

      • rubber taster says:

        OK, ok Pants, calm down, I see alien gamma ray communication is a big thing for you. Why don’t you let the SETI people know what frequency you use to communicate with the aliens – they will really appreciate your help…

      • rubber taster says:

        Pants, now now, I have simply pointed out that you have a belief in alien gamma ray communication. No need to be ashamed. I’m sure there are many climate change deniers who share similar views.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          No, you lied about what I said.

          I was suggesting that SETI researchers were looking at the wrong end of the spectrum. Given that we are harnessing ever higher frequency radiation in our search for bandwidth, I postulated that advanced aliens would harness even higher frequencies – gamma rays – if they exist. Therefore SETI should include the high frequency end of the spectrum in their search for alien civilisations.

  6. Eric Worrall says:

    Even the MET admits 15 years rubber. Stop denying the truth.

    • rubber taster says:

      Stop telling lies Eric. Your previous posts about Nazism and Eugenics show a strange fixation – why do neofascists like you hate humanity?

      • rubber taster says:

        Projection doesn’t work here Pants. You are the freak who is fixated with Nazism. I pity your children, growing up with a neofascist father. Will you teach them to hate humanity as much as you do?

      • rubber taster says:

        You clearly love fascism and Nazism hey Pants. I bet you have the odd swastika posted in your garage don’t you? Why do you hate humanity so much?

      • rubber taster says:

        But you are the one with the weird fixation on Nazism and Eugenics. Your hatred of humanity is manifest to all here. How many posters of Hitler do you have in your shed?

      • rubber taster says:

        As I said, weird fixation on Nazism and Eugenics. You probably do need some professional help here but my advice would be to try to stop hating other humans. Take down any posters of Nazis you may have in your house. Stop reading Mein Kampf.

        • Eric Worrall says:

          Not nearly as weird or disturbing as your fixation on a theory of scientific crisis. The last “scientific” crisis ended with the deaths of millions of people.

      • rubber taster says:

        So Pants you think your fixation with Nazism is OK but understanding climate science is a bad thing? Wow…

        • Eric Worrall says:

          No, I think you have unwittingly fallen for a NAZI philosophy. By that I mean a pseudoscientific theory of catastrophe, which demands the welfare of people be sacrificed to avert the crisis your pseudoscience predicts.

          The Germany NAZIs thought they were the good guys, taking tough but necessary steps to save the world from a Eugenic crisis which many of the world’s leading scientific institutions suggested was imminent.

          Lest we forget.

      • rubber taster says:

        Pants, you are the person who loves Nazism and Eugenics. You cant keep trying to project your beliefs on others. Are you a member of the BNP?

        • Eric Worrall says:

          You’re the one who wants to force me to live by your carbon fairy beliefs rubber. I don’t care how you live, so long as you respect my lifestyle choices.

    • zoot says:

      Even the MET admits 15 years …

      No they don’t.
      In the quote Eric repeats ad nauseum the MET states that cherry picking is invalid (unless he’s got a second cite, in which case, wheel it in).

      And when will it sink into Eric’s thick skull that global warming ceased in 2005. Fact.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Its kind of fun watching you guys come up with ever more frantic excuses about why the world isn’t warming.

        My favourite so far is John’s – at least he made some intellectual effort, when he suggested the heat is sinking into the system and manifesting in ways other than an actual rise in temperature.

        Wrong, but innovative.

      • rubber taster says:

        Pants still wont apologise to john. No honour in the neo-fascist denier movement.

  7. Eric Worrall says:

    I just found a video of you rubber.

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