Understanding how complex interactions between the earth, atmosphere and oceans shape our climate remains a challenge. Some policymakers and journalists have said that climate science is highly uncertain, and that climate scientists do not agree that human activities are affecting our climate.
In this article in Science, Naomi Oreskes argues that this is not the case. Several scientific bodies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the US National Academy of Sciences, have issued clear statements to this effect.
To back her argument, Oreskes looked at 928 papers on climate change published between 1993 and 2003. She found that none of the papers argued that humans have not played a part in climate change, and that 75 per cent of the studies either explicitly or implicitly accepted the consensus view that human actions have affected climate. Although politicians, economists, journalists and others may feel there is disagreement among the scientific community, their impression is incorrect, concludes Oreskes.
Reference: Science 306, 1686 (2004)