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Most scientists agree: Humans are causing climate change
Date:5/16/2013

that one dominant myth about climate change is the idea that scientists disagree about the cause. To investigate how much disagreement there really is in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, Cook set up an on-line system that enabled a group of SkepticalScience.com authors to rate nearly 12,000 abstracts from the Web of Science database (1991-2011) on whether they report human activities as the main contributors to climate change.

"John cleverly set up the rating process so it felt like a game to me," says Green. "After I rated five abstracts, another five would quickly appear, and counters showed how many each person had done, making it like a contest."

The abstract raters were a combination of professional and citizen-scientists from Australia, Canada, the UK, Finland, the US and Germany. The group was organized through the skeptical science web site.

"I read and rated 4,146 abstracts for this study, over about 4 months in winter/spring 2012," Green explains. "This is the first time I've published a paper where all the research was accomplished sitting on my couch."

Green adds, "I found it fascinating to see the array of implications of climate change identified in the abstractsbeyond the usual ones we hear about. They examined everything from production of tea in Sri Lanka, the stripes on salamanders, child undernutrition, frequency of lightning strikes, distribution of prickly pear cactus (and pine trees, kelp beds, wild boars, penguins, arctic fishes, canine leishmaniasis, and many, many others), mitochondrial electron transport activity in clams, copper uptake by minnows, lake effect snowfall, the rotational speed of the Earth and the prevalence of naked foxes in Iceland."

Green also found a large number of papers addressing mitigation of climate change through alternative energy and other ways to limit carbon emissions.

"It is critical to raise public awareness of the scientific consensus on climate
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Contact: Sarah Green
sgreen@mtu.edu
906-369-2131
Michigan Technological University
Source:Eurekalert

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