Essays on Science and SocietyBEYOND THE IVORY TOWER

The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

Science  03 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5702, pp. 1686
DOI: 10.1126/science.1103618

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Summary

Policy-makers and the public who are not members of the relevant research community have had to form opinions about the reality of global climate change on the basis of often conflicting descriptions provided by the media regarding the level of scientific certainty attached to studies of climate. In this Essay, Oreskes analyzes the existing scientific literature to show that there is a robust consensus that anthropogenic global climate change is occurring. Thus, despite claims sometimes made by some groups that there is not good evidence that Earth's climate is being affected by human activities, the scientific community is in overwhelming agreement that such evidence is clear and persuasive.

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