A new survey of over 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science papers has found a 97% consensus among papers taking a position on the cause of global warming in the peer-reviewed literature that humans are responsible.
UQ Global Change Institute lead author John Cook said the finding proved there was strong scientific agreement about the cause of climate change, despite public perceptions to the contrary.
“This is significant because when people understand that scientists agree on global warming, they’re more likely to support policies that take action on it,” Mr Cook said.
A 2012 poll from the US Pew Research Centre found less than half of Americans thought scientists agreed humans were causing global warming.
“There is a gaping chasm between the actual consensus and the public perception,” Mr Cook said.
“Making the results of our paper more widely-known is an important step towards closing the consensus gap and increasing public support for meaningful climate action.”
The study involved 24 scientists and science enthusiasts in rating the 4000 abstracts that stated a position on climate change.
The papers were also self-rated by the paper authors for validity.
Both approaches found the same result – that 97 per cent of the 4000 abstracts endorsed human-caused global warming.
The 24 volunteers were recruited through the myth-busting website Skepticalscience.com, founded by Mr Cook.
Visitors to the website also raised the funds required to allow the study to be accessible to the public.
The results of the paper are explained in detail on a new website: The Consensus Project.