Do you *believe* in global warming?

Because I've been asked the question "do you believe in global warming?" before, I want to make something clear about science and scientists. Climate scientists don't "believe" in global warming or  anthropogenic climate change. They look at an extensive body of peer-reviewed evidence that supports a variety of hypotheses surrounding climate change, and they come to a consensus. Data from many studies show that 97% of scientists are in agreement that anthropogenic influences are acting on our climate [1].

Most people, me included, have not extensively studied this body of evidence. I'm happy to listen to a large body of scientists who have been studying climate change for decades, especially given that their work has been peer-reviewed. While pursuing my degree in environmental science I have read both primary and secondary source material on the subject. If you look at that 97% and wonder why it's not 100%, because of the way science is structured (repeatable methods, a discussion of results that does its best to remove human influence, attempts at objectivity) it's rare to get 100% agreement. Even the well-loved theory of general relativity is getting an upgrade right now because scientists are always exploring and experimenting. [2]

I don't say this with a political agenda, because I don't think the concept of climate change itself (or science in general) should be part of a political agenda. What to do about it has myriad political connotations and will vary with political and economic opinions.

If you're curious, the NASA source below has an extensive list of organizations supporting the validity of human-caused climate change. The page also gives a brief explanation of the term "scientific consensus."

[1] Scientific Consensus: Earth's Climate Is Warming. NASA

[2] Rabie, Passant. Move Over, Einstein! 'Chameleon' Theory Provides Alternate Explanation for Cosmos Formation.


Popular Posts