In this post, we review how the UN’s highly influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that climate change since the 1950s is “mostly human-caused”. We argue that this conclusion was premature and scientifically unjustified. This essay was originally published on Medium.com on 23rd September, 2019.
It is widely believed that “90-95% of scientists agree on climate change”. This is technically true if you define “agree on climate change” to mean “agree that the climate is changing”. We would be included in that 90-95% of scientists. Indeed, the very subject of this website is about climate change.
However, many people mistakenly assume that 90-95% of scientists agree that recent climate change is “mostly human-caused”. The reality is that there is a wide range of views among the scientific community about the causes of recent climate change. Many scientists agree with that view, but many do not!
In this post, we explain how this mistaken idea became embedded in the public conscience, and what is known about the true views of the scientific community on climate change.
The reports of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or IPCC, for short) are widely assumed to represent the scientific consensus of thousands of top climate scientists on man-made global warming. The reports claim that man-made global warming is real, serious and will become more serious during the 21st century if nothing is done to slow down CO2 emissions.
Therefore, it is assumed that these claims represent the views of all the top experts involved in the writing of the IPCC reports. However, in this essay, we find that most of the IPCC scientists are never asked for their views on those claims, and that several IPCC scientists openly disagree with them.