What is the scientific consensus on climate change?

January 28th, 2005

Posted by: admin

Author: Naomi Oreskes
University of California, San Diego

Since the publication in Science of my article, “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” (Science 306:1686, 3 December 2004) and its follow-up piece in The Washington Post, “Undeniable Global Warming, (26 December 2004), a number of people have asked me to clarify what, exactly, I think this consensus is.

This request rather misses the point of my essay, which was to underscore the fact that the scientific societies have already clearly expressed the expert opinions of their membership, and that these statements are readily available and easy to read. Rather than attempt to paraphrase these carefully worded statements, I recommend that anyone who wants to know what climate scientists have to say about climate science, should, quite simply, read what they have to say. (And it takes a lot less time than plowing through all the misrepresentations that now abound on the web.)

Here are the relevant references and links:

American Association for the Advancement of Science,

American Meteorological Society, 2003: “Climate Change Research: Issues for the Atmospheric and Related Sciences,” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 85: 508-515. See also this website,

American Geophysical Union, “Human Impacts of Climate,” adopted by unanimous vote of the AGU Council, December 12, 2003,

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Climate Change 2001: Summary for Policymakers

U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Science of Climate Change, “Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions,” Washington DC: National Research Council: National Academy Press, 2001.

One Response to “What is the scientific consensus on climate change?”

  1. Natureboy Says:

    Thanks for being clear. All the answers about scientific concensus can be found in the IPCC TAR SFPM.