By Ben Schiller
When a recent Pew Research Center survey asked "do scientists agree [the] earth is getting warmer from climate change because of human activity?" 43% of Americans said "no."
In other words, according to the citizenry, there's still a debate in the scientific community about the causes of global warming.
And yet, there really isn't a debate. A new analysis of 11,994 peer-reviewed research papers finds that, of 4,000 that stated a position, 97% said climate change is "anthropogenic."
The researchers even followed up with the authors directly to ask for their opinion. Of 1,189 authors who responded, just 39 said they disagreed with the man-made explanation.
The analysis was led by John Cook, at the University of Queensland, who gives a short introduction to the work here. He adds in a press release: "Our findings prove that there is a strong scientific agreement about the cause of climate change, despite public perceptions to the contrary."
It's important to say that 66.4% of the larger number of papers stated no position on the question. But this still doesn't imply a debate. Only 1.1% either rejected the concept of man-made warming, or said the cause was uncertain.
At this point, perhaps the more interesting question is not where science stands. It's why we seem not to get it.
Copyright 2013 by Fast Company. Reprinted with permission.