Survey finds near unanimous scientific agreement on climate change

May 17, 2013 at 2:35 PM

WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) -- A survey of thousands of papers in scientific journals has found 97.1 percent agreed climate change is caused by human activity, an Australian-led study found.

The near unanimity creates a powerful rebuttal to climate skeptics who insist the science of climate change remains unsettled, the survey authors said.

Of the 4,000-plus papers that took a position on the causes of climate change, only 0.7 percent disputed the scientific consensus that climate change is the result of human activity, they said.

"Our findings prove that there is a strong scientific agreement about the cause of climate change, despite public perceptions to the contrary," survey leader John Cook of the University of Queensland told The Guardian.

However, he said, public opinion on climate change has yet to catch up to the scientific consensus.

"There is a gaping chasm between the actual consensus and the public perception," he said.

Though a majority of Americans believe the climate is changing, just 42 percent said they believed human activity was the main cause, a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center last October indicated.

Strong ongoing lobbying efforts by industry to undermine the science behind climate change was behind the gap in perception, the survey authors suggested.

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