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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution and Climate Education Update for 2015/10/02

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear friends of NCSE,

New survey data on the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change.


"Using responses from nearly 700 biophysical scientists," a new survey
"finds that approximately 92 percent of them believe that human-caused
climate change is really happening," according to the Washington Post
(September 25, 2015), reporting on J. S. Carlton, Rebecca Perry-Hill,
Matthew Huber, and Linda S. Prokopy's "The climate change consensus
extends beyond climate scientists," published in Environmental
Research Letters.

Asked "When compared with pre-1800's levels, do you think that mean
global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained
relatively constant?" 93.6% of respondents indicated that they thought
temperatures have risen, 2.1% indicated that they thought temperatures
had remained relatively constant, 0.6% indicated that they thought
temperatures had fallen, and 3.7% indicated they had no opinion or did
not know.

When respondents who indicated that they thought that average global
temperatures have risen when compared to pre-1800s levels were asked,
"Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in
changing mean global temperatures?" 98.2% agreed. Multiplying 98.2%
and 93.6%, Carlton and his colleagues concluded, "91.9% of scientists
surveyed believed in anthropogenic climate change."

Presented with the proposition that climate science is a credible
science, 78.79% of respondents strongly agreed, 15.30% moderately
agreed, 3.03% slightly agreed, 1.06% were undecided, 0.61% slightly
disagreed, 0.91% moderately disagreed, and 0.30% strongly disagreed.
Carlton and his colleagues observed, "The average response to 'Climate
science is a credible science' was 6.67 out of 7, indicating strong

The researchers concluded, "there is a general consensus among
biophysical scientists across the United States that (1) climate
change is occurring, (2) humans are contributing to it, and (3)
climate science is a trustworthy, mature, and credible discipline.
Scientists who continue to claim otherwise are operating outside of
the consensus, not just of climate scientists, but also of scientists
as a whole."

The survey was conducted among scientists at the twelve universities
in the Big 10 conference. Two thousand scientists were randomly
selected; 1868 were successfully contacted by e-mail and asked to take
the survey; 698 responses were received (for a 37.4% response rate).
Two versions of the survey, including or excluding "cultural values"
questions, were used; there was no significant differences in response
rate between the two versions.

For the story in the Washington Post, visit: 

For "The climate change consensus extends beyond climate scientists," visit: 

And for NCSE's collection of polls and surveys on climate, visit: 


Have you been visiting NCSE's blog, The Science League of America,
recently? If not, then you've missed:

* Minda Berbeco relating the story behind the California Science
Teachers Association's statement on climate change education: 

* Stephanie Keep talking to a Dallas teacher with the inside scoop on
Homo naledi: 

* Emily Schoerning lamenting a well-intentioned campaign to "girlify"
STEM education: 

And much more besides!

For The Science League of America, visit: 

Thanks for reading. And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution and climate education and threats to them.


Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
420 40th Street, Suite 2
Oakland, CA 94609-2509
510-601-7203 x303
fax: 510-601-7204

Check out NCSE's new blog, Science League of America: 

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