Review Finds ‘Biased, Faulty Results’ in Climate Deniers’ Published Papers
For years, climate hawks have been pointing out that 97% of published scientific papers agree that climate change is happening, and is caused by human activity. Now, a new analysis shows the 3% in the “outlier” camp all contain fatal methodological errors.
A team of researchers that included Texas Tech atmospheric scientist Kathleen Hayhoe looked at the 38 peer-reviewed papers over the last decade that have denied the reality of anthropogenic global warming. “The researchers tried to replicate the results of those 3% of papers—a common way to test scientific studies—and found biased, faulty results,” Quartz reports.
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The team published its results in the journal Theoretical and Applied Climatology.
“Every single one of those analyses had an error—in their assumptions, methodology, or analysis—that, when corrected, brought their results into line with the scientific consensus,” Hayhoe writes on Facebook.
“It’s real, it’s us, it’s serious.”
Hayhoe credits “the superhuman efforts of my colleague Rasmus Benestad”, an atmospheric scientist at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, who made best efforts to replicate the results of each of the 38 studies—and came up empty each time.
“Broadly, there were three main errors in the papers denying climate change,” Quartz notes. “Many had cherry-picked the results that conveniently supported their conclusion, while ignoring other context or records. Then there were some that applied inappropriate ‘curve-fitting’—in which they would step farther and farther away from data until the points matched the curve of their choosing.”
Then there were the papers that “just ignored physics altogether,” notes health and science reporter Katherine Ellen Foley. “In many cases, shortcomings are due to insufficient model evaluation, leading to results that are not universally valid but rather are an artifact of a particular experimental setup,” the review article states.
Hayhoe said the review answers the charge that a legitimate minority view on climate science has been systematically put down or ignored. “It’s a lot easier for someone to claim they’ve been suppressed than to admit that maybe they can’t find the scientific evidence to support their political ideology,” she wrote. “They weren’t suppressed. They’re out there, where anyone can find them.”