For many years, global warming has been forefront of environmental debates and discussions, prompting the question: how many scientists disagree with global warming? Some discernible opposition from certain scientific circles has increased in recent times. However, numerous science-based facts remain incontrovertible, hinging the phenomenon upon factors such as human activity and the consequences this brings. It is therefore essential to analyze the wider narrative in order to deliver a balanced opinion on the issue.
At the center of the debate lies the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Defined by its mission statement as “an intergovernmental body of the United Nations dedicated to providing the world with an objective, scientific view of climate change and its political and economic impacts”, it is perceived to be the scientific authority on the matter. Its 2013 report found that “human influence on the climate system is clear” and further established a 90% chance that climate change is the results of human activity, specifically the burning of fossil fuels.
It is important to note, however, that there are scientists who remain unconvinced that this finding can be so definitively determined, or that human activity has been the primary contributor to climate change. One particular example is Danish physicist Dr. Henrik Svensmark, a long-time contrarian of the consensus. His research, which claims that the sun plays a larger role than previously believed, has been widely disputed. He thus questions why so much emphasis is placed on human action, when the sun has a direct influence on climate change.
It is also important to speak to the wider scientific consensus. Whilst some scientists are critical, the overwhelming majority continue to call for urgent climate change mitigation. A 2017 survey of American Meteorological Society members, perhaps the most relevant group of scientific professionals when it comes to the issue, found that 85% agreed that carbon dioxide was the primary driver of climate change; that is, human activity. This is in line with recent World Health Organization estimates that are suggesting that 12.6 million premature deaths were attributed to climate change in 2016 alone, indicative of the undeniable harm humans can be doing.
Considering this evidence and the wider scientific debate, it is difficult to ignore the fact that the vast majority of scientists agree on the notion that global warming is real and being caused by humans. This is supported by numerous studies and organizations, of which will only sound louder as the debate and scientific findings progress. While scientists may disagree on how over-consumption as a result of human activities should be addressed, it is important to acknowledge that the issue of global warming is here and should be acted upon.
In conclusion, whilst it is accepted that not all scientists agree, it appears that the consensus is simple: climate change is real, and it is caused by human activities. Furthermore, with more of the population becoming aware of climate change, the pressure is upon governments to take action; to limit environmental destruction and to shape a new, safer society. Addressing the global issue of climate change is not a burden that should be passed on to future generations, it is a responsibility to be taken up right now.