Infographic: the global warming ‘debate’

By Aimee Whitcroft 03/08/2010 10


While the scientific consensus seems pretty clear on the subject of global warming, and the fact that much of it is being caused by humans, there is still significant skepticism from the public.

The infographic below (click on image for a larger version) looks at this gap in the US, placing much of the blame squarely on the media.

climate change infographic

(HT: Good magazine)


10 Responses to “Infographic: the global warming ‘debate’”

  • Is it the consensus that is “pretty clear” or is it the science that is clear? I thought we had passed consensus as a measure of scientific fact some centuries ago – flat earth, earth as the centre of the universe etc etc.

  • The science is pretty clear on what’s happening, which is _why_ there is a scientific consensus around it. Don’t forget, this time there’s actually evidence (there was never any evidence for flat earth or the earth being centre of the universe – those were philosophical constructs which were overturned once the data came in. Now, the scientific consensus is that the earth is a sphere, and that we are far from the centre of the universe (well, possibly at least – there’s some interesting new physics around that)).

  • What is the evidence to support AGW? Please do not quote slight increases in temperature, CO2 emissions, sea levels rising etc – these are not evidence of AGW.

  • Hi Bob

    To be honest, this isn’t a fight into which I’m going to get, particularly given that there are already blogs on Sciblogs which cover the subject. Further, I am not an expert on the subject, and so do not feel comfortable entering into a debate on the details.

    Suffice to say that the evidence I’ve seen, and the preponderance of writing, and research, has me convinced. I’m perfectly happy to believe the expert evidence provided by so many others.

  • Bob,

    Is it the consensus that is “pretty clear” or is it the science that is clear? I thought we had passed consensus as a measure of scientific fact some centuries ago – flat earth, earth as the centre of the universe etc etc.

    Just to add to what Aimee said, the consensus you refer to, if it ever really existed, was of the uniformed. Academics had worked out that the earth was not flat, was not the centre of the universe etc etc., a surprisingly long time ago. You might want to watch the 10 minute history of ancient science video that I posted recently, which from memory touches on this:

    https://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/2010/08/01/an-history-of-ancient-science-in-less-than-ten-minutes/

    Please do not quote slight increases in temperature, CO2 emissions, sea levels rising etc – these are not evidence of AGW.

    If you want to know the answer to something, it’s a good idea to try to not exclude evidence pre-emptively. (This applies to everything, not just global warming.) The levels of different gases (e.g .CO2) will reflect activities that create or consume those gases (e.g. pollution, farming, etc.), so I’d think you have to include them. Ditto for the others, as they will be a consequence of something changing.

  • Grant & Aimee – I’ve been looking at blogs and reports on AGW for a number of years now. I even waded through a fair chunk of the last IPCC report. I feel I have a reasonable understanding of what the theory is. I’ve read countless papers on temperature, sea levels, CO2 emissions, Arctic and Antarctic ice coverage and yet I still haven’t seen any evidence for AGW. When Aimiee writes ” this time there’s actually evidence” I thought she might be able to help.

    Bob

  • Well here’s the big question Bob.

    What evidence would you need to see before you were convinced that recent warming was largely caused by human emissions?

  • David – your response is perhaps part of the reason why “there is still significant skepticism from the public.”