I was pretty much persuaded by Peter Norvig's article (The Global Climate Change Consensus) that there was a consensus within peer reviewed articles by scientists about global warming about the following fairly moderate but important IPCC hypothesis:
Human activities ... are modifying the concentration of atmospheric constituents ... that absorb or scatter radiant energy. Most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.Although very far from alarmism this hypothesis is important because it does say humans are responsible for "most" of the observed global warming. So, that might throw us into a brand new situation, unprecedented in human history.
However, Norvig's article was written in 2004 and there are now new peer reviewed studies that do dispute the so-called consensus. I thought this article was well argued: “Consensus”?What “Consensus”?Among Climate Scientists, the Debate Is Not Over by The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
I had to laugh at the end though, where it is revealed that the author is a former policy advisor to Margaret Thatcher during her years as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. But then if a right winger puts up a good argument then we shouldn't dismiss it just because they are a right winger, agreed?
The articles does quite a good job at:
- discrediting aspects of the original Naomi Oreskes article which originally claimed the consensus
- exposes the false linkage between Oreskes' moderate consensus position and the alarmism promoted by Al Gore in his movie - the difference between the sea rising 2 inches compared with 20 feet
- raises what seem to be some valid contextual questions, but which I haven't researched yet
- concedes that "most climate scientists probably believe that humankind has caused 0.2C of the past half-century’s 0.4C warming"
- outlines the results of a new review of peer review papers since 2004 in which 7.3% either explicitly or implicitly reject the consensus
- exposes some alleged important mistakes made by the IPCC about sea level rises
So, the majority of peer reviewed scientists support a moderate human caused global warming hypothesis. But there is not a consensus and there is not strong case for alarmism based on the peer reviewed literature.