Of 10,885 Peer-Reviewed Articles on Climate Change in 2013, Only 2 Question Human Involvement

Thursday, April 03, 2014
Dried Lake in Texas (photo: Tony Gutierrez, AP)

James L. Powell is an MIT-educated geologist who taught students about the earth for 20 years at Oberlin College and served on the prestigious National Science Board at the request of two Republican presidents (Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush). He’s also a believer in human-made global warming, and has spent considerable time reviewing scientific and academic papers on the subject.


In 2013 alone, Powell found 10,885 peer-reviewed articles that discussed global warming or climate change. But only two described as peer-reviewed denied the widely-held belief that the planet is warming up because of humans, he says, and one of the two turned out not to be peer-reviewed.


One of those papers was produced by a Russian scientist, S. V. Avakyan, who claims global warming is a product of solar activity. Avakyan also says that calls for reducing the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere not only won’t help, but could cripple Russia’s economy and the oil industry. The other paper, published by a German chemistry publication, amounted to a one-page opinion piece that wasn’t peer-reviewed, according to Powell.


In addition to the more than 10,000 articles he found for last year, Powell says he’s reviewed more than another 15,000 papers on climate change. Of the grand total of

25,182 scientific articles he’s read, only 26 rejected the idea that humans are causing global warming.


These 26 papers do not offer a common, rival theory to man-made global warming, he says. Instead, they amount to “a hodgepodge of alternatives, none of which has caught on. The dissenting articles are rarely cited, even by other dissenters. A groundswell this is not. The 26 rejecting articles have had no discernible influence on science,” he wrote on his blog.


He further states that “the so-called debate over global warming is an illusion, a hoax conjured up by a handful of apostate scientists and a misguided and sometimes colluding media, aided and abetted by funding from fossil fuel companies and right wing foundations.”


Powell is not alone in claiming that conservatives and oil interests have tried to discredit man-made global warming.


Robert Brulle, a sociologist at Drexel University, and other academics published a paper late last year saying right-wing organizations had spent an average of $1 billion a year to support campaigns that attempt to refute the existence of global warming.


Brulle and his collaborators discovered more than 90 think tanks, advocacy groups and industry associations working to block action on climate change. The effort has been funded largely by conservative billionaires, such as the Koch brothers, using secretive funding networks to conceal their contributions.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

James Lawrence Powell

Climate Change Denial Gets Billions in Dark Money from Conservative Groups (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Scientists Denying Human-Caused Climate Change Fade from Existence…Except in the Media (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


ThisGuy 7 years ago
I would like the article to actually address some very relevant things. First, how many of the articles specifically supported anthropogenic climate change? How many of the articles said mankind was a major factor? These are rather important details. Of course the climate changes, an article mentioning climate change doesn't mean they're confirming the existence of anthropogenic climate change, and it certainly does nothing to help understand the amount of effect mankind has on the Earth's climate.
Craig 9 years ago
Not one of the things you three commenters have written is true. Research grants in anything, climate included, are NOT based on the findings. One can get money to research climate based on what you plan to study. The ONLY research grants where the money is tied to results are those provided by industry. No, solar activity cannot be responsible now because they can measure solar activity, and it isn't enough to create the level of climate change that is being experienced. Climate scientists aren't idiots. They have accounted for all of the factors that impact climate, both natural and man made. If you take out the man made factors, the global climate would be in a cooling phase. Wattsupwiththat is NOT a scientific site. It is a bunch of right wing propaganda. A weatherman IS NOT a climate scientist. None of the so-called scientists posting there have ANY credentials in climate science whatsoever. I am not going to trust the conclusions of someone who hasn't studied a phenomenon or has any educational background in that area.
Wayne Clemon 9 years ago
it's easier to get paid and your less likely to be vilified if you support human caused climate change. they blame solar activity for the Medieval warm period but it's not possible now? climates have varied hugely all through history but it's harder to make money on it if you can't blame it on humans.
Hones-T 10 years ago
If you would like to see more than one scientists' opinion on this, go to http://wattsupwiththat.com/. There is a large scientific community posting there.
Thomas 10 years ago
Well, I downloaded the xls and looked up the following articles and found zero occurrances of the word anthropogenic. So maybe you want to read them yourself instead of relying on "peer reviewed articles" Of these articles, the word "anthropogenic" appears exactly ZERO times. "Climate warming increases biodiversity of small rodents by favoring rare or less abundant species in a grassland ecosystem" "Why dry? Investigating the future evolution of the Caribbean Low Level Jet to explain projected Caribbean drying" "Coral Thermal Tolerance: Tuning Gene Expression to Resist Thermal Stress" "Comparative Analysis of Solar Thermal Cooling and Solar Photovoltaic Cooling Systems" "Comparative analysis of concentrating solar power and photovoltaic technologies: Technical and environmental evaluations" "Cobalt phosphate-modified barium-doped tantalum nitride nanorod photoanode with 1.5% solar energy conversion efficiency"

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