Abstract of article accepted by Environmental Research Letters and withdrawn
In “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming [AGW] in the scientific literature” (2013 Environ. Res. Lett. 8 024024), Cook et al. [CEA] set out to provide “An accurate perception of the degree of scientific consensus [as] an essential element to public support for climate policy.” But they used an unconventional definition of consensus, ruled out two-thirds of the published literature on AGW, and invented a method that appears not to work when applied to a widely-accepted theory like plate tectonics. As a result, CEA markedly underestimated the extent of the consensus on AGW. The true scientific consensus, i.e. the consensus of acceptance based on peer-reviewed articles, is not 97%, as it is widely assumed CEA reported, but is at least 99.9%. That is why, to find a single article that rejects AGW, one has to search through not the few dozen that a “97% consensus” would imply, but thousands of articles. During 2013 and 2014, based on my review only 4 among 69406 authors of peer-reviewed articles, 0.0058% or 1 in 17352, rejected AGW.