According to Quartz, out of all papers published on climate change research, the vast majority conclude that global warming is a very real problem largely due to human activity, while only 3 percent conclude otherwise.
And while some skeptics suggest that the minority of climate-change denying papers are simply standing up for the “truth,” a review published in Theoretical and Applied Climatology journal found that attempts to replicate the findings of the papers denying climate change’s existence yielded faulty, biased outcomes.
Texas Tech University atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe collaborated with fellow researchers to examine 38 papers released in peer-reviewed journals over the past 10 years that denied that human activity is causing global warming.
“Every single one of those analyses had an error—in their assumptions, methodology, or analysis—that, when corrected, brought their results into line with the scientific consensus,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
Co-author and Norwegian Meteorological Institute atmospheric scientist Rasmus Benestad used a computer program to attempt to replicate the results of each paper, but none had results that were capable of being reproduced.
According to the researchers, the papers in the 3 percent category performed three main errors. First, most had cherry-picked data points that supported their argument and ignored other important pieces of information. And, similarly, there were some that looked at data through different lenses until they found a graph that fit a curve.
And, lastly, the authors wrote, some researchers decided to simply ignore physics completely. “In many cases, shortcomings are due to insufficient model evaluation, leading to results that are not universally valid but rather are an artifact of a particular experimental setup,” they said.
One of the researchers from the meta-analysis, Dana Nuccitelli, wrote an article for the Guardian arguing that climate-change-deniers fail to pose strong alternatives to the widely known fact that humans are largely responsible for climate change.
“There is no cohesive, consistent alternative theory to human-caused global warming,” he wrote. “Some blame global warming on the sun, others on orbital cycles of other planets, others on ocean cycles, and so on. There is a 97% expert consensus on a cohesive theory that’s overwhelmingly supported by the scientific evidence, but the 2–3% of papers that reject that consensus are all over the map, even contradicting each other.”