Mark Lynas ‘99% Consensus’ on Local weather Change – Busted in Peer Evaluation. • Watts Up With That?

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My name is Yonatan Dubi, I am a professor of chemistry and physics at Ben Gurion University, Israel. I am also one of Israel’s leading advocates for rational environmentalism and climate realism. Together with a few colleagues we have conducted a very nice research, detailing and quantifying the flaws in the famous consensus study by Lynas et al, which (falsely) claimed the ridiculous 99% consensus. After a year long journey, our paper was finally published in the peer reviewed journal Climate, the link is

The conclusion does not follow from the data”: Israeli study trashes extreme global warming consensus claim.

Ninety-Nine Percent? Re-Examining the Consensus on the Anthropogenic Contribution to Climate Change 

David Dentelski , Ran Damari , Yanir Marmor , Avner Niv , Mor Roses  and Yonatan Dubi 

Climate 2023, 11(11), 215;

Received: 16 September 2023 / Revised: 24 October 2023 / Accepted: 26 October 2023 / Published: 30 October 2023

(This article belongs to the Section Policy, Governance, and Social Equity)


Anthropogenic activity is considered a central driver of current climate change. A recent paper, studying the consensus regarding the hypothesis that the recent increase in global temperature is predominantly human-made via the emission of greenhouse gasses (see text for reference), argued that the scientific consensus in the peer-reviewed scientific literature pertaining to this hypothesis exceeds 99%. This conclusion was reached after the authors scanned the abstracts and titles of some 3000 papers and mapped them according to their (abstract) statements regarding the above hypothesis. Here, we point out some major flaws in the methodology, analysis, and conclusions of the study. Using the data provided in the study, we show that the 99% consensus, as defined by the authors, is actually an upper limit evaluation because of the large number of “neutral” papers which were counted as pro-consensus in the paper and probably does not reflect the true situation. We further analyze these results by evaluating how so-called “skeptic” papers fit the consensus and find that biases in the literature, which were not accounted for in the aforementioned study, may place the consensus on the low side. Finally, we show that the rating method used in the study suffers from a subjective bias which is reflected in large variations between ratings of the same paper by different raters. All these lead to the conclusion that the conclusions of the study does not follow from the data.

The original study, to which the above is a response;

Greater than 99% consensus on human caused climate change in the peer-reviewed scientific literature

Mark Lynas, Benjamin Z Houlton and Simon Perry

Published 19 October 2021 • © 2021 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd
Environmental Research Letters, Volume 16, Number 11Citation Mark Lynas et al 2021 Environ. Res. Lett. 16 114005DOI 10.1088/1748-9326/ac2966


While controls over the Earth’s climate system have undergone rigorous hypothesis-testing since the 1800s, questions over the scientific consensus of the role of human activities in modern climate change continue to arise in public settings. We update previous efforts to quantify the scientific consensus on climate change by searching the recent literature for papers sceptical of anthropogenic-caused global warming. From a dataset of 88125 climate-related papers published since 2012, when this question was last addressed comprehensively, we examine a randomized subset of 3000 such publications. We also use a second sample-weighted approach that was specifically biased with keywords to help identify any sceptical peer-reviewed papers in the whole dataset. We identify four sceptical papers out of the sub-set of 3000, as evidenced by abstracts that were rated as implicitly or explicitly sceptical of human-caused global warming. In our sample utilizing pre-identified sceptical keywords we found 28 papers that were implicitly or explicitly sceptical. We conclude with high statistical confidence that the scientific consensus on human-caused contemporary climate change—expressed as a proportion of the total publications—exceeds 99% in the peer reviewed scientific literature.

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What a surprise – a study which claims over 99% consensus appears to be unsupported by the evidence, because neutral papers were misclassified, and skeptic papers were ignored.

Lynas, et. al., is probably the worst case of confirmation bias ever published. Of course, we all knew that when we first saw it. The Lynas paper was all about grabbing headlines, not science. Now watch the fun as Lynas et. al. tries to defend their paper, with even greater levels of nonsense.

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