Thursday, August 30, 2007

Is 45% a consensus?

I'm not sure what to do with this.

According to this article, a researcher examining 528 papers published from 1993-2003 in the ISI Web of Science database show that only 45% of the papers give at least implicit support of the "consensus" view that humans were having an effect on global climate change.

Feel free to read the article. The numbers are as surprising as they seem at first glance. My own question is whether or not this is a good measure. ISI Web of Science? Is Science included? Nature? I just don't know whether or not this is a decent standard of comparison.

Interesting if it is, and somewhat interesting even if it isn't.


-Murphy said...

Phrasing it as "only 45% of papers available through Web of Science support X" is misleading considering that the largest group, 48% of the papers studied, make no claim either for or against the idea that global warming is occurring or is anthropogenic. When 253 papers in your survey of 528 don't touch on the issue at all, that's an indication that you're not doing a meta-analysis correctly.

That, and the standard problems with a meta-analysis. We don't know the quality of any of the papers studied, what journals they're in, details about who conducted them and the actual subject of any of them, or really anything more than a vague "thumbs up/thumbs down" on the issue of anthropogenic global warming which is arrived at through the reviewer's judgment.

Hal said...

Which is why I said, "I don't know what to do with this."

Is it interesting? Sure. Is it a good measure? I don't have enough information to say.