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Why “97% consensus on climate change” claims are wrong

In 2013, a highly influential study (Cook et al., 2013) was published that claimed 97% of the abstracts of scientific papers on the topics “global climate change” or “global warming” agreed that global warming is human-caused. An “abstract” is the short 150-300 word summary that usually is provided with a scientific paper so that researchers can quickly figure out if the paper is relevant or not before deciding to reading it.

This Cook et al. (2013) study has been widely assumed to have proven that there is a 97% “scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW)”. It is frequently quoted as “definitive proof” that any scientists that disagree with this claim only represent a fringe minority.

However, shortly after this 2013 study was published, a group of four researchers (Legates, Soon, Briggs & Monckton) published their own study. They had decided to dig into Cook et al. (2013)’s data. The results were shocking – only 41 of the 11,944 abstracts analyzed by the Cook et al. (2013) study explicitly stated that global warming is mostly human-caused.

Here one of the co-authors, Dr. Willie Soon, summarizes their findings.

Clip taken from Dr. Soon’s April 11, 2022 talk in Washington D.C., “The Weaponization of Science: Politics, Vilification, and the Climate Debate”. The slides for the talk can be downloaded from

Relevant links:
🔹 Cook et al. (2013), “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature”, Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 8.
🔹 Legates, Soon, Briggs & Monckton (2015), “Climate Consensus and ‘Misinformation’: A Rejoinder to Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change”, Science and Education, Vol. 24. Paywalled link to the journal page: Free pre-print version of the paper:
🔹 Short webpage summarizing the key findings of Legates et al. (2015):

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🚩 Disclaimer: Some of the scientific opinions expressed in this video disagree with those of the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports and several other scientific bodies.
Youtube’s policies emphasize that when providing educational, documentary, scientific or artistic content discussing climate change, context for any such disagreements should be provided.
To access the latest IPCC reports, please visit their website at


About Zohe

Environmentalist, Futurist, Lightworker, Wannabe naturalist. The way we are treating our world and environment is not going to end well! We need to change course NOW.

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