I was not aware that the study questioned people who were not climate scientists. Any idea what the results were for JUST the people who listed themselves as climate scientists?
. Those 77 are
the climatologists; climatologists may not identify specifically as "climatologists", but rather geophysicists, atmospheric scientists, etc., so the 50% criterion is how they decided who could reasonably be considered a climatologist. If more than half your papers are in climatology journals, you're a climatologist. That's
what the 50% thing is about.
In other words, they didn't survey 3,146 climatologists and then throw out all but 77 of them. They surveyed 3,146 people
, of a variety of professions, and only 77 of them were actually climatologists. Those 3,146 people included professions like petroleum geologists and hydrologists that have almost nothing to do with climate change. That's why people cite the 97% figure, not the 82% figure.
Is this still a less-than-ideal sample size? Yes - but I think people overestimate how many active climatologists there actually are. There are tens of thousands of scientists whose work contributes to climate research in various ways, but the number of people who study large-scale climatology full-time isn't that large. (For comparison, my current subfield - marine environmental micropaleontology - has strong climate applications, but I wouldn't really call it "climatology", and there are... like... eight people in it.)
Factor in low response rates, and it's definitely a figure that matches up with what I've observed personally about climate scientists. Climate scientists don't constantly think "oh, these are my colleagues that believe in global warming, and these are my colleagues that don't." It's kind of a non-issue; people argue back and forth about various specific issues, and they're aware of a few researchers who have a reputation of being contrarian, but the overall question of "is global warming a thing?" is pretty much settled.
(Side note: Meteorologists are not climatologists. Meteorologists study weather, not climate; they're concerned with what happens three days from now, not three decades from now. It's like asking a gunsmith for his opinion on how to win the Iraq war. Related fields, with some expertise that cross-applies, but very different.)
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