APTOPIX Italy Climate Strike

Students set fire to a replica of the planet Earth during a worldwide protest demanding action on climate change, in Milan, northern Italy, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. The protests are inspired by Thunberg, who spoke to world leaders at a United Nations summit this week. (Nicola Marfisi/ANSA via AP)

Scientific consensus that the Earth is warming because human activity has increased since 2009 and is near universal agreement, according to a new study led by LSU geology professors.

Researchers from three universities surveyed 2,780 Earth scientists studying climate change, 91% of whom agreed the Earth is getting warmer because of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, a significant increase since 2009, when a similar survey found that 81% of scientists agreed.

All of the most actively publishing researchers -- those who published at least 20 papers on climate change between 2015 and 2019 -- agreed that global warming is human caused, according to the new survey.

The study highlights an increasing consensus among experts that global warming observed since the industrial revolution is a result of humans burning fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, trapping heat and warming the planet. That idea was considered likely in the 1990s in scientific research papers, but today is “unequivocal,” according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Scientific consensus that the Earth is warming because of human activity has increased since 2009 and is near universal agreement, according to a new study led by LSU geology professors.

Researchers from three universities surveyed 2,780 Earth scientists studying climate change, 91% of whom agreed the Earth is getting warmer because of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, a significant increase since 2009, when a similar survey found that 81% of scientists agreed.

All of the most actively publishing researchers those who published at least 20 papers on climate change between 2015 and 2019 agreed that global warming is human caused, according to the new survey.

The study highlights an increasing consensus among experts that global warming observed since the industrial revolution is a result of humans burning fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, trapping heat and warming the planet. That idea was considered likely in the 1990s in scientific research papers, but today is “unequivocal,” according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Numerous similar studies have found between 90% to 100% agreement among scientists that recent global warming is human-caused, with the studies converging on 97% agreement, according to the latest survey.

LSU geology researchers Krista Myers and Peter Doran co-authored the peer-reviewed article, along with professors from Monash University in Australia and George Mason University.

“This study is a follow-up 10 years later to see how the numbers have changed,” Doran said. “The consensus has gone up. Even the doubters that are in these groups are just overwhelmed with the evidence.”

Doran added that recent record-breaking years of heat show how dire the situation is.

The last decade was the hottest on record, and seemingly small increases in global temperature will lead to increases in the number of extremely hot days, bringing consequences to human health, according to Climate Central.

“All the online platforms are now making it easier for scientists to share their findings,” said Sophie Warny, a geology professor at LSU.

Warny said she hopes the wealth of data scientists have accumulated can influence the public and politicians to make informed decisions related to climate change.

“Obviously, a warmer climate is already destabilizing the Antarctic and Arctic ice sheets,” Warny said. “It is raising sea levels, but the warming also generates a myriad of associated changes. In our region, strong storms, warmer gulf water and enhanced evaporation are translated into catastrophic rain events and massive flooding.”

A warmer atmosphere is leading to stronger hurricanes, heavier rain events, more flooding and sea-level rise that will significantly impact Louisiana and the rest of the Gulf states.

Despite the abundance of evidence and strong scientific consensus, climate change denial and misinformation remains in the U.S.

Overall, less than half of Americans agree human activity plays a significant role in global warming, according to the Pew Research Center.

In Baton Rouge, a majority of residents consider global warming an important issue and support government efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions and invest in alternatives to traditional carbon-emitting transportation like bike paths and mass transit, the latest CityStats report finds.

“My hope is that this debate about whether or not climate change from anthropogenic causes is real stops being a political issue.” Warny said.

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