Study: Most meteorologists believe in man-made climate change

Study: Most meteorologists believe in man-made climate change
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The vast majority of American meteorologists tell researchers they believe in climate change, with most now blaming human activity for causing it.

According to a study from George Mason University and the American Meteorological Society (AMS), 96 percent of more than 4,000 surveyed meteorologists said they believe the climate is changing. Two-thirds of respondents said human activity is completely or mostly the cause of climate change, and 81 percent in all said human activity was at least half to blame.

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The survey — conducted in January and released Thursday — represents a shift in climate change views among meteorologists. Past AMS surveys have shown divided opinions on climate change and its causes, a result promoted by groups who doubt climate change research.

But Thursday’s survey found changing opinions among meteorologists. Seventeen percent said their views on climate change have shifted over the past five years, with 87 percent saying they are more convinced in human-caused climate change.

Environmentalists have long highlighted persistent consensus among scientists on climate change, something skeptics have said the AMS surveys undercut. The survey released Thursday noted that most of its respondents have meteorological or astronomical degrees and not climate science backgrounds — only 37 percent reported considering themselves experts on climate science.

“[I]t does appear that more meteorologists are now more convinced that human-caused climate change is happening,” Ed Maibach, the study’s lead author and director of the George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication, told The Washington Post.

“That is exactly what one would expect, of course, given the trajectory of our changing climate and the ever increasing of the science.”