by Judith Curry
The results of the American Meteorological Society member survey on global warming are now available. Some surprises.
The report describing the survey and the preliminary results are posted [here]. It is not a long document, only 19 pages.
From a blog post by some of the authors of the study:
Most AMS Members apparently agree that there is conflict among their colleagues in the Society on the issue of climate change. Those who perceive the conflict on this issue generally see it as at least a partly or somewhat positive thing, but at least some of them—29%, feel reluctance to bring up the topic of global warming at AMS meetings and functions.
Despite the perception of conflict, 82% of voting Members feel AMS should help to educate the public about global warming and 67% think AMS should help educate policy makers about it.
Those are some of the key preliminary findings so far from our recent survey of AMS voting Members, e-mailed in December 2011. The survey was a collaboration between our committee, CICCC, and Dr. Ed Maibach at George Mason University. We asked all 7,197 AMS voting Members about their varied perspectives about climate change. Specifically, we hoped to learn about Members’ assessment of the evidence, perception of conflict among our members, views about AMS’s role in public education, and personal involvement in public education activities.
With a response rate of 26%, the survey results may not be easy to extrapolate to the membership as a whole.
The document is in such a format that I can’t cut and paste from the document. Here is a retype of the summary of the views about global warming:
A very large majority of respondents (89%) indicated that global warming is happening; in contrast few indicated it isn’t happening (4%) or that they “don’t know” (7%). Respondents who indicated that global warming is happening were asked their veiws about its primary causes: a large majority indicated that human activity (59%), or human activity and natural causes in more or less equal amounts (11%), were the primary causes. Relatively few respondents indicated that the warning is caused primarily by natural causes (6%), although a substantial minority (23%) indicated they dont believe enough is yet known to determine the degree of human or natural causation.
A large majority of respondents who indicated that global warming is happening indicated that if nothing is done to address it, over the next 100 years it will be very harmful (38%) or somewhat harmful (38%) to people and society; a small minority of respondents indicated that the harms and benefits will be approximately equal (12%), or that the warming will be beneficial on the whole (2.4%). Among those respondents who indicated the warming would be harmful, only a small minority indicated that all (2%) or a large amount (20%) of the harms can be prevented through mitigation and adaptation measures; the more common responses were that a moderate amount (46%) or small amount (22%) of the harm can be prevented.
All respondents were asked how worried they are about gloal warming: a large majority indicated that they were very worried (30%) or somewhat worried (42%), while a minority indicated they were not very worried (20%) or not at all worried (8%).
Only 59% of the respondents indicated that 81-100% of climate scientists think that human-caused gloval warming is happening, while 20% of respondents reporter the number to be between 61-80%.
JC comment: read the whole thing, this is pretty fascinating. It is interesting to compare this with the 97% of the Anderegg et al. study. Besides the obviously different methodologies, the AMS surveyed meteorologists, whereas the population included by Anderegg et al. was heavily spiked with economists and ecologists. The demographic of the AMS group was such that 56% had published refereed journal articles in the past 5 years, and about half of these people published primarily in the climate field.