• Climate

FIRST EXPERIMENT: Analysis of Steve E. Koonin's article "Climate Science is not settled"

Posted on:  2014-10-10

Reviewed content

Published on 2014-09-19.

-1.5 scientific credibility
"-1.5" verdict chart image

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The main reasons for this low rating are 1) the lack of scientific fairness of the author and 2) the insufficient accuracy of the evidence used to support his conclusion.

  • Fairness: the author does not acknowledge fairly the certainties and uncertainties that exist in the science of climate change (eg). He depicts a biased view in which uncertainties are over-emphasized to support his conclusions (eg).
  • Accuracy: scientists identified several inaccurate statements in the article (about sea level rise rate, ocean role in climate, timescale of CO2 influence on climate…), a misuse of the term “settled” (eg) and several confusion about scientific concepts (eg) proper to mislead the reader.

The author downplays the magnitude of human-induced climate change with respect to natural variability (eg) and abusively concludes that climate science is too uncertain to inform political action. This is in contradiction with the existence of robust scientific findings pointing to the risk that climate change poses to human economies and to natural ecosystems (see for instance the IPCC assessment of climate risks).

Science Feedback is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to science education. Our reviews are crowdsourced directly from a community of scientists with relevant expertise. We strive to explain whether and why information is or is not consistent with the science and to help readers know which news to trust.
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