Off the back of the recent Climate Skeptics vs The Consensus image, we were curious how many scientists might make up ‘The Consensus’.

The Skeptical side claims at least 31,486 dissenters in their ranks, according to the That sounds like a lot. But is it?

Climate Change: A Consensus Among Scientists?
Of course, not all 12 million US scientists therefore agree with ‘The Consensus’. But this puts the PetitionProject’s 31,486 signatories in some kind of context.

Our maths here is somewhat coarse. Some better data suggests the ‘consensus’ figure is around 97.5% of publishing climatologists and around 90% of all publishing scientists supporting the human-induced climate theory. See this study for more details (PDF – Doran And Zimmerman 2009)

Actually, here’s how some of it looks:

Climate Change: A Consensus Among Scientists 2

Skeptical Field

Among the climate skeptic scientists, we wondered which fields of science were most represented. We expected climate and earth sciences. But we got…

Climate Consensus: Breakdown of skeptical scientists by field

In fact, when you adjust the PetitionProject’s odd categorisation – they filed ‘chemical engineers’ as chemists and physical engineers as ‘physicists’ – the total number of engineers who signed the petition, by our reckoning, jumps to 49%

Why so many engineers?

UPDATE 1: 23rd Dec 09. Thanks all for the excellent feedback (and barbs!). The language and presentation have been adapted now to hopefully better reflect our exploratory intentions.