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Climate change: a diversity of views.

Climate change: A diversity of views

A poll of scientists involved in climate research reveals substantial disagreement over predictions on global warming. At the same time, the researchers do not advocate delaying action on the issue.

Conducted by social scientists at the State University of New York at Albany, the poll, released in March, queried 118 scientists, almost all of whom had participated in some activity related to climate change research. The pollsters selected respondents through a computer-based network that primarily serves oceanic and atmospheric scientists.

One section of the poll addressed the projections given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - an international group of over 100 scientists that sought to provide a consensus report for policymakers. The IPCC estimated that the global average temperature would warm by about 0.3[degrees] [C] per decade, with an uncertainty range of 0.2[degrees] [C] to 0.5[degrees] [C] per decade.

The results of the poll show that roughly a third of the scientists had views closely matching the IPCC estimate. Another third felt less certain; they attached a wider range of possibilities to the projected warming rates. A smaller group thought the IPCC projected rate of warming was too high.

The researchers, however, showed more consensus on a policy-related question. Roughly three-quarters of those polled disagreed with the statement: "...the current uncertainties are such that a delay in taking action is the proper policy."
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Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:May 30, 1992
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