Climatic Change

, Volume 101, Issue 3, pp 311-329

First online:

Climate change: a profile of US climate scientists’ perspectives

  • Stacy RosenbergAffiliated withDepartment of Politics and Environmental Studies Program, State University of New York at Potsdam
  • , Arnold VedlitzAffiliated withInstitute for Science, Technology and Public Policy, Texas A&M University Email author 
  • , Deborah F. CowmanAffiliated withBrazos Valley Museum of Natural History
  • , Sammy ZahranAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, Colorado State University

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Climate scientists have played a significant role in investigating global climate change. In the USA, a debate has swirled about whether a consensus on climate change exists among reputable scientists and this has entered the policy process. In order to better understand the views of US climate scientists, we conducted an empirical survey of US climate scientists (N = 468) in 2005, and compared the results with the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) physical science report and policy summaries. Our results reveal that survey respondents generally agree about the nature, causes, and consequences of climate change, and are in agreement with IPCC findings. We also found that there is strong support for a variety of policy initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.