Currently, there is a lot of political controversy about how we handle climate change (see NZ Herald: Lack of climate consensus produces cop-out). Some people even argue that there is a scientific controversy about it. That there are different scientific camps on the reality of human induced climate cahnge.
So I found a recent paper on scientists attitudes interesting. It is the best estimate I have seen of how scientist actually do line up on this question. Examining the scientific Consensus on Climate Change by Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman surveyed (mainly US) earth scientists with two questions:
1: When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
2: Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?
The authors analysed results by sub-groups and found climatologists who are active in research showed the strongest consensus on the causes of global warming. 96% answering “risen” to question 1 and 97% answering “yes” to question 2. Only 47% of economic geologists answered “yes” to question 2 n(pretty obvious why!).
The figure provides details of responses to question 2.