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Study: Scientists almost unanimously agree that man is to blame for climate change

Researchers from the US, Canada and Australia combed more than 4000 papers written between 1991 and 2011 to find their results.

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Firefighters with the Type 1 Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC), based out of the Lone Peak Conservation Center, in Draper, Utah, build a fire break as the Springs fire continues to grow on May 3, 2013 near Camarillo, California. Natural disasters like this may increase with worsening climate change say scientists. A new study has shown that nearly all scientists believe that climate change is man made. (David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)

We've all heard it before: there is serious disagreement among scientists about whether climate change is caused by humans.

Well a new study says that, well, that claim is downright false.

In fact, about 97.1 percent of climate scientists who've ever written on the topic agreed that it's caused by people like us expelling CO2 into the atmosphere.

Researchers from the United States, Canada and Australia combed more than 4,000 papers published between 1991 and 2011 in which an opinion was given on the cause behind climate change.

They ruled out papers that were not peer-reviewed, climate-related, and those that lacked an abstract.

In total, more than 10,000 scientists took a position on climate change in the papers.

Thousands of the authors were even personally contacted by the researchers to verify their opinions.

Just over 97 percent echoed the consensus that climate change is caused by human beings.

The researchers wrote that it's important for the public to understand how little doubt there is about climate change among experts.

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"An accurate perception of the degree of scientific consensus is an essential element to public support for climate policy," the researchers wrote.

"Communicating the scientific consensus also increases people's acceptance that climate change is happening."

But climate change attitudes seem hard to change, particularly in the US.

About 42 percent of Americans believe that climate change is man made.

More heartening, however, is that this figure is up from 34 percent in 2010.

The findings were published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/130516/unanimity-among-scientists-over-cause-climate-change-study