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A recent poll of scientists in different fields has found that 97% of climate scientists who had published at least half of their peer-reviewed research in the climate field (a total of 76 out of 79 who participated in the survey (total number of particpants 3,146), Doran and Kendall Zimmermann, 2009) agreed that global temperatures are rising and that human activity was significant in this process. This is the mainstream scientific position.

It is hard to find any research scientist working in the fields of atmospheric science or climate who actually believes there has not been a rise in average global temperatures since the beginning of the Industrial Age. Richard Lindzen, a professor of Atmospheric Science but widely regarded as a contrarian, agreed that global warming is occurring and could be caused by increased carbon dioxide (CO2) levels but believed that scientists were not in a position to prove the connection. Garth Paltridge, retired Chief Research Scientist at the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research, agreed that there are good reasons to believe that burning fossil fuels could lead to global warming, but was uncertain as to how significant this would be.

Richard Muller, a Physics Professor and longtime critic of climate studies, set out to address what he called "the legitimate concerns" of sceptics who believe global warming is exaggerated. But Professor Muller unexpectedly told a congressional hearing the work of the three principal groups that have analysed the temperature trends underlying climate science is "excellent ... We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups." It appears that Muller no longer believes that global warming is not real.

Doran and Kendall Zimmerman found that the members of the scientific community most likely to oppose the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming were economic geologists (typically employed by oil companies and the like), of whom only 47 per cent concurred.

Some other scientists who have opposed the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming are:

David Douglas, solid-state physicist, professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, at the University of Rochester, argued that global warming was a natural process and stated in an article titled New Study Explodes Human-Global Warming Study: "The observed pattern of warming, comparing surface and atmospheric temperature trends, does not show the characteristic fingerprint associated with greenhouse warming. The inescapable conclusion is that the human contribution is not significant and that observed increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases make only a negligible contribution to climate warming"

Antonio Zinchini, emeritus professor of nuclear physics at the University of Bologna and president of the World Federation of Scientists has challenged the accuracy of IPCC climate projections, stating: "models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are incoherent and invalid from a scientific point of view [...] It is not possible to exclude that the observed phenomena may have natural causes. It may be that man has little or nothing to do with it"

Another eminent scientist to challenge IPCC projections is Hendrik Tennekes, retired Director of Research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute who wrote in his article "A Sceptical View of Climate Models": "The blind adherence to the harebrained idea that climate models can generate 'realistic' simulations of climate is the principal reason why I remain a climate skeptic. From my background in turbulence I look forward with grim anticipation to the day that climate models will run with a horizontal resolution of less than a kilometer. The horrible predictability problems of turbulent flows then will descend on climate science with a vengeance"

Tim Patterson, paleoclimatologist and Professor of Geology at Carleton University, Canada, went even further. Giving evidence before (the Canadian) Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in 2006, he stated: "There is no meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth's temperature over this [geologic] time frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten times higher than they are now, about 450 million years ago, the planet was in the depths of the absolute coldest period in the last half billion years. On the basis of this evidence, how could anyone still believe that the recent relatively small increase in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century's modest warming?"

Another respected meteorologist to challenge "alarmist" claims, such as those made by ex-presidential candidate Al Gore in his film "An Inconvenient Truth" is Dr Dick Morgan. The former World Meteorological Organization and climatology researcher at the University of Exeter, contradicted claims made in the film, stating: "There has been some decrease in ice thickness in the Canadian Arctic over the past 30 years but no melt down. The Canadian Ice Service records show that from 1971-1981 there was average, to above average, ice thickness. From 1981-1982 there was a sharp decrease of 15% but there was a quick recovery to average, to slightly above average, values from 1983-1995. A sharp drop of 30% occurred again 1996-1998 and since then there has been a steady increase to reach near normal conditions since 2001." He went on to criticise the projections of the IPCC, stating: "Had the IPCC used the standard parameter for climate change and used an equal area projection, instead of the Mercator warming and cooling would have been almost in balance."

Another eminent scientist to Challenge the IPCC's findings is Professor Mojib Latif, a leading member of the IPCC, and head of a research team at the world-renowned Lebniz Institute, At Kiel University, Germany. Prof. Mojib and his team developed new methods to measure ocean temperatures at depths of upto a kilometre, where the cooling and warming cycles begin, and predicted a new cooling trend in a paper published in 2008 and reiterated his findings at an IPCC conference in Geneva in September 2009. On 10 Januray 2010, in an interview with the British Mail on Sunday newspaper he stated: "A significant share of the warming we saw from 1980 to 2000 and at earlier periods in the 20th Century was due to these cycles - perhaps as much as 50 per cent. 'They have now gone into reverse, so winters like this one will become much more likely. Summers will also probably be cooler, and all this may well last two decades or longer. The extreme retreats that we have seen in glaciers and sea ice will come to a halt. For the time being, global warming has paused, and there may well be some cooling."

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Q: Which scientists oppose the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming?
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