Communication

Climate sceptics use strong words

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
525,
Page:
292
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/525292b
Published online

Climate scientists use more cautious language in scientific reports than do climate-change sceptics, even though the sceptics often accuse the scientists of being alarmist.

Srdan Medimorec and Gordon Pennycook at the University of Waterloo in Canada used software to analyse the style of language in a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2013 and in a response written by a sceptic group, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). The researchers did not assess the scientific accuracy of the reports but found that the NIPCC report used emotional language and the IPCC report contained more neutral and formal phrasing.

The authors hypothesize that the IPCC uses such language because of scrutiny from the media and sceptics.

Clim. Change http://doi.org/7mb (2015)

Comments

  1. Report this comment #66967

    Lewis Robinson said:

    Apples and oranges are being compared: scientific discourse in journals vs. skeptical discourse outside. Non-skeptical discourse on global warming is quite apocalyptic (Al Gore, glaciers gone, no arctic sea ice, more frequent and more severe hurricanes, Miami under water etc. etc.).

Subscribe to comments

Additional data