Scientists from the world's premier climate-change research panel are preparing to once again promise the world that they believe — in fact, they're really pretty sure — that human beings are causing global warming.
But if past is prologue, the new report will do exactly nothing to increase the American public's confidence in man-made climate change.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change next month will release its latest assessment of the state of the science on climate change. And in a draft of the report that leaked last week, the panel of more than 800 experts states they are now 95 percent to 100 percent confident that human activity is to blame for global warming.
The upcoming report is part of a string of releases by the scientific community promising the public that there's near-consensus on climate change. Earlier this year, a survey found that 97.1 percent of 12,000 studies published between 1991 and 2011 implicated human activity in rising global temperatures.
But amid the scientific push, the past half-decade has seen public confidence that climate change is real and caused by humans — depending on whom you ask — either plateau or slightly decline.
In the Pew Research Center's 2006 poll on whether Americans believe human activity is causing global warming, 47 percent of the public hewed to the scientific consensus. But when Pew asked again this March, only 42 percent were on board.