Nine climate scientists have analyzed the article and they estimate its overall scientific credibility to be ‘high’. more about the credibility rating
A majority of reviewers tagged the article as: Accurate, Sound reasoning.
* Note that scientists only assessed information related to climate science. The following analysis is not an endorsement of the economic, political, or moral content of the encyclical.
Pope Francis’s encyclical rather accurately depicts the current reality of climate change. While it does contain a few minor scientific inaccuracies, and could be interpreted as understating the degree of certainty scientists have in understanding climate change impacts, the encyclical fairly represents the present concerns raised by the scientific community.
Kerry Emanuel , Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT
The Pope’s encyclical is strongly aligned with the scientific consensus about the reality and risks posed by global warming. The most striking feature of the encyclical is its linking of environmental degradation to cultural and political decline, painting it as a moral issue, not just a practical problem.
REVIEWERS’ OVERALL FEEDBACK
These comments are the overall opinion of scientists on the article, they are substantiated by their knowledge in the field and by the content of the analysis in the annotations on the article.
Alexis Berg, Associate Research Scholar, Princeton University:
In the few passages dealing with climate science, this text does not contain major scientific inaccuracies – but it does contain some minor ones, or at least some poor choices of words. The presentation of some elements (e.g., the scientific consensus on the attribution of observed climate change) is not as clear as it could be.
Andreas Klocker, Physical Oceanographer, University of Tasmania:
Some facts are a bit oversimplified (but not wrong), but in general a good article written for a very broad audience.
Dasvinder Kambo, PhD Candidate, Queen’s University
Note: I only read Chapter 1 of the encyclical.
I found Chapter 1 to be a great representation of ‘popular’ scientific understanding of the effects of climate change. However, there could have been more input on the interactions of how humans in one country influence humans in others (i.e. Fossil fuel production in North America / China decreasing rainfall in west Africa/India).
Britta Voss, Postdoctoral Research fellow, U.S. Geological Survey:
The purpose of this document was not to provide a technical description of climate science, however, the evidence presented in support of the anthropogenic footprint of environmental problems in general and climate change in particular was overall accurate and relevant.
Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, Research Scientist, Climate Change Research Centre, The University of New South Wales:
Most of the article seems reasonably accurate, though there are a few careless statements that could have been better explained. In general, the current scientific view is reasonably well summarized.
Emmanuel Vincent, Project Scientist, University of California, Merced:
I did not spot major inaccuracies in this document as far as climate information goes.
Jean-François Exbrayat, Post-doctoral Research Fellow, The University of Edinburgh:
The encyclical is a good summary of human pressure on ecosystems and associated societal concerns. It is based on a state-of-the-art scientific knowledge of these issues although some statements are imprecise.
Jonathan Lauderdale, Postdoctoral Research Associate, MIT:
The Encyclical summarized the current state of climate science well, in conjunction with a raft of other issues related to human exploitation of the natural environment.
The key part of this document is bridging the gap between the scientific observations that we make, which often do not engage the public’s attention, and the moral implications of humans as guardians of our planet (whether you are religious or not, this still makes sense).
As a specific point, I think the Encyclical could have been more definitive in attributing recent climate change to anthropogenic factors – mentioning the natural forcings in the context of warming seemed to be uncharacteristically overcautious.
Mark Eakin, Scientist, Coordinator of NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
This encyclical is beautifully written and largely captures the scientific consensus. It is a bit too conservative in places, especially in terms of the amount of climate change attributed to humans.
 See the rating guidelines used for article evaluations.
 Each evaluation is independent. Scientists’ comments are all published at the same time.