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Is climate change human-made?
Carbon dioxide emissions are at their highest in 650 000 years.
1. Global sea level: rose about 34 cm in the last decade, compared to about 17 cm in
the last century.
2. Global temperatures: Fifteen of the 16 hottest years on record have occurred since the
year 2000. (The Economist, Oct.1, 2016)
3. Arctic ice sheets: Antarctica lost about 152 km² of ice between 2002 and 2005.
Water from ice sheets and melting glaciers contribute to rising sea levels.
4. Glacial retreat: glaciers are retreating around the world.
5. Extreme weather events: extremely high temperatures, heavy winds and
thunderstorms have been increasing since the 1950s.
6. Warming oceans: the top layer is getting warmer at a rate of 0.2°F per decade.
7. Acidity of oceans: increase of about 30% since the beginning of the Industrial
Revolution as a result of increasing amounts of carbon dioxide.
Data extracted from: NASA: Global climate change -
More than 90% of experts and scientists with
high expertise and extensive peer-reviewed
research agree that climate change is
caused by human activity.
The overall effect of human activities
(burning of fossil fuels) since the Industrial
Revolution has been a warming effect,
driven primarily by emissions of carbon
Carbon dioxide is a long-lived greenhouse
gas, which will continue to affect the climate.
There is a substantial number of scientists
that disagree and believe that climate
change is not primarily caused by humans,
but also by the environment itself. Some
claim that there is too little information to put
the blame solely on human activities.
There are natural causes for climate change,
e.g. volcanic activities and changes in solar
radiation, which have occurred all through
Earth’s history.
CO2 is already saturated in the atmosphere,
so more emissions will have no or little
further impact on the climate.
Human-caused CO2 emissions are too
insignificant to change the earth’s climate.
The earth is capable of absorbing any
increase of CO2 emissions. Oceans can
absorb CO2 and forests have increased their
growth rates, which leads to a lower level of
CO2 in the atmosphere.
Some scientists argue that the
measurements are faulty or manipulated or
that there is simply not enough information.
According to them climate change is a hoax.
The rise in temperatures in the 20th century
is within the natural boundaries.
A rise in global temperature has coincided
with the rise of carbon dioxide emissions
within the same period of time
(approximately since the beginning of the
20th century).
o The rise of CO2 emissions leads to global
warming, loss of sea ice, rise of sea levels,
stronger and more frequent storms and more
periods of severe drought.
o Average temperatures on earth have
increased much faster than can be explained
by natural climate changes. – Sprechen – Kommunikationsprüfung – The Environment
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