Argument: Human carbon emissions have dramatically accelerated global warming

Issue Report: Is climate change chiefly human-caused?


  • Union of Concerned Scientists. “Global Warming.” Retrieved 12.10.07 – “Fingerprint 3: The Surface Heats Up Measurements show that global average temperature has risen by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 100 years, with most of that happening in the last three decades. [1,2] By comparing Earth’s temperature over that last century with models comparing climate drivers, a study showed that, from 1950 to the present, most of the warming was caused by heat-trapping emissions from human activities [3]. In fact, heat-trapping emissions are driving the climate about three times more strongly now than they were in 1950. The spatial pattern of where this warming is occurring around the globe indicates human-induced causes. Even accounting for the occasional short-lived cooling from volcanic events and moderate levels of cooling from aerosol pollution as well as minor fluctuations in the sun’s output in the last 30 years, heat-trapping emissions far outweigh any other current climate driver. Once again, our scientific fingerprinting identifies human activities as the main driver of our warming climate.”

See level rises are occuring at an accelerated rate

  • Robert Correll, the chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, states, “We have seen a massive acceleration of the speed with which these glaciers are moving into the sea. The ice is moving at two metres an hour on a front 5km [3 miles] long and 1,500 metres deep.”[2]

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