Although the media may give the impression that debate is continuing regarding climate change and its causes, the fact is that the scientific community is at a consensus. Climate change is happening and human activity is a significant cause.
In contrast to the Flat Earthers (who still had quite a few members into the 1990s), climate change doubters can do a lot of damage. There's a lag time between pumping the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, and changes to the climate, so if we wait until it's blindingly obvious, it's going to be too late.
Here are some indisputable facts:
- CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It absorbs heat and prevents it leaving our atmosphere.
- Greenhouse gases heat the Earth. By preventing heat leaving the atmosphere, CO2 keeps the Earth hotter.
- Humans pump lots of CO2 into the atmosphere. In increasing amounts.
If you accept this, the next question is how much of the climate change is being driven by human activity? If our emissions only contribute 0.1%, then who cares?
- Scientists estimate that 85% of climate change is caused by human activity. source
- The Northern Hemisphere is warmer now than any time in the last 1000 years. source
Many alternatives have been raised against the cause and severity of climate change.
Solar activity is the cause
Although solar activity has some influence on the Earth's climate, they are a minor contributor when compared with greenhouse gases. This chart should clarify.
Return to normality after "little ice age" or, this is part of Mother Earth's cycle
Although that sounds nice, a cycle needs to be driven by something. We're driving this one.
Compared to historical temperature rises, this one is travelling around 10 times faster than any "naturally induced" increase. source.
For a more in depth look at the arguments against human induced climate change, visit this environment blog.