What Factors Cause Climate Change

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What Factors Cause Climate Change – Scientists agree that global warming is primarily caused by human activity. In particular, the evidence shows that certain heat-trapping gases, such as carbon dioxide, are warming the world – and that we release these gases when we burn fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.

As scientific models and methods become more sophisticated and as we collect more data, our confidence in human-caused climate change will only grow. Here’s what we know.

What Factors Cause Climate Change

What Factors Cause Climate Change

Climate science encompasses a range of disciplines, from oceanography and meteorology to chemistry, physics, biology and computer science.

Extra Terrestrial Causes Of Climate Change

Generally, climate change scientists compare the weather patterns they observe with models developed using sophisticated models of Earth systems (such as the atmosphere and ocean). By comparing observed and modeled patterns, scientists can positively identify “human footprints” and attribute some of the observed warming to human activity.

These fingerprints are found in various records from the atmosphere, oceans and surface of the Earth. They include rising carbon dioxide levels, unprecedented warming and the distinct atomic signature left in the atmosphere after fossil fuels are burned.

This graph documents carbon dioxide levels from about 800,000 years ago. Beginning in the 1760s, there was a dramatic upward leap attributed to the Industrial Revolution. Adapted from data compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

) is a heat-trapping gas in our atmosphere and is responsible for most of the warming measured in recent decades. It is released during the production of cement and when burning coal, gas and oil – something that people began to do a lot during the industrial revolution until today.

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In the Earth’s atmosphere has increased dramatically over the past 150 years, from a pre-industrial era concentration of about 280 parts per million (ppm) to more than 410 ppm today. Co

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And other gases that retain heat in the atmosphere rise, the Earth heats up. In fact, Earth has recently experienced unprecedented warming, especially since the 1950s.

What Factors Cause Climate Change

Every year since 1977 has been warmer than the 20th century average. Nineteen of the 20 warmest years have occurred since 2001. The period from 2015 to 2019 includes the first five warmest years on record.

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Analysis of these trends strongly suggests that without emissions from the burning of coal and oil, it is highly unlikely that 13 of the 15 hottest years on record would have occurred independently or in such rapid succession. This also makes sense from known causes.

It is very likely that human activities, especially greenhouse gas emissions, are the dominant cause of the warming observed since the mid-twentieth century. 2018 US National Climate Assessment

Concentrations are at record levels and global temperatures are rising. But how do we know for sure that humans are the cause?

Produced from other sources. In short, it carries a certain isotopic proportion of carbon that is only found in the atmosphere when coal, oil or gas is burned.

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This information tells scientists that human-caused fossil fuel emissions have contributed the most to the increase in CO

There is essentially no disagreement in the scientific community about the causes of climate change. Several studies have shown that at least 97 percent of scientists agree that global warming is occurring and that human activity is the main cause.

Mainstream scientific assessments also agree. The 2018 US National Climate Assessment – whose authors include 300 leading scientists and thirteen federal government agencies – concludes that “it is highly likely that human activities, particularly greenhouse gas emissions, are the dominant cause of the warming observed since the mid-20th century. There is no plausible alternative explanation for the warming of the past century supported by the extent of the observational evidence.”

What Factors Cause Climate Change

Similarly, the authoritative 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, written and reviewed by hundreds of climate experts and scientists from around the world, states unequivocally: “Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. […] The warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented in decades to millennia.

Responsible Factors For Climate Change

A variety of natural forces can influence the climate, but when these influences are added up, they cannot explain the recent rapid increase in temperature. When we add human activity, the curves match almost perfectly.

We know that warming and cooling happened in the past, long before humans. Natural “climate drivers” include energy from the sun; aerosols from occasional volcanic eruptions, dust and salt spray; natural ecological phenomena such as termites emitting methane and CO

Input into plants; and variations in snow and ice that change how much the Earth’s surface reflects solar energy into space (called albedo).

All these factors have profoundly shaped the Earth’s climate. However, none of them sufficiently explain the recent and dramatic rise in global temperatures. For this, scientists have to include human influences.

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When natural and human-induced climate drivers are compared, human impacts are so large that they have overwhelmed other climate drivers over the past half century, creating the warming we all hope for. In other words, when climate scientists focus only on the natural drivers of climate, their models cannot accurately reproduce the observed warming of the last century. But when the models also include human-induced climate drivers, they accurately capture recent temperature increases in the atmosphere and oceans.

In fact, studies show that human activity is responsible for more than half of the warming observed since 1951.

This evidence has led organizations such as the IPCC to conclude that the effects of heat-trapping gases and other human activities are visible throughout the climate system and are “very likely to be the dominant cause of the warming observed since the middle of the 20th century.”

What Factors Cause Climate Change

In recent years, the field of attribution science has become more sophisticated, and scientists can now quantify how likely an extreme event – such as a heat wave or massive rain – was the result of the change human-caused climate.

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For example, in a landmark 2004 paper, researchers found that climate change has at least doubled the risk of a record European summer heat wave in 2003, which killed tens of thousands of people. A 2016 study of the same heat wave concluded that human-induced climate change increased the risk of heat-related mortality during the event by about 70 percent in central Paris and about 20 percent in London.

Similarly, the researchers found that the record rainfall that Texas experienced in 2017 during Hurricane Harvey was three times more likely and 15 percent more intense due to climate change.

Recently, scientists found that the fingerprints of climate change can be detected in global daily weather patterns since 2012 and annual patterns since 1999.

Although some types of events are more easily attributed to global warming than others, the science of attribution is becoming more robust. Several authoritative scientific institutions and government agencies have confirmed the rigor and validity of attributing individual extreme events to human-caused climate change.

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Knowing that human activities are the main driver of global warming helps us understand how and why our climate is changing and clearly defines the problem as one that we can solve.

We cannot avoid a certain level of warming caused by heat-trapping gases already present in the atmosphere. Some of the gases (such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide) last for more than a century. Many of the people who have contributed least to global warming – including much of the global south, and marginalized and low-income communities around the world – will face the most severe impacts.

But with aggressive measures to reduce future emissions and adapt to those climate impacts we cannot avoid, we have a small window to avoid the worst damage of climate change and build a better world.

What Factors Cause Climate Change

What does that mean? This means investing in a clean energy economy and healthier, more resilient and livable communities. This means transforming transport, reorienting our food system and moving to a lower carbon lifestyle. This means fighting the disinformation spread by fossil fuel companies and other rich people. And that means fighting for equality and environmental justice for all.

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The Paris Agreement of 2015 required nations to keep global warming below the dangerous limit of 2°C, with the goal of 1.5°C. In recent years, the global climate movement – and young people in particular – are demanding that we do even better. With the right policies, practices, vision and collaboration, acting boldly now will give us the best chance to create the safe and promising future that the world’s youth deserve.

Elsevier, one of the largest academic publishing houses in the world, is closely linked to the fossil fuel industry. Those ties should be severed.

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