Climate Change Essay

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A critical analysis Climate change is a complex subject, with genuine areas of uncertainty and scientific controversy. There are also a number of misunderstandings which are recycled, often by non-climate scientists, and portrayed as scientific fact. Over hundreds, thousands and millions of years 'natural climatic changes have taken place. There appear to have been large- scale cycles of climatic variation. It would appear that climate change therefore is not a recent phenomenon as it has occurred in past cycles. Climate change is happening and humans are contributing to it. Temperatures provide the clearest evidence that the climate is changing and globally the average temperature has risen by more than 0.7 °C over the last 100 years. The natural greenhouse gas effect keeps Earth much warmer than it would otherwise be, without it Earth would be extremely cold. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and water vapour behave like a blanket around Earth. These gases allow the Sun's rays to reach Earth's surface but impede the heat they create from escaping back into space. Any increases in the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere mean that more heat is trapped and global temperatures increase - an effect known as 'global warming'. There is indisputable evidence from observations that the Earth is warming. Concentrations of CO2, created largely by the burning of fossil fuels, are now much higher, and increasing at a much faster rate, than at any time in the last 600,000 years. Because CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the increased concentrations have contributed to the recent warming and probably most of the warming over the last 50 years. In 2001, the earth warmed between 1900 and 1940, then subsequently cooled between 1941 and 1965, but surface temperatures have been warming ever Data from millions of thermometer measurements taken from all

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