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US Fact check: Scientific consensus says humans are dominant cause of climate change

03:45  23 april  2021
03:45  23 april  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

Climate policy is important, but the bigger challenge is cultural change

  Climate policy is important, but the bigger challenge is cultural change Much like the efforts to curb smoking, changing the way individuals perceive and respond to global warming can lead us toward a healthier future. Acting now to reduce pollution is also similar to the principle behind quitting smoking - stopping earlier allows more time for recovery and will limit the worst outcomes down the road.

The claim: Man-made climate change is a hoax

President Joe Biden shut down oil and gas lease sales from the nation's vast public lands and waters in his first days in office, citing worries about climate change. Now his administration has to figure out what do with the multi-billion dollar program without crushing a significant sector of the U.S. economy. © Charlie Riedel, AP President Joe Biden shut down oil and gas lease sales from the nation's vast public lands and waters in his first days in office, citing worries about climate change. Now his administration has to figure out what do with the multi-billion dollar program without crushing a significant sector of the U.S. economy.

President Joe Biden pledged during a virtual climate summit, held on Earth Day, to cut U.S. greenhouse gas pollution in half by 2030 to help mitigate a global climate crisis.

“The science is undeniable,” Biden said during the April 22 summit. “The cost of inaction keeps mounting.”

The Weekly Planet: An Outdated Idea Is Still Shaping Climate Policy

  The Weekly Planet: An Outdated Idea Is Still Shaping Climate Policy Biden’s team is split on how to think about climate change.The moderate Democratic president wanted the United States to tackle climate change, and he had pledged to get serious about it during the recent campaign. On the president’s desk sat a memorandum laying out two options.

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But some still deny.

Climate skeptics don’t believe climate change is man-made, despite overwhelming scientific evidence to support the conclusion. Some don’t acknowledge global warming is happening at all.

One Facebook user posted on April 19 claiming, among other things, that man-made climate change is a "scam."

"Don't you dare question it though or you will be branded a 'Climate change denier' and you shall be canceled for it," the user wrote.

The Facebook account that posted the claim did not respond to a request for comment.

Earth Day: Biden promises 50% reduction in US greenhouse emissions

What is global warming?

While natural forces can contribute to global temperature changes, scientific data show warming has accelerated since the mid-20th century.

In Biden climate show, watch for cajoling, conflict, pathos

  In Biden climate show, watch for cajoling, conflict, pathos WASHINGTON (AP) — It won't rival Netflix for drama, but 40 world leaders will try to save the planet from ever worsening global warming in a two-day climate summit livestreamed for binge viewing. While there will be many faces on screen, this will clearly be President Joe Biden’s show. Biden will convene the summit on Thursday and what he says will call the shots for what’s to come. He’s trying to show that the United States is again serious about cutting pollution of heat-trapping gases with a new American goal for cutting emissions. Then he’ll try to cajole other nations to ratchet up the pollution-cutting promises they made in 2015's Paris climate agreement.

The “hockey stick” graph introduced in 1998 in the journal Nature shows relatively flat temperature fluctuations over hundreds of years before a sharp incline, particularly over the last 50 years.

The graph has been controversial among climate skeptics but was endorsed in 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences.

Most scientists say the sharp incline is related to human-made emissions in the post-industrial period. That is a result of the “greenhouse effect,” where the planet warms as gases that block heat from escaping build up in the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere from human activities has increased by 47% since the start of the Industrial Revolution, according to NASA. Build-ups of water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons also are contributing to the greenhouse effect.

As the planet has warmed, weather patterns have changed, melting glaciers and ice sheets have raised sea levels and heat waves have become longer and more intense.

Biden opening summit with ambitious new US climate pledge

  Biden opening summit with ambitious new US climate pledge WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will open a global climate summit with a pledge to cut at least in half the climate-wrecking coal and petroleum fumes that the U.S. pumps out, a commitment he hopes will spur China and other big polluters to speed up efforts of their own. Biden is offering Americans and the world a vision of a prosperous, clean-energy United States where factories churn out cutting-edge batteries for export, line workers re-lay an efficient national electrical grid and crews cap abandoned oil and gas rigs and coal mines. His commitment to cut U.S.

“On Earth, human activities are changing the natural greenhouse,” says a NASA website on the causes of climate change.

Scientific consensus

While climate deniers suggest the causes of climate change are uncertain, scientists have concluded with a high degree of certainty that the dominant cause of warming is greenhouse gases produced by humans becoming trapped in the atmosphere.

A synthesis of The Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment says it is “extremely likely” – meaning at least 95% – that unprecedented concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere driven by economic and population growth since the pre-industrial era are the dominant cause of warming.

In short, humans are causing climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established by the United Nations in 1988, assembled the report. But other government research and scientific organizations have reached the same conclusion.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Research Council and the Environmental Protection Agency all agree “Earth is warming mainly due to the increase in human-produced heat-trapping gases,” according to a post on NOAA’s Climate.gov website.

Biden’s Unserious Climate Summit

  Biden’s Unserious Climate Summit Democratic extremism is a gift to China's Xi Jinping.It would be difficult to organize all of this by order of seriousness, though the character of the Civilian Climate Corps proposal is suggested by Senator Markey’s infomercial-style salesmanship, promising that the program would “combat the interlocking crises of the moment — climate change, racial injustice, a global pandemic, and income inequality.” One expects him to promise that it doubles as a salad spinner and makes fresh-pressed juice, too. This is the classic Democrat approach to complex problems: “Give us money to give to the people who support us politically.

NOAA also points to a 2004 study in the journal Science, backed up in a 2016 review paper, that examined 928 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals. None of the papers disagreed with the consensus.

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A 2018 Congressional Research Service report summarizing the “evolving assessments” of the causes of climate change since the early 19th century said this: “Current climate scientific assessment states high confidence (extremely likely) that human influence is the dominant cause of the observed warming over the past half-century.”

The report said the conclusion is relatively recent, in part because of better science. That includes better measurement technologies, the development of better simulation models and longer series of observations.

“We have independent evidence that says when you put in greenhouse gases, you get the changes that we see,” Gavin Schmidt, director of  NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in a Columbia Climate School State of the Planet blog from 2017. “If you don’t put in greenhouse gases, you don’t. And if you put in all the other things people think about — the changes in the earth’s orbit, the ocean circulation changes, El Niño, land use changes, air pollution, smog, ozone depletion — all of those things, none of them actually produce the changes that we see in multiple data sets across multiple areas of the system, all of which have been independently replicated.”

The Latest: Tracker credits Biden summit on emissions gap

  The Latest: Tracker credits Biden summit on emissions gap WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Joe Biden's global climate summit (all times local): 9:10 a.m. An analysis shows President Joe Biden’s climate summit and the run-up to it cut the so-called emissions gap, a crucial measurement used to see if the world can limit global warming, by about one-eighth. Climate Action Tracker is a group of scientists who monitor nations’ pledges of carbon pollution cuts. It calculated that targets announced since last September cut about 12% to 14% from the emissions gap. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb.

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: President Biden signed executive actions tied to combating climate change, including elevating climate change as a national security concern. © Provided by USA TODAY President Biden signed executive actions tied to combating climate change, including elevating climate change as a national security concern.

Our rating: False

The claim that man-made climate change is a hoax is FALSE, based on our research. The scientific consensus is that climate change is a product of human-produced gases that trap heat on Earth. Both government organizations and papers in scientific journals have concluded with a high degree of certainty that climate change is man-made.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Encylopedia.com, accessed April 22, Hockey stick curve
  • The New York Times, June 22, 2006, "Science Panel Backs Study on Warming Climate"
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Aug. 14, 2020, Climate Change: Annual greenhouse gas index
  • NASA, accessed April 22, "Causes of climate change"
  • NASA, accessed April 22, "Effects of climate change"
  • NASA, accessed April 22, "Scientific consensus on climate change"
  • Climate Science Special Report, accessed April 22, Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), Volume I
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, accessed April 22, Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers
  • Bloomberg, June 24, 2015, "What's Really Warming the World?"
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Feb. 3, 2020, "Isn't there a lot of disagreement among climate scientists about global warming?"
  • Congressional Research Service, Feb. 1, 2018, "Evolving Assessments of Human and Natural Contributions to Climate Change"
  • Columbia Climate School State of the Planet blog, April 4, 2017, "How We Know Today's Climate Change Is Not Natural"

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Summit shows Biden big vision on fighting climate change

  Summit shows Biden big vision on fighting climate change WASHINGTON (AP) — What did the world learn at Joe Biden's global summit about his vision of the battle to save the world’s climate? For two days, Biden and his team of climate experts pressed his case that tackling global warming not only can avert an existential threat, but also benefit the U.S. economy — and the world’s as well. The virtual summit, based at the White House and featuring more than 40 world leaders whose views were beamed to a global online audience, offered fresh details on how the U.S. might hope to supercharge its efforts on climate while leveraging international action to spur new technologies to help save the planet.

Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Scientific consensus says humans are dominant cause of climate change

The problem with the big climate pledges we've heard this week .
It's been a big week for climate. US President Joe Biden's new emission cutting target has sparked a game of climate one-upmanship among leaders of the world's most polluting countries.It's been a big week for climate. US President Joe Biden's new emission cutting target has sparked a game of climate one-upmanship among leaders of the world's most polluting countries.

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