Climate Change/Causes/Scientific Consensus

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Many of the conclusions in climate science are based on direct observations of the climate system, such as temperature, humidity, and winds. Over the years, our observations have become more accurate, more precise, and more expensive. Beginning in the 1970s, satellite observations of the atmosphere and surface of Earth began to shed light on global-average quantities in a way that was impossible before. Even with the knowledge gained from space-borne instruments, there are uncertainties, especially of older data.

The best reconstructions of past climate give a picture of surface temperature that has risen extremely rapidly since the middle 20th century.

For many years there was much controversy over whether anthropogenic climate change was a reality or not, but as evidence has mounted almost all of the scientific skeptics have accepted that humans are affecting climate. As it stands now, there is resounding scientific consensus Oreskes, Science 2004, 306(5702), DOI: 10.1126/science.1103618 that humans are the leading contribution to global warming.

Some economists believe that drastic limitations on production are potentially economically damaging. Others have begun to come forward with more lucrative ideas for how to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

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