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Four Revolutions in the Earth SciencesFrom Heresy to Truth$
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James Powell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231164481

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231164481.001.0001

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Warming Is Unequivocal

Warming Is Unequivocal

(p.278) Warming Is Unequivocal
Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences

James Lawrence Powell

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the undeniable scientific evidence showing that global warming is real. The predictions made by James Hansen and his group back in 1981 were slowly coming true. In today's era of record-setting temperatures, it is easy to lose sight of the most important one, which at that time even many scientists did not accept: that global temperatures would rise. They have, and they will. Hansen also predicted the opening of the Northwest Passage, the rise in global sea level, the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet, and severe droughts in the southwestern United States and other regions. In 1988, testifying before Congress, Hansen insisted that greenhouse gases rather than a natural variation had caused the observed warming trend. This chapter looks at how humans contribute to global warming by burning fossil fuels, which has increased ancient carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and, through the greenhouse effect, caused global temperature to rise. It also considers the reasons why many members of the public and so many politicians fail to accept global warming.

Keywords:   global warming, James Hansen, global temperatures, greenhouse gases, humans, fossil fuels, greenhouse effect, carbon dioxide

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