Written by on March 10, 2023

A twitter post claiming that the earth’s climate has been changing all along even before humans made a difference is partly false.

“Exactly. To whatever extent anthropomorphic global warming might (and might not) be an issue, it is on the edges. The Earth’s climate has always changed and did so long before humans made even the marginal difference they likely do now. We are pissing dollars into the Pacific,” states the claim.

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the earth’s climate has changed throughout history, with most of the changes being attributed to minimal variations in earth’s orbit, which changes the amount of solar energy that earth receives.

The IPCC AR6 WG1 Technical summary states that since the beginning of systematic scientific assessments in the 1970s, man-made warming of the planet has risen from theory to an established fact. The report explains that the warming trend witnessed currently is undoubtedly as a result of human activities since the mid-1800s and is moving at never seen before rate over many recent millennia.

In the IPCC sixth assessment report WG1 chapter two, it indicates that there is evidence that Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels, with reference to the ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, as well as tropical mountain glaciers. The chapter further gives sources of further ancient evidence from coral reefs, tree rings, ocean sediments and layers of sedimentary rocks. It explains that this paleoclimate evidence clearly shows that the current warming witnessed is occurring about 10 times faster compared to the average warming after an ice age, and C02 from human activities is also rising approximately 250 times faster compared to how it did from natural sources after the last ice age.

The IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C  states that human activity had warmed the world by 0.87°C (±0.12°C) by the decade 2006-2015, compared to the pre-industrial times (1850-1900). The report further indicates that the world would reach human-induced global warming of 1.5°C by the year 2040 in case the current warming rate continues.

We looked into this claim stating that the earth’s climate has been changing all along even before humans made a difference and found it to be partly false. Most scientists agree that yes, the earth’s climate has been changing since the pre-industrial error, but the current warming is happening at a very high rate due to human induced warming.

This fact-check was produced by Sky 106.1 FM with support from Code for Africa’s PesaCheck, International Fact-Checking Network, and African Fact Checking Alliance network.

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