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October 18, 2013

Scientists Say Human-Made Climate Change “Extremely Likely”


A panel of climate scientists from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released a study saying that they found it was “extremely likely” – 95 percent certain – that the Earth’s temperature is rising and that humans are the main cause.

The panel of two hundred and fifty scientists from 195 governments concluded in the report that only a rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions had any real chance of turning back the clock on global warming.

The panel last issued a series of climate change reports in 2007, and the scientists who wrote it won the Nobel Peace Prize for the warnings they raised and the evidence they presented.

While the new language is the strongest language the panel has ever presented on climate change, they did revise some of their earlier statements. While sea levels are still expected to rise between 26 and 82 centimeters, the report says that the impact of global warming on extreme weather like hurricanes and floods is less clear than researchers previously thought.

Warm up questions
  1. What is global warming?
    • What are some ways scientists predict global warming is caused?
    • How does it affect the Earth? Be specific
    • What are ways that people or governments attempt to slow the process?
  2. What is the controversy over global warming? Which side do you agree with?
  3.  Why is global warming still called a “theory” if scientists are 95 percent certain that the Earth’s temperature is rising and that humans are the main cause?
    • Watch this Bite Sci-zed video clip to help students understand the difference between regular theories and scientific theories.
Discussion questions
  1. Why does this study matter? Do you think it will change anything about the conversation surrounding Climate Change?
  2. What can people do to lessen their impact on the global environment? What can governments do? What can you do? Be specific
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