The inconvenient truth

The inconvenient truth of global warming in the 21st century

Based on data since 2000 alone, global warming is still occurring at a whopping 7-sigma significance. How hot will planet Earth get?

A hypothetical map of what an ice-free Earth would look like, with all glaciers, ice sheets and icecaps fully melted. The mean sea level is a full 67.5 meters (221.5 feet) higher than it is today. Thermal expansion of the oceans would exacerbate this effect, but this view of a future Earth is not a foregone conclusion in the coming millennia.(Credit: Kevin Gill/Flickr)


  • Toward the end of the 20th century, there was a lot of dissent and argument over the scientifically robust evidence that showed the Earth is warming. 
  • The evidence of this warming is so strong that even if we begin in the year 2000, it’s robust at the 7-sigma level, with less than 1-in-100 billion chance of it being a statistical fluke. 
  • We’re now at the point that we have to ask ourselves when we want Earth’s hottest year of the 3rd millennium to be. We’re capable of determining the answer.

Ethan SiegelCopy a link to the article entitled http://The%20inconvenient%20truth%20of%20global%20warming%20in%20the%2021st%20century

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Back in 1990, with 110 years of temperature records behind them, the world’s top climate scientists convened to put together a report on the state of the Earth’s climate. Working collaboratively, the fruits of their labor became the very first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. It definitively showed:

  • there had been a global increase in carbon dioxide concentrations since pre-industrial times from ~280 parts-per-million (ppm) to 354 ppm,
  • this was coupled with a global average temperature increase of 0.7 °C (1.3 °F),
  • that the increase in temperature was being driven not by the Sun, volcanoes, or urbanization, but rather by the human-wrought changes to our atmospheric contents,
  • and that this problem would continue to worsen unless carbon dioxide emissions were curbed.

Despite sounding the alarm, the past three decades have led to a far more dire situation. As identified in 2021’s 6th IPCC report, carbon dioxide concentrations now sit at 412 ppm, Earth’s average temperature is a full 1.3 °C (2.3 °F) above pre-industrial levels, and our global carbon emissions have increased to a new all-time high: nearing 40 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, up from 22 billion in 1990. The best time to act was long ago, but the second best time to act is now. 

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Of course, there are those that take a contrary position. For more on that please see the following: