Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

The issue

Direct observations made on and above Earth’s surface show the planet’s climate is significantly changing. Human activities are the primary driver of those changes.

Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change The current warming trend is of particular significance because it is unequivocally the result of human activitysince the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented overmillennia.

According to NASA, there is comprehensive evidence for the following:

  • Global Temperature Rise
  • Warming Ocean
  • Shrinking Ice Sheets
  • Glacial Retreat
  • Decreased Snow Cover
  • Sea Level Rise
  • Declining Arctic Sea Ice
  • Extreme Events
  • Ocean Acidification


Human activities (primarily the burning of fossil fuels) have fundamentally increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere, warming the planet. Natural drivers, without human intervention, would push our planet toward a cooling period.

There are 4 groups of greenhouse gases: CO2, NH4, N2O and the F-gasses. Refer to our post What are Greenhouse gases for a detailed explanation.

CO2 is the largest contributor to global warming. The immediate concern is the increase of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. The graph below illustrates how the concentration startet to rise since 1780. The concentrations has increased significantly and continues to rise at an alarming speed.


Global warming is one of the effects that is most talked about. The figure below shows the effect og global warming – each bar represents a year. Blue bars aare colder, red bars warmer than the baseline which is the average og 1971 – 2000.

Graphics by Ed Hawkins from University of Reading, licensed under CC BY

But there is a wide range of effects. The effects of human-caused global warming are happening now, are irreversible on the timescale of people alive today, and will worsen in the decades to come. According to NASA, the list includes:

  • Change will continue through this century and beyond
  • Temperatures will continue to rise
  • Frost-free season (and growing season) will lengthen
  • Changes in precipitation patterns
  • More droughts and heat waves
  • Hurricanes will become stronger and more intense
  • Sea level will rise 1-8 feet by 2100
  • Arctic likely to become ice-free

What is needed

Understanding what needs to be done is not an easy task. A lot has been written in large reports, but often it uses scientific language and ansbolute numbers (we need to reduce by xx Giga Ton Co2e). The Science Based Targets organisations, explains it in straight language.

In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that global warming must not exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change. To achieve this, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must halve by 2030 – and drop to net zero by 2050.

Science Based Targets

So in order to stay below the 1.5°C – the world needs to achieve

  • By 2030: GHG emissions must be halved
  • By 2050: GHG emissions must be reduced to 0

Who needs to solve the Climate crisis

Ultimately, the question becomes “Who needs to solve the climate crisis”? It is a tricky question to answer, as there are so many viewpoints on this. The BBC article “Who is really to blame for climate change?” elaborates on this. We have taken a few highlights of the article.

  • Governments: the climate agenda is so large and so complex that it needs intervention by the government.
  • The industry: the industry has the largest share of GHG emissions, hence it is only reasonable that they they responsibility. Preferably well ahead of regulations.
  • Consumers: around 60% of the globe emissions come from consumers. Consequently, consumers must reduce emissions by using less and buying sustainable alternatives.
  • The rich: the top 10% richest people of the world account for 90% of the GHG emissions. We must expect them to take their fair share.
  • Rich countries: The world’s richest countries have released the vast majority of emissions, and many continue to emit many times more than poorer ones. 
  • Fuel companies: 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions over the previous two decades are attributable to just 100 fossil fuel producers

We do not want to enforce an opinion on you. We want you to form an opinion based on facts.

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External links

– What’s warming the world? An excellent explanation by Bloomberg & NASA

Our blog posts / Critical reviews

Must read articles / must see videos

Knowledge base

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