Climate Science Academy

Accurate climate science information from leading climate scientists

Module F: Human Impacts on Climate

Climate Literacy Essential Principle 6

Guiding Question

How can we be certain humans are causing climate change?


Human activities are impacting climate system.

For more than a century, scientists have predicted that human activities could amplify the natural greenhouse effect, causing the Earth's atmosphere to warm above its normal range.  Now it is clear from multiple lines of evidence that the observed recent climate change is human-induced. The primary cause for the observed increase in the average global temperature is the burning of fossil fuels by humans.

Learning & Teaching About Essential Principle 6 with the Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN)

Introduction to Climate Literacy Essential Principle 6 presented by Mark McCaffrey

Scientist Presentation

Pieter Tans of NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division explains “CO2 and the human connection.” The level of CO2 in the atmosphere continues to increase annually. The cause of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is the burning fossil fuels by humans.

Webinar with an Expert

Stephanie Herring of NOAA presents “Human contributions to global climate change.” Overall, human activities have a warming influence on climate. How do human activities impact climate change? What effects will climate change have on societies?

Module F Quiz

Key concepts of Climate Literacy Essential Principle 6:

a. The overwhelming consensus of scientific studies on climate indicates that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the latter part of the 20th century is very likely due to human activities, primarily from increases in greenhouse gas concentrations resulting from the burning of fossil fuels.

b. Emissions from the widespread burning of fossil fuels since the start of the Industrial Revolution have increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

c. Human activities have affected the land, oceans, and atmosphere, and these changes have altered global climate patterns.

d. Growing evidence shows that changes in many physical and biological systems are linked to human-caused global warming.

e. Scientists and economists predict that there will be both positive and negative impacts from global climate change.


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