The news world is complex – and fake stories and images are often shared widely on social media. The Blasting News editorial team spots the most popular hoaxes and misleading information about Climate change to help you discern right from wrong.
Man-made hoax about climate change
NASA never said man-made climate change was a hoax
False declaration: Articles shared on social media claim that NASA has admitted that man-made climate change is a hoax. “In 1958, NASA first observed that changes in Earth’s solar orbit, as well as changes in the Earth’s axial tilt, are both responsible for what climatologists call ‘global warming. planetary ”. Humans do not warm the planet by using fossil fuels or by eating beef in any way, ”the caption of some messages can be read.
- In a paper that explains the scientific consensus that humans contribute to climate change, NASA says more than 97% of climate scientists who actively publish agree that humans are the cause of global warming and climate change.
- “Over the past century, the burning of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum has increased the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. This happens because the process of burning coal or oil combines carbon with oxygen in the air to produce CO2. To a lesser extent, clearing land for agriculture, industry and other human activities has increased greenhouse gas concentrations, ”NASA added on its website.
- Increased levels of so-called greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, cause the Earth to heat up, preventing heat from escaping the atmosphere and returning it to the Earth’s surface.
The “natural cycle” of the Earth
Global warming is not just a “natural cycle” of the Earth
False declaration: Climate change deniers share claims on social media that global warming is part of a “natural cycle” of the Earth, which, during its 4.5 billion year history, has seen periods of less and less heat.
- In fact, over thousands of years, temperature changes on Earth have been determined by variations in the orbit around the sun, with longer distances resulting in colder cycles and shorter distances resulting in hotter cycles. . The rule, however, does not apply to what has been recorded on the planet since the turn of the 20th century, where changes that would normally occur over hundreds of thousands of years occur in decades.
- A 2013 study published in the journal Science, for example, points out that our planet has warmed faster in the past century than at any time since the end of the last ice age some 11,000 years ago. .
- A report published in 2020 by the World Meteorological Organization points out that the average temperature on the planet in 2019 was 1.2 ° C above pre-industrial levels (1850-1900). The document describes the increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, resulting from human activities, as “a major driver of climate change”.
- According to the UK Met Office, 17 of the hottest 18 years on record have been in the 21st century, and each of the past 3 decades has been warmer than previous ones.
It is not true that agriculture removes more CO2 from the atmosphere than forests
False declaration: Articles shared on social media claim that agriculture removes more carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere than forests.
According to the article, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Society (Embrapa) reportedly published in 2007 that one hectare of corn can eliminate between 15 and 20 tons of CO2, while a virgin tropical forest does not remove more than 15 tons of CO2 per hectare.
- While every plant removes CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis, this natural process only benefits the environment when carbon dioxide is retained, rather than returning to the atmosphere.
- Unlike forests, which sequester CO₂ and manage to keep it in the soil, crops like corn and soybeans, however, release gas again after harvest and throughout the cycle until it reaches the consumer. .
- A study published in 2020 by Nature magazine shows that tropical forests are responsible for half of the carbon stored on the planet.
- In a statement to Brazilian fact-checking agency Lupa, Embrapa says it never published the data shared on social media.
It is wrong that melting icebergs will not affect global sea level
False declaration: Posts shared on social media show that ice cubes melting in a measuring cup filled with water do not raise the level of the liquid, which would prove that the same is true for the melting of icebergs and the level of the sea.
- A study published in 2010 by the University of Leeds shows that because seawater is warmer and saltier than floating ice, changes in the amount of this ice have an effect on global sea level.
- A 2019 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps lost around 400 billion tonnes of mass per year over the previous decade. 2015, which corresponds to a sea level rise of about 1.2 millimeters each year. .
- The IPCC report also states that compared to the 1980-2000 period, seas will rise almost half a meter by 2100 if the Earth warms 2 ° C above pre-industrial levels.
Climate change is not a ploy for communism
False declaration: One of the most popular climate change conspiracy theories on social media is that it is linked to a hoax promoted by left-wing groups in order to weaken capitalism.
According to these theories, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the global left adopted environmentalism as its new religion, in an attempt to force deindustrialization of the Western world.
- Since the end of the 19th century, the global average temperature of the Earth has risen by about 1.18 ° C, largely due to the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere caused by human activities.
- According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), since 1993, global sea level has risen at an accelerating rate of about 3.5 millimeters per year.
- In a report released last August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the observed changes in the climate have been “unprecedented” for thousands of years and, in some cases, will be “Irreversible” over hundreds or even thousands of years.
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