The BBC has rounded up the top ten climate-change denialist arguments with pithy, reasoned rebuttals. The Earth is getting hotter, it's our fault, and it's a problem. What we do about it is up for debate, but those three facts are as close to a scientific consensus as you can come.
3. THE EARTH HAS BEEN WARMER IN THE RECENT PAST
The beginning of the last Millennium saw a "Mediaeval Warm Period" when temperatures, certainly in Europe, were higher than they are now. Grapes grew in northern England. Ice-bound mountain passes opened in the Alps. The Arctic was warmer in the 1930s than it is today.
There have been many periods in Earth history that were warmer than today - if not the MWP, then maybe the last interglacial (125,000 years ago) or the Pliocene (three million years ago). Whether those variations were caused by solar forcing, the Earth's orbital wobbles or continental configurations, none of those causes apply today. Evidence for a Mediaeval Warm Period outside Europe is patchy at best, and is often not contemporary with the warmth in Europe. As the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) puts it: "The idea of a global or hemispheric Mediaeval Warm Period that was warmer than today has turned out to be incorrect". Additionally, although the Arctic was warmer in the 1930s than in the following few decades, it is now warmer still.
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