This week you studied air pollution and the efforts to try and reduce the amounts of air pollution in specific countries. The discussion this week follows a similar path and poses a question regarding global warming.
Most climate experts believe that the Earth is currently experiencing global warming. Your textbook discusses efforts to model how global warming might affect surface temperatures between now and the year 2100. Most models suggest that the Earth’s mean surface temperature will increase between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees Centigrade by the end of the 21st century. This large range of possible surface temperature increases results from an inadequate understanding of the Earth’s climatic system and uncertainties in the data that were entered into the models. Despite allowances for errors in the climate models, critics of claims for global warming still believe that the quality of the climatic data is greatly overestimated and that no reliable conclusions about future surface temperature trends can be made at this time.