If you’re plugged into the climate-change debate, you know:

  1. Most scientists agree that global warming is primarily man-made.
  2. A skeptical minority blames Mother Nature’s normal cycles.

In truth, both sides agree on several core ideas, according to the Dec. 22 issue of Chemical & Engineering News:

  • The Earth’s atmospheric load of carbon dioxide has increased since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution (late 1700s).
  • This increase largely results from the burning of coal and other fossil fuels.
  • Average global temperatures have been rising since 1850, with most of the warming occurring since 1970.

“But here is where the cordial agreements stop,” writes Senior Editor Stephen K. Ritter. “At the heart of the global warming debate is whether warming is directly the result of increasing anthropogenic [man-made] CO2 levels, or if it is simply part of Earth’s natural climatic variation.”

Click here to read the full article, which presents both sides of the increasingly contentious issue.

For Your Organic Bookshelf: Global Warming: The Complete Briefing