Less than half of Americans think climate change is caused by humans, but scientists are sure about it. So, how do they know that humans are to blame? We also look into the climate change crystal ball to figure out are we doomed? Is the apocalypse nigh? We speak to Prof. Ralph Keeling, Prof. Chris Field, and Dr. David Pierce to find out.

UPDATE 12/10/20: An earlier version of this episode incorrectly said that Svante Arrhenius came up with the idea that rising carbon dioxide levels could warm the planet. Scientists including Eunice Newton Foote had this idea before Arrhenius. The episode has been updated.


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Credits:

This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Dr Diane Wu, Shruti Ravindran, and Heather Rogers. Senior Producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Production assistance from Ben Kuebrich. We’re edited by Annie Rose Strasser. And a big thanks to Eric Mennel, Pat Walters, Caitlin Kenney and Alex Blumberg. Fact Checking by Michelle Harris and Ben Kuebrich. Sound engineering, music production and original scoring by Bobby Lord. Even more thanks to Dr Alexander Robel, Dr. Ted Scambos, Dr Pieter Tans, Prof. Jason Box, Ass. Prof. Martha Buckley, Assoc Prof. Zanna Chase, Sarah Shackleton, and Stevie Lane.

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Selected References:David Keeling on his life’s work: “I too pondered the significance of returning a half a billion years’ accumulation of carbon to the air”.National Academy of Sciences Report on Climate Change in 1983National Academy of Science Report on Climate Change in 2014EPA Report: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and SinksIPCC Evaluation of Climate Models