It has been suggested that this article be merged into Climate change denial. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2023.

The list of global warming controversies (or climate change debates) concerns past or present public debates over certain aspects of climate change: whether it is occurring (climate change deniers dispute this), how much has occurred in modern times, what has caused it (attribution of climate change), what its effects will be, whether action should be taken to curb it now or later, and so forth. In the scientific literature, there is a very strong consensus that global surface temperatures have increased in recent decades and that the trend is caused by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases.[1]

The controversies are, by now, mostly political rather than scientific: there is a scientific consensus that global warming is happening and is caused by human activity.[2] Public debates that also reflect scientific debate include estimates of how responsive the climate system might be to any given level of greenhouse gases (climate sensitivity). Disputes over the key scientific facts of global warming are more prevalent in the media than in the scientific literature, where such issues are treated as resolved, and such disputes are more prevalent in the United States and Australia than globally.[3][4][5]

Debates around details in the science

There have been many debates around the details of climate change science. Climate change deniers tend to trump up any scientific discussions that match with their agenda.[citation needed] But many of the apparent discrepancies have been reconciled in the meantime, for example climate models have become more accurate, the scientific consensus on climate change has strengthened and so forth. For past debates and controversies on scientific details see for example:

The IPCC assessment reports, like the most recent IPCC Sixth Assessment Report summarise the state of the art of climate science at the time. There have been some debates over the processes used by the IPCC, see Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change#Challenges and controversies.

Debates over most effective response to warming

See also: Politics of climate change

There have been debates on the best responses to slow global warming, and their timing. The debates are around the specific actions for climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation, or climate action in general. See for example:

See also


  1. ^ "'Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis.' IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group I, Summary for Policymakers. 'The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.'" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 October 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Scientific consensus: Earth's climate is warming". Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  3. ^ Stoddard, Isak; Anderson, Kevin; Capstick, Stuart; Carton, Wim; Depledge, Joanna; Facer, Keri; Gough, Clair; Hache, Frederic; Hoolohan, Claire; Hultman, Martin; Hällström, Niclas; Kartha, Sivan; Klinsky, Sonja; Kuchler, Magdalena; Lövbrand, Eva; Nasiritousi, Naghmeh; Newell, Peter; Peters, Glen P.; Sokona, Youba; Stirling, Andy; Stilwell, Matthew; Spash, Clive L.; Williams, Mariama; et al. (18 October 2021). "Three Decades of Climate Mitigation: Why Haven't We Bent the Global Emissions Curve?". Annual Review of Environment and Resources. 46 (1): 653–689. doi:10.1146/annurev-environ-012220-011104. hdl:1983/93c742bc-4895-42ac-be81-535f36c5039d. ISSN 1543-5938. S2CID 233815004. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  4. ^ Boykoff, M.; Boykoff, J. (July 2004). "Balance as bias: global warming and the US prestige press" (PDF). Global Environmental Change Part A. 14 (2): 125–136. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2003.10.001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 November 2015.
  5. ^ Oreskes, Naomi; Conway, Erik (2010). Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (first ed.). Bloomsbury Press. ISBN 978-1-59691-610-4.