The mystery of how the earth remains warm enough to sustain life is one that puzzled scientists for hundreds of years. Then during the nineteenth century, a French scientist developed a theory about how the planet was heated, and the mystery was solved.
Scientists learn about climate and how it has changed by studying climates of the past. By analyzing changes that have occurred in the earth's temperature over time, scientists can gain a better understanding of global warming, and make determinations about its possible causes.
Scientists know that the earth is warming and most of them acknowledge that it has warmed about one degree in the past hundred years. What many of them find alarming is how quickly that change has occurred.
Whether global warming is caused by nature, by humans, or a combination of both, there are visible changes to the planet because of it. Since the 1980s, when scientists first became concerned about global warming, they have observed shifts in weather, as well as alterations in the earth's oceans, massive ice formations, plants, and wildlife—and to some extent, all have been attributed to a planet that is becoming warmer.
One of the main points of contention among scientists is what will happen to the planet as a result of global warming. Some believe that the earth will actually benefit if the climate continues to grow warmer.
Although most scientists agree that humans have in some way influenced climate change, whether humans should try to stop global warming is one of the most hotly debated topics in the scientific world. In fact, of all the points about which scientists disagree on the global warming issue, a possible solution seems to spark the fiercest debate.