I am a scientist. I study the climate system. I often use these words to introduce myself. Every now and then, this evokes a simple question: Could you tell me what the weather is like tomorrow? Yes, I can; I do sometimes check the weather forecast and can tell you. At other times, I get the other question. Do you believe in climate change?
I wonder whether other people are asked such questions. Are astronomers asked whether they believe in Mars. Are physicist constantly asked: Do you believe in gravity? Climate change is not a religion. Asking whether someone believes in God is a valid question, as nobody has ever proven that God exists or does not exist. But climate change? The increase in global mean temperatures has been measured. We can observe the increase in hot temperature extremes. Satellite show that snow cover in the northern hemisphere has decreased.
A very different question is: Is climate change due to the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations? Are we responsible for climate change? This question is one that we can answer. You will find out how in our article ‘Are we responsible for climate change?’.