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Since 1850, the average global temperature has risen by approximately 0.76 degrees Celcius (1.37 degrees F). This is often accompanied with the words "..since the start of the Industrial Revolution", suggesting that the rise is completely to blame on man polluting the atmosphere with his exhaust fumes and industrial waste.

But there are other factors, too. To begin with, there are considerable differences in what and where you are measuring. The North Pole area for instance is warming up much more than the South Pole area, which in places is even getting colder . Land areas are warming up more than ocean areas. Other factors also play a part: until not so long before 1850 we had experienced what is now called a 'minor ice age', so part of the rise - certainly until the first half of the 20th century - could be considered a 'bounce back to normal'. Plus, warm periods and ice ages have always been a fixture of world climate even when man was still living in trees.

Then there has been the effect of El Niño, which alone has accounted for climate change in big parts of the world. And figures become more or less dramatic depending on which period of time you use. It can be doubted if former vice President Al Gore would today still get that Nobel Prize for his way of computing the figures.

Today, the ongoing battle between 'alarmists' and 'sceptics' has everything to do with how you choose to use the ocean of figures, time frames to choose from and the many factors (including man) that play or may play a role in climate change.

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7y ago
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7y ago

It's gone up by about 2 degrees.

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Q: How much has world temperatures risen since 1850?
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