Articles making the rounds on social media this month incorrectly claim NASA scientists said climate change is largely a result of the Earth’s axis and tilt and unrelated to human activity, according to the Associated Press.
Actually, NASA scientists said climate change can almost entirely be attributed to people, the AP said. The organization’s web page states the rise in temperatures is “extremely likely to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century.”
NASA research scientist Kate Marvel told the AP that scientists believe global warming could be caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Humans have “emitted a lot of” the gas, she said.
The theory of Milankovitch cycles, orbital shifts that affect the Earth’s climate over a long period of time, is posted on NASA’s website along with other climate change factors, the AP said.
NASA chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt told the AP that the shifts have not been a major factor in global climate change over the past 150 years.
The orbital shifts can affect the Earth’s climate “over thousands of years and are not responsible for the relatively rapid changes we’ve witnessed,” Marvel said.
The articles began appearing following demonstrations and a United Nations summit concerning climate change, the AP said.