Is the earth’s climate getting hotter, changing? Is man responsible?

The Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change, in a report Sept. 27, says that man’s activities are at least half to blame for rising global temperatures. But it seems the Southeast doesn’t follow this global warming trend as closely, according to Florida’s climatologist David Zierden.

First, quick background on the IPCC and its reports: The IPCC is sponsored by the United Nations and includes hundreds of leading climate authorities from around the world. Since 1988, the group has issued reports, or assessments, every five to six years. “These reports are widely considered to be the most comprehensive and authoritative summary of current climate science,” Zierden says in a statement about the IPCC most-recent report.

IPCC believes it is extremely likely that human activity and greenhouse gases are responsible for more than half of the observed rise in global temperatures. What does “extremely likely” mean? It means the group has a confidence of 95 percent certainty on this, which is up from its 90 percent certainty from its 2007 report.

On average, the earth’s surface has warmed 1.5 degrees F since 1880. IPCC predicts global temps will rise much higher by 2100 if current human activity and greenhouse gases remain unchecked.