Virtually all climate scientists agree that the Earth is warming. But there is disagreement over exactly why. Many think the rising temperatures are caused by human activity — specifically burning fuel and releasing carbon into the atmosphere. Others argue that the climate runs on a natural cycle. Both can point to historical evidence to support their claims.
But what's past is past. The big question is, what happens next? Three scientists have developed a test to see which theory holds more water, and have placed a $10,000 bet on the outcome!
British scientist Dr. James Annan believes that human activity is the main driver of climate change, and since that activity is not likely to change much in the next 10 years or so, temperatures will keep going up. But two Russian solar physicists, Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev, believe that Earth's climate is driven by solar activity. And that activity is due to fall off over the near future. They expect global temperatures to fall.
The two sides have agreed to compare temperatures from the last few years to temperatures they will record from 2012 to 2017. Whoever is right will win the $10,000.
While bets are fun, they aren't science. Only experiments and observations will answer the question of why the Earth is getting warmer, and what — if anything — we can do about it.