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FACT CHECK: Can Humans Change The Way Nature Behaves?

FACT CHECK: Can Humans Change The Way Nature Behaves?

A screenshot of a facebook comment was shared to us saying that climate has always changed on planet earth without human intervention and humans cannot change the way nature behaves.

Similar claims were traced on twitter shared by different people. 

What is nature?

According to the Oxford English dictionary and Collins dictionary, nature are all physical things not man made. 

These include animals, plants, the landscape and other features of the earth which are not human creations.

Human activities Vs Nature

Over the years, changes in climate have been recorded and these are mainly attributed to human activities done for recreation, living or necessity. Activities include deforestation, industrialisation, infrastructure development, agriculture, clearing land for settlement and transportation among others 

Through such activities, humans contribute to the way nature behaves. The National Geographic points out overpopulation, pollution, burning fossil fuels, and deforestation as some of the triggers of climate change and other environmental reactions. 

According to NASA, human activities such as burning of fossil fuels like coal and oils increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide which led to an increase in Earth’s global average temperature observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900).

“Human activities are estimated to have increased Earth’s global average temperature by about 1 degree Celsius, a number that is currently increasing by more than 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade,” NASA says.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that humans are putting an estimated 9.5 billion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year by burning fossil fuels, and another 1.5 billion through deforestation and other land cover changes. These emissions contain chlorine and bromine atoms which leads to the depletion of the ozone layer.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report (IPCC), says that the increase of Carbon Dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere over the industrial era is the principal driver of many changes in nature. 

Global warming, referred to as the long term heating of Earth’s surface, is a result of increased temperatures. It stresses the ecosystem resulting in environmental impacts such as change in weather patterns leading to prolonged droughts and heavy rainfalls which cause floods, invasion of pests, fire outbreaks among others as highlighted by the IPCC report


The claim is false. Scientists and environmental experts under the International Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations, the World Meteorological Organisations and other international and national climate change entities conclude that humans through their day to day activities contribute to the way nature behaves and this is evident by the current climate change impacts which are as a result of human activities interfering with nature.

This fact-check was produced by Debunk Media Initiative with support from Code for Africa’s PesaCheck, International Fact-Checking Network and African Fact-Checking Alliance network.


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