Fossil fuel drilling could be contributing to climate change by heating Earth from within
Almost all scientists agree that burning fossil fuels is contributing to climate change. But agreement is less clear cut on how exactly it’s influencing rising global temperatures.
The world is now 1°C warmer than it was in pre-industrial times. Is this solely down to emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2? Meteorologist Hubert Lamb, regarded as the father of modern climatology, argued that CO2 levels alone couldn’t account for all of the global warming that’s been observed.
His attention turned instead to the role of thermal emissions. Burning fossil fuels doesn’t just produce greenhouse gases, it also generates a lot of heat, which leaks out to the atmosphere. Nuclear tests and volcanic eruptions are some examples of other large heat sources.