Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke February 16, 2021

No, NASA didn’t say human-caused climate change is a hoax

If Your Time is short

  • NASA did not say human-caused climate change is a hoax. 

Many pages on NASA’s website are dedicated to climate change: The causes of climate change, evidence of climate change, and information about scientific consensus among them. 

"The vast majority of actively publishing climate scientists — 97% — agree that humans are causing global warming and climate change," NASA notes on one such page titled "Do scientists agree on climate change?"

An image spreading on social media ignores this and wrongly asserts that "NASA admits that man-made climate change is a hoax!" 

"In 1958, NASA first observed that changes in the solar orbit of the earth, along with alterations to earth’s axial tilt, are both responsible for what climate scientists call ‘global warming.’ In no way, shape or form are humans warming the planet by using fossil fuels or eating beef."

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Featured Fact-check

Here is what NASA actually says about climate change. 

The earth’s climate has changed throughout history, and over 800,000 years, most of those changes are due to small variations in the Earth’s orbit, which affects how much solar energy the planet receives.

But today’s trends are not a result of just variations to Earth’s orbit. NASA says there’s a greater than 95% probability that most of the current warming trend is the result of human activity since the mid-20th century. Increased levels of so-called greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, cause the Earth to warm by blocking heat from escaping the atmosphere and radiating it back toward the Earth’s surface. 

Carbon dioxide can be released through, say, volcanic eruptions, but humans have also increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide by 47% since the Industrial Revolution started. Methane can likewise be produced through both natural sources and human activities, such as agriculture and livestock manure management.

"Human activities are changing the natural greenhouse," NASA says. "Over the last century the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil has increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). This happens because the coal or oil burning process combines carbon with oxygen in the air to make CO2. To a lesser extent, the clearing of land for agriculture, industry and other human activities has increased concentrations of greenhouse gases."

We rate this Instagram post False.


Our Sources

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Ciara O'Rourke

No, NASA didn’t say human-caused climate change is a hoax

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up