One of our contrarian pals made a big deal out of this Judge asking these question, insinuating that perhaps they were unanswerable.
But alas, the answers are rather straight-forward and clearly understood by those who know how to honesty assess the full spectrum of evidence.
What caused ice ages to begin and end, and when the ice melted how much did the seas rise? What's the molecular reason that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, unlike oxygen and nitrogen? How is it that trapped infrared radiation is turned into heat and finds its way back to sea level? Does the CO2 reflect some of the sunshine back into space so it never warms the surface in the first place? What happens to all our direct heat—from cars, radiators, furnaces? Is this part of the problem? In school we learned that humans exhale CO2 but plants absorb it and exhale oxygen. True? And why haven't plants solved the CO2 buildup for us; and is our growing population's breathing part of the problem? Where does most of the CO2 buildup in the atmosphere come from? Where does most of the heat buildup come from?
8 Answers to the Judge’s Climate Change Questions in Cities vs. Fossil Fuels Case BY JOHN H. CUSHMAN JR. - March 20, 2018 - InsideClimateNews.org San Francisco and Oakland want to hold fossil fuel companies liable for sea level rise costs. In an unusual move, the judge ordered a climate tutorial for the court. In this case, the cities of San Francisco and Oakland are trying to hold five major fossil fuel producers liable for the costs of protecting their coastal areas from rising seas, saying the companies knew long ago that burning hydrocarbons would warm the planet and melt the ice caps. For whatever reason, the judge decided to ponder the science in a mock classroom, rather than simply let the advocates for both sides spell it out in briefs. And to kick-start the discussion, ( http://blogs2.law.columbia.edu/climate-change-litigation/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/case-documents/2018/20180306_docket-317-cv-06011_order.pdf ) he issued a quirky set of preliminary questions. It would have been pretty easy for him to look up the answers, in the works of learned societies, federal inter-agency committees, and the authoritative United Nations climate change panel. http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/events/a-discussion-on-climate-change-evidence-and-causes/ https://science2017.globalchange.gov/ http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf Scientists quickly circulated their own answers, like these on Twitter] and these] in a lengthy, crowd-sourced posting. NASA Jet Propulsion Lab earth scientist Alex Gardner's talk in the video above provides another overview of ice sheets, climate change and sea level rise. https://youtu.be/ZJYs8L84L4s?t=4m26s Here's a quick, simple, plain English rundown of answers, https://insideclimatenews.org/news/20032018/judge-questions-climate-change-answers-fossil-fuels-lawsuit-california-cities-sea-level-rise-global-warming