Conquer It

Writers often include a main claim that applies to the text as a whole. Recall the main claim from the article Climate change confirmed? Last year called the warmest on recordopens in new window and review the evidence and reasoning that the author uses to support this claim throughout the article.

Main Claim
The Earth’s temperature is warming over time. In other words, the Earth’s climate is changing.


  • Meanwhile, Antarctic sea ice — at the south of the planet — hit record highs in 2014.
  • But NASA and NOAA scientists said the new data clearly showed that there has been a steady rise in temperatures since the 1970s.
  • Tim Barnett, a marine physicist with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, said the evidence showed that warming had not paused since the late 1990s.
  • Until last year, the warmest years ever were 2005 and 2010. The global average for 2014 was higher than those years by 0.07 degree Fahrenheit, government scientists said.
  • Between 1880 and 1970, the global annual temperature increased at an average rate of 0.11 degree Fahrenheit per decade. Since then, it has increased by 0.28 degree Fahrenheit per decade, NOAA data show.


The author provides evidence to show a trend in global temperature rise over several decades. The author explains that looking at data over several decades provides a clearer picture of a trend in rising temperatures. Because scientists have been recording temperatures on Earth since 1880, we have enough data to make a reliable conclusion that “the planet is warming over the long term,” the Earth’s climate is changing.

Use information from the full article, as well as the claim, evidence and reasoning above to write an explanation about why climate change can now be confirmed. Be sure to reread as necessary and refer back to the text for additional information that may be used to support the claim and strengthen your explanation. You must paraphrase and/or reword statements from the text, as you organize ideas for an explanation written in your words.

Type or write your explanation, and submit a copy to your teacher. Remember to refer to the Writing Explanation Checklist to ensure that your writing is clear and effective.

Writing Explanation Checklist

  • Claim is clearly stated in the introduction.
  • Evidence and reasoning are included in the body to support the claim.
  • Transition words are used to connect ideas.
  • Domain-specific vocabulary is used when appropriate.
  • A formal writing style is applied with an objective tone.
  • The conclusion restates the claim.

*Visit Transition wordsopens in new window for a list of transition words and phrases that can help to connect ideas in your writing.