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Why is C wrong?
 Jeremy Press
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Hi Sarah,

In short, C is wrong because, while it's supportable from the passage, it's too narrow to be the main point. Answer choice C is primarily summarizing the second paragraph of the passage, which documents the difference between observed temperatures and what greenhouse theory originally predicted.

One of the things the main point needs to include here is a statement about the author's position on the causal explanation for global warming. The final sentence of the passage nicely sums up the author's position: "changes in the earth's atmosphere have raised its equilibrium temperature, and ... greenhouse gases represent the best explanation of that shift." That "best explanation" position is missing from answer choice C, which merely states that temperature has been "rising in a way that is consistent with the greenhouse theory." Being consistent with a theory is not quite strong enough to capture the causal implication of the last sentence of the passage (that greenhouse gases are causing global warming). Answer choice D better captures that by stating that "the greenhouse effect is a major cause of this warming trend."

I hope this helps!

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I was a bit thrown off by D because it says "major cause." while the last sentence of the passage says "best explanation."
Could someone please explain why "major cause" does not make the answer incorrect?
Thank you! :)
 Rachael Wilkenfeld
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Hi appletree,

As used here, the term "explanation" is the same as "cause." The best reason/cause/explanation is essentially the same as saying a "major" cause. In both cases, you are referencing the main mechanism that you think is causing an effect. The main cause of global warming is greenhouse gases is essentially the same as the best explanation for global warming is greenhouse gases. Remember here that we aren't looking for an answer choice that uses the exact same language as the passage, but one that contains logically equivalent descriptions of the main point.

Hope that helps!

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