What Causes Global Warming

The Earth’s climate is affected by several factors. Among them are variations in orbit (orbital forcing), volcanic eruptions, changes in solar luminosity, and levels of greenhouse gasses present in the atmosphere. Most scientific groups agree that the ever growing threat of global warming can be attributed to excess greenhouse gas emissions. There are a few different sources of greenhouse gasses on Earth.

Several human activities are believed to be the main proponents of excess greenhouse gas emissions, and subsequent proponents of global warming. Industrial processes and fuel burning along with day to day human energy consumption all promote the emissions of more greenhouse gasses, which essentially cause heat to be trapped inside the Earth’s atmosphere that over time will increase the Earth’s temperature.

It’s important to remember that many greenhouse gasses actually occur naturally, and are in fact necessary in order to sustain a livable temperature on Earth. If we didn’t have them trapping heat in the atmosphere, that heat would all escape into space and the temperature levels on Earth would drop by as much as 30 degrees Celsius, which would severely damage our ecosystem. However, at the other end of the spectrum, an excess of greenhouse gas emissions could retain too much heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing temperatures to rise and create an unlivable condition worldwide. Some possible consequences of increased temperatures include significant lengthening of seasons and coastal flooding, as well as more frequent storms and severe weather conditions.

Many day to day tasks perpetuate greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to global warming. Driving motor vehicles, using electricity generated from non-renewable energy sources (which is where the vast majority of power in the United States comes from), and heating your home by burning natural gas or oil are all common contributors.

Throughout the 150 years of the industrial age, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by 31%. Similarly, the level of atmospheric methane has risen 151%, mostly due to agricultural activities such as raising livestock and growing rice.

Though the imminence and even the concept of global warming have been subject to some debate, most scientific societies are in agreement that the threat of global warming is without a doubt a reality, and counteractive measures should be taken immediately to reverse the process. Many public and private groups have spoken out against global warming and have taken steps to raise awareness and lower the overall amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.