For the past few hundred thousand years the amount of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere have been at natural and comfortable life sustaining levels. But in just the last one hundred or so years, since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the levels of greenhouse gases, in particular carbon dioxide, have gone through the roof. Global warming can, and will, if not stopped, have devastating effects on our planet; possibilities include rising temperatures, droughts, mass extinctions and much more. Humans are having a strong, negative, impact on the environment. The “greenhouse effect” is the most prominent cause for the rise of global temperatures.
Global warming is a major threat to the planet. It is agreed that humans have caused most of the past century's warming by releasing greenhouse gasses, as we power our electronic lives. The “greenhouse effect” is performed when the gasses let out into Earth’s atmosphere trap heat from the sun. Through the burning of fossil fuels, humans are enhancing the greenhouse effect and increasing the temperatures of the planet. Although the greenhouse effect is what keeps the planet warm, thereby supporting life, too much would also result in severe issues.
Global warming will change the Earth in unimaginable ways. With the ever increasing amount of Greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere, glaciers are now melting rapidly causing sea level to rise. The coastal changes will be sure to change our living environment over the next few hundred years. Global Warming is a phenomenon in which the temperature on the Earth increases. Over history we see natural stages in our Earth’s climate between warm and cold periods because of increased Carbon Dioxide.
Climate Change and Business as Usual Scientists have shown that over the past 150 years, since the start of the Industrial Revolution, human activities have been a substantial contributing factor to climate change. Emissions from carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping gases, also referred to as greenhouse gases, have increased the greenhouse effect that causes the atmosphere to retain heat. This in turn has caused the earth’s surface temperature to rise. This is known as climate change, and the primary human activity causing it is the burning of fossil fuels. Although CO2 is absorbed and emitted naturally through animal and plant respiration, volcanic eruptions, and ocean-atmosphere exchange, atmospheric CO2 emissions have increased nearly 40% from pre-industrial times.
CO2 levels would naturally rise as the Earth warms up. However, over the past 200 years, humans have contributed to CO2 levels rising dramatically, way above even the highest historical levels, and this has hastened global warming. Lutgens and Tarbuck (2014) explain that the Earth’s atmosphere greatly influences its surface temperature and its life-giving environment. The major components of the atmosphere are nitrogen and oxygen, composing about 99% of the atmosphere. The next major component is carbon dioxide (CO2).
This flux in temperature is affected by multiple factors making it hard to determine the true source of problem. Evidence supports that the earth's warming is natural; however, some data indicates that the warming trend has increased due to human activity. Global Warming due to Human Activity Every day human activity has negative effects on the environment. The burning of fossil fuels has released large concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Developing countries such as China and developed countries such as the United States (US) are consuming more fossil fuel, thus releasing more CO2 from their admissions (Vital Signs 42).
Mounting evidence is saying that humans are to blame for the rise in temperatures over the past 120 years. When we burn fossil fuel, oil, gasoline, and natural gas to run power plants, cars, and heat homes, we produce carbon dioxide. An increase in carbon dioxide magnifies the greenhouse effect. All this energy accounts for 80% of society’s carbon dioxide emissions, 25% of methane emissions, and 20% of nitrous oxide emissions. In 1994, the U.S. emitted one fifth of all the greenhouse gases in the earth.
The year, is 1800 all 196 countries have been holding a steady CO2 level for thousands upon thousands years (Ossfindation.USS). The earth should be cooling right now because that would be it’s “natural cycle” since the earth was in its warming period 10,000 years ago and now it needs to be in a slight cooling period (Nasa). However something happened in the the 1800’s that changed everything. Instead of the earth being in its “cooling period”, it is now in its “warming period” (Nasa). The reason why is what many scientists call global warming, a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth 's atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide and other pollutants (Oxford Dictionary).
These synthetic gases accumulate to the already natural gases and increase the amount of heat that gets trapped in the atmosphere (Simon et al., 2007). Some sources indicate that humans have been increasing to the rise in carbon dioxide and methane levels as well (Stanford Solar Center, 2008). The Stanford Solar Center (2008) also notes that the increase in carbon dioxide levels is due to the burning of fossil fuels and the change in land usage, while methane level increases are a result of agriculture. Within the last decade are concerns about global warming have heightened and with good reason. The rate at which the earth is warming is what is so alarming, since it can have such a profound negative impact on the ecosystem.
Have been rising. As a result, more heat is being trapped than previously, which in turn is causing the global temperature to rise. Climate scientists have linked the increased levels of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere to human activities, in particular the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas for heating and electricity; gasoline for transportation) deforestation, cattle ranching, and rice farming. Scientists still cannot predict the exact impact on the earth's climate of these rising levels of heat-trapping gases over the next century. But there is striking agreement among most climate scientists about what is likely to occur.