In this essay on global warming causes, you will learn the various factors that are contributing to this change in our climate and what steps we as individuals can take to help mitigate its effects.
1) Global Warming is Caused by Human Activity
Human activity — emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols — are causing global warming. The primary greenhouse gas that causes climate change is carbon dioxide, which is released by burning fossil fuels for energy. There are also natural greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere, such as methane and nitrous oxide, that contribute to global warming. Humans have increased concentrations of these gases since pre-industrial times by more than 100 percent.
2) Greenhouse Gases
Human activities are increasing greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere, trapping more heat and causing global warming. The main greenhouse gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. Although human activities have increased all of these gases over recent decades, carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel use is by far the largest contributor to global warming. In 2009 CO2 accounted for 85 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions.
3) Fossil Fuels
One of global warming’s worst consequences is deforestation. When rainforests are cut down, they release huge amounts of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. The United Nations estimates that deforestation currently accounts for one-fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions every year. By planting more trees and recycling paper products, we can minimize emissions and keep our planet healthy.
Deforestation may be causing more global warming than all other man-made sources combined. When trees are removed, much of their carbon is released into the atmosphere in several ways: burned by loggers, converted to sawdust and woodchips (which eventually decompose), or left to decay. In addition, most of Earth’s terrestrial plants grow in soil; when they die and decompose, they release carbon that had been trapped underground for millions of years.
5) Food Production
If you’re looking for a cause, start with agriculture. While not all farming practices are destructive (in fact, sustainable or organic farming is much better for our planet), one of our biggest causes of global warming is raising livestock and producing crops such as corn to feed them.
6) Overall Effect
Global warming is a serious problem and an important one. There are many ways in which human activities are causing this problem; carbon emissions from cars and industrial facilities, deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, fishing nets in the seas near certain locations, and so on. Weather patterns are affected by global warming because warmer temperatures allow moisture from the atmosphere to be more moisture available for the development of tropical diseases, such as droughts and floods.
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