Global Warming

Causes

Global warming is caused by emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases that are released primarily from the human actions of burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil used for heating, electricity, and transportation), the clearing of forests, and natural processes. These gases remain in our atmosphere for decades or even centuries, forming a warming blanket that holds in heat. The scientific consensus is that recent human activity is overloading the atmosphere with heat-trapping gases from vehicles, factories and power plants.

John Holdren’s “Climate-Change Science and Policy: What Do We Know? What Should We Do” presentation

Effects

With continued warming, climate scientists predict that the earth will experience more extreme heat and drought, rising sea levels, and higher-intensity tropical storms. Global warming is already affecting human health and welfare by stressing food production systems and crop yields, impacting fisheries and tourism with rising water temperatures and the loss of biodiversity, and displacing families from natural disasters.

Although we’ve gone too far to avoid all the consequences of global warming, committing ourselves to action today can help ensure our children and grandchildren will still inherit a healthy world full of opportunity.

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