Over the last century the mining and practice of burning fossil fuels like coal and oil has increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). This transformation is occurring because the coal or oil burning process combines carbon with oxygen in the air to make CO2.
The massive amount of clearing land for agriculture, industry, and other human activities have contributed, greatly, to the increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere. NASA states "there's a better than 95 percent probability that human-produced greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have caused much of the observed increase in Earth's temperatures."
Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) of the U.S. has said that "the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas for electricity, heat, and transportation is the primary source of human-generated emissions."
A second major cause is deforestation. Deforestation releases the appropriated carbon into the air. It's estimated that logging, clear-cutting, fires, and other forms of forest degradation contribute up to 20 percent of global carbon emissions.
Other human activities that generate air pollution include fertilizer use (a primary source of nitrous oxide emissions), livestock production (cattle, buffalo, sheep, and goats are major methane emitters), and certain industrial processes that release fluorinated gases. Activities like agriculture and road construction can change the reflectivity of the earth's surface, leading to local warming or cooling, too.
Even though our planet's forests and oceans absorb some greenhouse gases from the atmosphere it can't keep up with our increasing emissions.
Even though our planet's forests and oceans absorb some greenhouse gases from the atmosphere it can't keep up with our increasing emissions. With these changes comes a transformation of global ecosystems, it affects everything from the places that we are able live up to the air we breathe.
The Climate Council is Australia's leading climate change communications organisation. The Council has revealed that "the excessive amount of greenhouse gases entering the Earth's atmosphere due to human activity is causing our climate to change dramatically."
Greenhouse gases act like an over-blanket in our atmosphere, entrapping some of the sun's heat close to the Earth's surface. However, since the Industrial Revolution (which began in the mid to late 1700s), greenhouse gases have built up to devastating levels.
These extra gasses trap more heat in the earth's atmosphere. The reason this change is occurring because people began to use coal, oil and gas, in conjunction with an increase in agriculture and tree-clearing (deforestation) and a massive increase in non-biodegradable waste (landfill). All these processes have been shown to produce greenhouse gases.
The most significant of all the greenhouse gases is Carbon Dioxide, followed by Methane. Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere have increased by more than 45% since the Industrial Revolution and are now the highest they have been for at least 800,000 years.
unless we make some extremely difficult decisions about our care of the planet there will be a very different future for our children, grandchildren and so on
You would have to be living under a toadstool not to see the effects of climate or have an attitude of "it doesn't exist", not to draw the conclusion that the planet is indeed in trouble and that unless we make some extremely difficult decisions about our care of the planet there will be a very different future for our children, grandchildren and so on.
The question must be asked "What are you going to do about instigating some meaningful decisions about your personal care of our planet?"