Average temperatures around the world have risen by 0.75°C (1.4°F) over the last 100 years about two thirds of this increase has occurred since 1975.1 2 In the past, when the Earth experienced increases in temperature it was the result of natural causes but today it is being caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere produced by human activities.3 The natural greenhouse effect maintains the Earth's temperature at a safe level making it possible for humans and many other lifeforms to exist.4 However, since the Industrial Revolution human activities have significantly enhanced the greenhouse effect causing the Earth's average temperature to rise by almost 1°C. To put this increase in perspective it is important to understand that during the last ice age, a period of massive climate change, the average temperature change around the globe was only about 5°C.5 6 A long series of scientific research and international studies has shown, with more than 90% certainty, that this increase in overall temperatures is due to the greenhouse gases produced by humans.7 Activities such as deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels are the main sources of these emissions.
These findings are recognized by the national science academies of all the major industrialized countries.8 Global warming is affecting many places around the world.
When forested land is cleared, soil disturbance and increased rates of decomposition in converted soils both create carbon dioxide emissions.17 This also increases soil erosion and nutrient leaching which can further reduces the area's ability to act as a carbon sink.
Global warming is damaging the Earth's climate as well as the physical environment.
However, when abnormally high levels of these gases accumulate in the air, more heat starts getting trapped and leads to the enhancement of the greenhouse effect.
Human-caused emissions have been increasing greenhouse levels which is raising worldwide temperatures and driving global warming.3 Greenhouse gases are produced both naturally and through human activities.
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This has a double effect on the atmosphere both emiting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and simultaneously reducing the number of trees that can remove carbon dioxide from the air.Perennial ice cover in the Arctic is melting at the rate of 11.5% per decade and the thickness of the Arctic ice has decreased by 48% since the 1960s.19 During the past 30 years, more than a million square miles of sea ice has vanished, an area equivalent to the size of Norway, Denmark and Sweden combined.20 The continent of Antarctica has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of ice per year since 2002.21 Since 2010, the Antarctic ice melt rate has doubled.22 The Earth's sea level has risen by 21 cm (8 inches) since 1880.23 The rate of rise is accelerating and is now at a pace that has not been seen for at least 5000 years.24 Global warming has caused this by affecting the oceans in two ways: warmer average temperatures cause ocean waters to expand (thermal expansion) and the accelerated melting of ice and glaciers increase the amount of water in the oceans.Tropical cyclone activity has seen an obvious upswing trend since the early 1970s.25 Interestingly, this matches directly with an observed rise in the oceans' temperature over the same period of time.Unfortunately, greenhouse gases generated by human activities are being added to the atmosphere at a much faster rate than any natural process can remove them.
Global levels of greenhouse gases have increased dramatically since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in the 1750s.7 Only a small group of human activities are causing the concentration of the main greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases) to rise: Deforestation has become a massive undertaking by humans and transforming forests into farms has a significant number of impacts as far as greenhouse gas emissions are concerned.
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