What causes climate change?

There are many factors that cause the Earth’s temperature to change. The Earth’s distance from the sun can change, the radiation emitted from the sun can change, volcanoes can erupt and release lots of heat, the oceans can change, and human activity can release greenhouse gases which warm the atmosphere. Human activity is currently the predominant cause of climate change. People use energy for many activities – driving cars, heating homes, and making new things – and lots of this energy comes from burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuels release carbon dioxide when they burn, a potent greenhouse gas which traps heat in our atmosphere, and this has caused the global average temperatures to rapidly rise since the industrial revolution. Other human activities are also causing an increase in greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. People are chopping down forests which usually sequester (take up) carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. People are also raising more and more animals (like cattle) for meat and dairy which releases large amounts of methane (an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide) into our atmosphere. Scientists believe human-produced greenhouse gases are the predominant reason for our climate heating up and this will severely affect the world in the next 100 years. The ice caps will continue to melt and sea levels will continue to rise, some places may get hotter while others get colder, rainfall patterns may change, and storms may become more frequent and intense. As the climate crisis intensifies, there are various projections for how the average global temperature will change depending on whether we limit our greenhouse gas emissions. 

source: noaa


Source: BBC