Global warming is the slow increase in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere because an increased amount of the energy (heat) striking the earth from the sun is being trapped in the atmosphere and not radiated out into space.
The earth’s atmosphere has always acted like a greenhouse to capture the sun’s heat, ensuring that the earth has enjoyed temperatures that permitted the emergence of life forms as we know them, including humans.
Without our atmospheric greenhouse the earth would be very cold. Global warming, however, is the equivalent of a greenhouse with high efficiency reflective glass installed the wrong way around.Ionically, the best evidence of this may come from a terrible cooling event that took place some 1,500 years ago. Two massive volcanic eruptions, one year after another placed so much black dust into the upper atmosphere that little sunlight could penetrate. Temperatures plummeted. Crops failed. People died of starvation and the Black Death started its march. As the dust slowly fell to earth, the sun was again able to warn the world and life returned to normal.Today, we have the opposite problem. Today, the problem is not that too little sun warmth is reaching the earth, but that too much is being trapped in our atmosphere.
So much heat is being kept inside greenhouse earth that the temperature of the earth is going up faster than at any previous time in history. NASA provides an excellent course module on the science of global warming.
What Causes Global Warming?
There are three positions on global warming: (1) that global warming is not occurring and so neither is climate change; (2) that global warming and climate change are occurring, but these are natural, cyclic events unrelated to human activity; and (3) that global warming is occurring as a result primarily of human activity and so climate change is also the result of human activity.The claim that nothing is happening is very hard to defend in the face or masses of visual, land-based and satellite data that clearly shows rising average sea and land temperatures and shrinking ice masses.The claim that the observed global warming is natural or at least not the result of human carbon emissions (see Climate Skeptics below) focuses on data that shows that world temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels have been equally high or higher in the past. They also point to the well understood effects of solar activity on the amount of radiation striking the earth and the fact that in recent times the sun has been particularly active.
- Greenhouse Gases Are the Main Reasons for Global Warming. …
- Cause #1: Variations in the Sun’s Intensity. …
- Cause #2: Industrial Activity. …
- Cause #3: Agricultural Activity. …
- Cause #4: Deforestation. …
- Cause #5: Earth’s Own Feedback Loop.
The evidence is clear: the main cause of climate change is burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal. When burnt, fossil fuels release carbon dioxide into the air, causing the planet to heat up.
How to stop global warming ?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to stopping or slowing global warming, and each individual, business, municipal, state, tribal, and federal entity must weigh their options in light of their own unique set of circumstances. Experts say it is likely many strategies working together will be needed. Generally speaking, here are some examples of mitigation strategies we can use to slow or stop the human-caused global warming :
- Where possible, we can switch to renewable sources of energy (such as solar and wind energy) to power our homes and buildings, thus emitting far less heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere.
- Where feasible, we can drive electric vehicles instead of those that burn fossil fuels; or we can use mass transit instead of driving our own cars.
- Where affordable, we can conserve energy by better insulating our homes and buildings, and by replacing old, failing appliances with more energy-efficient models.
- Where practicable, we can counterbalance our annual carbon dioxide emissions by investing in commercial services that draw down an equal amount of carbon out of the atmosphere, such as through planting trees or carbon capture and storage techniques.
- Where practical, we can support more local businesses that use and promote sustainable, climate-smart practices such as those listed above.
- We can consider placing an upper limit on the amount of carbon dioxide we will allow ourselves to emit into the atmosphere within a given timeframe.