|Summary (Max 280 characters)||From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale.|
The Human Fingerprint on Greenhouse Gases
Greenhouse gases occur naturally and are essential to the survival of humans and millions of other living things, by keeping some of the sun’s warmth from reflecting back into space and making Earth livable. But after more than a century and a half of industrialization, deforestation, and large scale agriculture, quantities of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have risen to record levels not seen in three million years. As populations, economies and standards of living grow, so does the cumulative level of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions.
There are some basic well-established scientific links:
- The concentration of GHGs in the earth’s atmosphere is directly linked to the average global temperature on Earth;
- The concentration has been rising steadily, and mean global temperatures along with it, since the time of the Industrial Revolution;
- The most abundant GHG, accounting for about two-thirds of GHGs, carbon dioxide (CO2), is largely the product of burning fossil fuels.