Climate change is the defining issue of our time, and we are now facing a defining moment. The global impacts of climate change are wide-ranging and unprecedented in scale, from changing weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic floods, Adapting to these impacts will be more difficult and costly in the future if drastic action is not taken now.
Human footprint on climate and greenhouse gases
Naturally occurring greenhouse gases are essential to the survival of humans and millions of other organisms by preserving part of the sun’s warmth and reflecting it back into space to make Earth livable. But after more than a century and a half of industrialization, deforestation, and large-scale agriculture, amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have risen to record levels not seen in three million years. As economies and living standards of the population grow, the level of accumulation of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) is also rising. The same applies to the cumulative level of greenhouse gases (GHG emissions.)
There are some well-established basic scientific connections:
There is a direct relationship between the concentration of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere and the average global temperatures on Earth;
The concentration of gases has been steadily increasing along with global temperatures since the era of the industrial revolution.
Burning fossil fuels results in abundant greenhouse gases, and carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for about two-thirds of greenhouse gases.