Why is the earth getting hotter?

From frigid ice ages to globe-spanning heat waves, Earth’s climate has been subject to natural changes throughout its long history. But in the last century or so, temperatures have risen so quickly and consistently that scientists are now certain the causes aren’t natural. Why is it happening? Humans burn fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) to power their homes, cars, planes, and factories. This creates carbon dioxide, which occurs naturally in the atmosphere (animals exhale carbon dioxide, and plants need it for photosynthesis). A so-called greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere. Human activity is adding so much extra carbon dioxide to the atmosphere that it’s causing an artificial climate change – a rapid rise in temperatures across the globe. The decade of 2001-2010 was the warmest ever recorded worldwide.

The rise in global temperatures will cause more than some hot summers. Effects of climate change include:

1. The melting of glaciers and ice caps, resulting in catastrophic sea-level rises. Low-lying cities and coastal areas will flood.

2. An increase in the instances and unpredictability of ‘’extreme weather,’’ such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

3. Longer dry seasons and droughts that will wipe out crops, leading to starvation.

The side effects of climate change will only lessen if humans switch to alternate energy sources (such as solar power), reducing their carbon footprint.


Picture Credit : Google