What Caused Global Warming

For years, scientists and climate activists have pointed to human-induced global warming as a cause of climate change. But, despite ample evidence of a human connection to climate change, one of the key questions remains: what has specifically caused global warming?

Since the 1980s, global temperatures have risen almost 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, and the ten warmest years on record all occurred since 1998. In terms of cause, scientists have found that climate change is largely driven by the combustion of fossils, which produces the heat-trapping greenhouse gases that accumulate in the atmosphere. Over the last 50 years, humankind’s burning of coal, oil and gas, as well as its activity in other industries including cement production and agriculture, has caused a rapid increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrouscaps, CFCs and other gases in the atmosphere.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that current levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are now at their highest for the past 800 thousand years, a significant increase compared to pre-industrial times. As a result, the average global temperature has increased by approximately 1 degree Celsius, and is expected to rise by an additional 3 – 6 degrees by the end of this century. This warming trend is further exacerbated by the fact that the natural carbon cycle is no longer able to adequately absorb the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, leading to a buildup of climate-altering pollutants.

In fact, human-induced climate change is now considered to be the dominant cause of global warming and temperature increases since the 1970s. Between 2014 and 2016 alone, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased by more than 4 parts per million, the most significant long-term increase over the last 2 centuries. To prevent irreparable harm to the planet, countries must now make concerted efforts to reduce their emissions and put an end to the continued warming of the atmosphere.

These efforts to reduce emissions has had tangible results. Last year, for example, wind and solar power provided more energy for the world than new fossil fuel sources. Solar energy alone increased by 30%, leading to a record amount of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Such progress reflects the very real financial and environmental incentives available to countries as an incentive to transition away from fossil fuels.

So while the cause of global warming is clear, the path forward is not. Governments, organisations and individuals must now take the necessary steps to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions are brought down to manageable levels, to preserve our planet’s future. With this in mind, global leaders must step up to implement the ambitious targets and policies needed to lower emissions and soon, if we are to preserve our climate for future generations.

Ernestine Warren is a passionate environmentalist, author, and advocate for the protection of the Earth's precious resources. She has written extensively on the causes and effects of global warming, providing accurate information to help educate people on how to combat this major global problem. With a background in science and biology, Ernestine has the tools to help develop solutions that meet everyone's needs while minimizing environmental damage. Her hope is that each person can do their part for the planet and make a real difference to help reduce climate change.

Leave a Comment