What Started Global Warming

Global warming is one of the most pressing and controversial issues of our time, with many of us wondering what precisely caused this phenomenon. While clear evidence of the accelerating effects of global warming is all around us, what sparked this chain reaction has been the subject of debate. To untangle this complex question, we must examine different potential factors: natural and human-influenced sources, historical evidence, and the current state of carbon emissions.
One factor often cited is the natural rise in Earth’s temperature over time. To support this theory, scientists note that average temperatures rose steadily by about half a degree Celsius in the decade prior to 2015—a phenomenon caused by natural processes, including changes in solar output and the cycling of greenhouse gases. While this temperature increase certainly contributed to global warming, it remains unclear if it was, in fact, the primary cause.
Another factor is human influence, which has been a significant contributor to global warming since the industrial revolution. During this period, new technologies and the use of fossil fuels caused an increase in carbon emissions that changed the Earth’s climate dramatically: the current atmospheric concentration of CO2 is higher than at any time in the past 800,000 years and rising. Human activity–primarily the burning of fossil fuels and destruction of forests—has caused a “massive redistribution of carbon that has taken place over the last 200 years,” according to the IPCC.
It is clear then that human activity represents a significant cause of global warming. However, the impact of human-influenced sources can be mitigated by implementing proactive policies and reducing carbon emissions. Governments, businesses and other organizations can play a vital role in this process by implementing green technology, investing in renewable energy sources and increasing public awareness about the effects of global warming.
Finally, current carbon emissions must also be taken into account. For example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that annual CO2 emissions from burning of fossil fuels have steadily risen since the industrial revolution, reaching a peak in 2019. When compounded over centuries, emissions such as these have a massive impact on Earth’s climate. Further, evidence suggests that this continuous emissions rate would cause global temperatures to skyrocket in the next 30 years if current trends continue.
To sum up, global warming is a complex phenomenon that can be attributed to a variety of factors: natural processes, human influence, and current emissions rates. While natural processes have certainly been a factor in global warming, human influence has been significantly more responsible and must be curtailed moving forward. Our planet is in crisis, and strong action is needed to reduce carbon emissions and curb the effects of climate change. We must take the initiative to make real, meaningful change and protect our planet from the potentially devastating effects of global warming.

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.

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