Category Archives: Climate Change

Basic Concepts

  • How do Human Activities Contribute to Climate Change and How do They Compare with Natural Influences?

How do Human Activities Contribute to Climate Change and How do They Compare with Natural Influences? FAQHow do Human Activities Contribute to Climate Change and How do They Compare with Natural Influences? Frequently Asked Question 2.1

Human activities contribute to climate change by causing changes in Earth’s atmosphere in the amounts of greenhouse gases, aerosols (small particles), and cloudiness. The largest known contribution comes from the burning of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide gas to the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases and aerosols affect climate by altering incoming solar radiation and outgoing infrared (thermal) radiation that are part of Earth’s energy balance. Changing the atmospheric abundance or properties of these gases and particles can lead to a warming or cooling of the climate system. Since the start of the industrial era (about 1750), the overall effect of human activities on climate has been a warming influence. The human impact on climate during this era greatly exceeds that due to known changes in natural processes, such as solar changes and volcanic eruptions.

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How do Human Activities Contribute to Climate Change and How do They Compare with Natural Influences?

  • A blanket around the earth_ Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet

A blanket around the earth

A layer of greenhouse gases – primarily water vapor, and including much smaller amounts of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – acts as a thermal blanket for the Earth, absorbing heat and warming the surface to a life-supporting average of 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).

 

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A blanket around the earth