The Climate Crisis
The Planet has a fever. There is no doubt that this is happening: glacial melts, severe droughts, shifting climate zones, warmer average temperatures, collapsing arctic ice, and extreme weather patterns. The burning of fossil fuels is releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in such quantities that we are overheating the planet.
What are these fossil fuels? Coal, petroleum and natural gas. The burning of coal in coal fired power plants produces electricity but also
releases carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere. The burning of petroleum products fuels our cars, trucks, trains, ships and airplanes but also
releases carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere. The burning of natural gas in power plants, in ovens, water tanks and furnaces generates electricity, heats our food, water and living areas but also releases carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere.
This carbon dioxide gas is overheating the earth.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas. What is a greenhouse gas?
A greenhouse gas like CO2 acts like a blanket for the earth.
CO2 traps the heat from the sun in the atmosphere,
much like your blanket traps your body heat beneath your covers to keep you warm.
Increases in carbon dioxide gas in the air
are holding in so much heat that we are seeing
major changes in the earth's climate!
The earth is overheating!
Beginning in 1958, Charles Keeling’s measurements documented the first significant evidence of the rapidly increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Scientist continue to monitor these increasing levels of carbon dioxide. Here is an animation of the changes in atmospheric carbon over time. Scientists predicted with increasing concern in the 1970s that global climate change would accompany these increases in CO2. Few paid attention. But now the effects of global warming are apparent to people all over the globe.
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