The Earth’s climate is changing. That much is now indisputable. Over the past century, global temperatures have risen by around 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit, with the rate of warming accelerating in recent years. The seas are rising at an unprecedented rate, ice sheets are melting, and extreme weather events are becoming more common. This is not simply the result of natural variations in the Earth’s climate. Rather, it is the result of human activity, specifically the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil. When these fuels are burned, they release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases trap heat and cause the Earth’s temperature to rise.
The effects of global warming are already being felt around the world. Seas are rising at an accelerating rate, due to both thermal expansion and the melting of ice sheets. This is leading to coastal flooding and increased erosion. Extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts, and hurricanes, are becoming more common and more intense. And as global temperatures continue to rise, these effects are likely to become even more severe. In short, global warming is a serious threat to both our environment and our way of life.