Throughout history the Earth’s climate has changed many times - experiencing drought, extended periods of high temperatures, and even ice ages. Since the dawn of the industrial age, the global economy has become increasingly dependent on the use of fossil fuels to power our businesses and our way of life. With our increased use of carbon-emitting fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, scientists agree that humans are having an effect on the climate.
As our energy use emits carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases into the air, these gases act like a greenhouse, effectively trapping heat and preventing it from exiting into space, resulting in warmer surface temperatures. While some level of greenhouse gases are required to maintain the atmospheric temperature of the planet, the rate of increase since the onset of the industrial age has far exceeded naturally occurring levels. In 2003, the world’s emissions topped 27 metric tons of CO2, with the U.S. responsible for about 22% of those emissions.
Climate Change and Global Warming
The majority of the world’s climate scientists agree that greenhouse gas emissions have a significant impact on the climate and global warming. While scientists continue gathering data showing dramatic climate shifts, efforts to discover solutions are growing. Around the globe, people like you are choosing alternative fuels, renewable energy sources, new travel options and ways to reduce or conserve energy.