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Carbon dioxide is the main cause of human-induced climate change. Other greenhouse gases, such as nitrous oxide, stay in the atmosphere for a long time. Small changes in the sun’s energy that reaches the earth can cause some climate change.But since the Industrial Revolution, adding greenhouse gases has been over 50 times more powerful than changes in the Sun's radiance.Such climate change could have far-reaching and/or unpredictable environmental, social, and economic consequences.
Climate change can also be caused by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and the conversion of land for forestry and agriculture.
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, these human influences on the climate system have increased substantially.
Human activity is the main cause of climate change.
People burn fossil fuels and convert land from forests to agriculture.
Global Warming and Climate Change Global warming is predominantly a problem of too much carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons and other industrial gases in the atmosphere.
As human beings destroy forests, burn fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, carbon accumulates and overloads our atmosphere; as a result glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, cloud forests are drying, and wildlife is nearing extinction.It is called a greenhouse gas because it produces a “greenhouse effect”. Carbon dioxide and other substances are referred to as climate forcers because they force or push the climate towards being warmer or cooler.The greenhouse effect makes the earth warmer, just as a greenhouse is warmer than its surroundings. They do this by affecting the flow of energy coming into and leaving the earth’s climate system.The additional greenhouse gases in earth’s atmosphere have had a strong warming effect on earth’s climate.Future emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, will determine how much more climate warming occurs.Climate change can involve both changes in average conditions and changes in variability, including, for example, extreme events.The earth's climate is naturally variable on all time scales.Volcanic eruptions are episodic and have relatively short-term effects on climate.Changes in solar irradiance have contributed to climate trends over the past century but since the Industrial Revolution, the effect of additions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere has been over 50 times that of changes in the Sun's output.Of these, the two factors relevant on timescales of contemporary climate change are changes in volcanic activity and changes in solar radiation.In terms of the Earth's energy balance, these factors primarily influence the amount of incoming energy.